The hotel wake-up call for Andre Ethier came at 4:30 a.m. California time. Then he and his Los Angeles Dodgers teammates had to work overtime Wednesday.
The early start and long day were worth it, however. Ethier extended his record April hitting streak to 24 games in the fourth inning, then homered in the 10th to help the Dodgers salvage the final game of their three-game series against Florida, 5-4.
”I’m just trying to do what the situation calls for,” Ethier said.
The Dodgers went 3-3 on their trip and found themselves dragging a bit when the finale started at 12:10 p.m. Miami time. But they rallied after falling behind 4-0.
”This road trip was kind of a tough one to stay focused and keep the energy up, with four day games out of the six,” Ethier said. ”A 4:30 a.m. wake-up call California time was kind of tough this morning. I don’t think I’ve been up at 4:30, other than last winter to catch a flight for vacation.”
Ethier was feeling robust by the 10th inning, when he homered on a 1-1 splitter from Brian Sanches (3-1).
”He’s a good hitter, and he’s hot right now,” Sanches said.
The homer ended Sanches’ streak of 13 2-3 scoreless innings to start the season. He had given up only one hit previously.
”I didn’t know that,” Ethier said. ”I’m glad I didn’t.”
Ethier’s single in the fourth extended his major league record for the longest April hitting streak. His batting average rose to .380.
Rod Barajas had a three-run homer for the Dodgers.
”We got big hits all over the place,” manager Don Mattingly said. ”We got big outs all over the place.”
The Marlins came into the game with the NL East lead and the second-best record in the majors. But they missed a chance to complete a sweep of the Dodgers in the bottom of the ninth, when Mark Guerrier (2-1) escaped a jam to keep the score 4-all.
Greg Dobbs led off with a single, and Emilio Bonifacio beat out a bunt when he tried to sacrifice. Both runners moved up on a sacrifice, but Scott Cousins struck out and John Buck grounded out.
”It’s a game we should have won,” said Chris Coghlan, who had a three-run double in the second inning. Florida finished its homestand 7-2.
Chad Billingsley went six innings for Los Angeles and gave up five hits, all in the second, when the Marlins scored four times. They didn’t get another hit until the ninth.
Vicente Padilla, who came off the disabled list Friday, pitched a perfect 10th for his first save since 2000. Closer Jonathan Broxton was held out after he said before the game his elbow didn’t feel 100 percent, but he said the problem wasn’t serious.
”It happens every year,” Broxton said.
Anibal Sanchez, who took a no-hitter into the ninth inning in his last start, held the Dodgers hitless until the fourth but gave up Barajas’ homer. After throwing 74 pitches in five innings on an 86-degree afternoon, Sanchez left with a 4-3 lead.
”It was too hot out there,” manager Edwin Rodriguez said. ”He was making a lot of effort on his pitches. And the bullpen was fresh.”
All-Star shortstop Hanley Ramirez went 0 for 5, dropping his average to .197.
Ethier singled in the fourth for the Dodgers’ first hit. James Loney also singled, and Barajas hit a two-out homer. Five of Barajas’ 14 hits this season have been home runs.
Pinch-hitter Juan Uribe hit an RBI double for Los Angeles in the seventh to make it 4-all.
”Our team has been on the brink of getting things really going,” Ethier said. ”We’re starting to figure things out offensively.”
NOTES: Coghlan came out of the game in the eighth inning because of soreness in his right shoulder, which bothered him during spring training. He said he hopes to be able to play in the Marlins’ next game Friday. … The Dodgers completed a stretch of 20 games in 20 days, and Thursday will be their first day off since April 7. … Dodgers C Hector Gimenez underwent right knee surgery and will be sidelined three to six weeks.