Dodgers right fielder Andre Ethier, right, is congratulated by teammate… (Harry How / Getty Images )
After two days of questions, debate and uncertainty about the health of Andre Ethier's right knee, Ethier made one thing clear Tuesday night:
His knee still is strong enough for him to drive the ball into the stands with the bases loaded.
Ethier's grand slam capped an eight-run second inning in the Dodgers' 8-5 victory over the San Diego Padres. It was the Dodgers' seventh win in eight games.
The Dodgers' big inning came courtesy of San Diego starter Tim Stauffer's major control issues as he walked six batters in the second, a Padres record.
Dodgers starter Hiroki Kuroda flirted with blowing the big lead by giving up back-to-back home runs and four runs overall to the Padres in the sixth inning, but he did get the victory, his fourth straight.
Ethier's grand slam, the third of his career and first since May 2010, came on the heels of a controversy about whether the 29-year-old should continue playing on the injured knee.
The right fielder was three for four Tuesday night for the second consecutive game.
"We had a good game and a lot of fun," Ethier said, while declining to discuss his knee and the controversy.
Ethier's grand slam came on the first pitch from San Diego reliever Anthony Bass, who had been summoned after Stauffer (8-11) could no longer find the strike zone.
Stauffer's meltdown led to one of the more unusual pitching lines in a game: He went 1 2/3 innings, gave up only one hit and yet was charged with seven runs after walking seven overall -- the last to one to the pitcher Kuroda -- just before Ethier's grand slam to the right-field pavilion.
The Dodgers overall received 12 walks, the most since they drew 14 on April 21, 1999, against the Atlanta Braves.
Kuroda (11-14) was roughed up in the sixth inning when he gave up a single to Jason Bartlett, a double to Jesus Guzman, a three-run home run to Kyle Blanks and a solo homer to former Dodger Orlando Hudson.
Even so, Kuroda's 11th victory tied his major-league season high that was set last year.
"With the run support I had, I should have pitched a lot better than I did today," Kuroda said.
Dodgers reliever Kenley Jansen pitched the eighth inning without allowing a run; he has now thrown three scoreless innings since being reinstated from the disabled list Aug. 24. Javy Guerra pitched a scoreless ninth inning for his 12th save.
Matt Kemp made a sparkling play in the fourth inning.
With Guzman on third base and one out, Nick Hundley lifted a fly ball to Kemp and Guzman tagged up to score. But Kemp made a perfect throw to home plate to erase Guzman and end the inning.