The kid is no longer in danger of being sent to the minor leagues. So says Joe Torre.
But sensing that Blake DeWitt remains unsure of his place in the Dodgers' clubhouse, Torre said he has sometimes called the 24-year-old into his office to tell him that the impending promotion or reinstatement of another player won't result in him heading to triple-A Albuquerque.
The routine could soon become unnecessary.
DeWitt hit a towering fifth-inning three-run home run off the right-field foul pole and drove in a career-high five runs in the Dodgers' 12-4 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Monday night, improving his average over his last four games to .538.
Staying in one place has helped DeWitt, who had six stints in the majors last season.
"When you're able to stay here and compete at this level, it's more comforting," DeWitt said. "Last year was tough. Last year was definitely tough."
DeWitt was two for three with a sacrifice fly and led a 14-hit assault by the Dodgers.
Rafael Furcal was two for five with a run and two runs batted in. Matt Kemp (two for four), Ronnie Belliard (two for three) and Reed Johnson (two for two) also had multi-hit games. Garret Anderson, who started the game hitting .146, had a pinch-hit double in the seventh inning that drove in the Dodgers' final run.
The Dodgers received another serviceable start from rookie Carlos Monasterios (3-0), who gave up two home runs to Ryan Ludwick but held Albert Pujols and Matt Holliday hitless. Monasterios was charged with three runs, four hits and three walks over six-plus innings.
The Dodgers immediately pounced on starter Blake Hawksworth, as Furcal led off the first inning with a single and promptly stole his first base since his activation from the 15-day disabled list May 25. Furcal scored on a single by Kemp, who later scored when Manny Ramirez grounded into a double play.
The fourth inning would be Hawksworth's last, as the Dodgers scored four runs, the final two on a ground-rule double by Furcal.
The final line for Hawksworth (0-3): six runs, seven hits and three walks in four innings.
P.J. Walters didn't fare much better.
The Dodgers welcomed him with a four-run fifth inning, capped by DeWitt's first home run of the season.
"He's been a lot more comfortable with the bat," Torre said of DeWitt. "Confidence-wise, he's as good as he's been all year."
Laughter has helped.
Torre told a story about how not so long ago, a clubhouse manager mistakenly thought that he asked him to call DeWitt into his office.
DeWitt, who was in the midst of a slump, didn't know what to think when he approached Torre.
"I was looking at him thinking, 'What does he need?' and he was looking at me thinking, 'What does he need?'" DeWitt said.
There were more laughs in the Dodgers' clubhouse Monday night.
As is the custom after every Dodgers win, Miley Cyrus' "Party in the U.S.A." blared out of the sound system.
What made this night unusual was that when Kemp came out of the showers, he noticed his pants were missing. Kemp didn't take long to make his way to Russell Martin's locker, where they were hidden.
Having retrieved his clothes, Kemp poked fun at Martin's underwear.
Martin immediately shot back, playfully drawing Kemp's pop star love interest into the exchange.
" Rihanna says she likes them," Martin said.
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