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After Dodgers right fielder Andre Ethier's streak, a slump

After a stretch in which Dodgers slugger Andre Ethier batted .397 and had 30 consecutive games with hits, he has been in a rut.

May 20, 2011|By Jim Peltz
  • Dodgers right fielder Andre Ethier has been struggling at the plate since his 30-game hitting streak came to an end earlier this month.
Dodgers right fielder Andre Ethier has been struggling at the plate since… (Jerry Lai / U.S. Presswire )

Reporting from Chicago — First came the feast, then the famine.

Since Andre Ethier's 30-game hitting streak ended May 7, the right fielder has struggled at the plate.

"Sometimes you get hits, sometimes you don't," he said before Friday's game against the Chicago White Sox. "Like I said during the streak, I'm not losing any sleep over this. I'm not dwelling on it."

Ethier singled in his second at-bat Friday and finished one for four in the Dodgers' 6-4, 10-inning victory. He had gone hitless in his 22 prior plate appearances, and his batting average for the season has dropped to .316 from .379 on the last day of his streak.

The streak lasted from April 2 to May 6, during which Ethier batted 46 for 116, or .397.

Ethier has had a sore left elbow in recent weeks, but he said that has not been a factor in his recent slump, nor did he have any other physical problem.

With the Dodgers showing little offense beyond Ethier and Matt Kemp, Ethier's recent struggles haven't helped matters.

Dodgers General Manager Ned Colletti said Ethier's dry spell merely reflects "the ups and downs in a year. Guys go in streaks all the time."

Asked if he's been frustrated at the plate, Ethier replied, "No. I'm more frustrated with the ups and downs of the team and the way we've been playing. We all got to hit to win. It's not just one or two of us."

Kemp designated

With the Dodgers playing in an American League park, Kemp was the Dodgers' designated hitter Friday — the first time the center fielder had that role in the big leagues.

The assignment appeared to suit him. In his first appearance Friday, he slammed a two-run home run estimated at 417 feet into the left-field stands at U.S. Cellular Field.

Manager Don Mattingly said the left-handed Ethier probably would be the DH on Saturday because the White Sox are starting left-hander Mark Buehrle.

Kemp and Ethier "are guys I can't really get out of the lineup, but it's a day to give them a day off their legs," Mattingly said.

Little help?

Colletti said he was looking "a little bit" at other clubs for a potential trade, "but I'd have to really talk somebody into it. If you've got to talk another team into it, you've got to pay to do it too."

Asked if he specifically was seeking a good hitter, Colletti replied, "Whatever we need."

He also said: "If we can get ourselves healthier — not even 100%, just healthier — we're going to be in it. We're going to be right there" in playoff contention. "No other team has lost the players we've lost" to injuries, and "I think we're going to be alright," he said.

Injury update

The Dodgers said they hoped shortstop Rafael Furcal could join the club Monday and that his left knee wasn't seriously hurt in a slide during his last rehabilitation game with triple-A Albuquerque on Tuesday.

Furcal, recovering from a broken left thumb, could be activated when the Dodgers play the Astros in Houston starting Monday, Colletti said.

Third baseman Casey Blake, meanwhile, might start rehabilitation games with Albuquerque early next week, Colletti said. Blake had surgery for a staph infection in his left elbow.

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