Marlins-Dodgers Preview

It didn’t take long for Adrian Gonzalez to make an impact with

the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Andre Ethier is doing his own damage in epic fashion.

Gonzalez looks to build on his impressive debut while Ethier and

Matt Kemp attempt to continue their own staggering production and

help the Dodgers sweep their three-game set from the Miami Marlins

on Sunday.

Los Angeles (69-58) acquired Gonzalez in a blockbuster trade

with Boston on Saturday, also landing pitcher Josh Beckett, injured

outfielder Carl Crawford and infielder Nick Punto. The club sent

James Loney, top pitching prospects Allen Webster and Rubby De La

Rosa, infielder Ivan DeJesus and outfielder Jerry Sands to the Red

Sox to complete the deal.

Hours after the multiplayer trade was official, Gonzalez was

batting cleanup, and connected for a three-run shot in his first

at-bat as the Dodgers went on to beat Miami 8-2.

“It means a lot to have Adrian here because it gives us a lot

more confidence,” Kemp said. “I mean, this is a guy that can drive

in 100-plus runs every year and is a possible 40-home run guy. He

really knows the National League well and he’s had a lot of success

here, so he’s definitely going to help us tremendously.”

Ethier has been doing his part to help the Dodgers, who are two

games back of NL West-leading San Francisco.

Ethier, who was dropped to sixth in the lineup after the

acquisition of Gonzalez, has hit safely in 10 consecutive at-bats

to match the team record set in 1919 by Ed Konetchy. The right

fielder’s recent surge includes two doubles, two homers and five

RBIs, and it follows a 1-for-22 stretch over his previous six


“He’s starting to find his swing again and he looks good up

there,” starter Clayton Kershaw said. “When you have a guy like him

hitting sixth, you know it’s a good lineup. I’m sure Andre is fine

with it. And if he keeps getting some fastballs to hit, he’s going

to be really OK with it because there’s going to be a lot of RBI

chances out there for him.”

Ethier has a .559 average with six homers and 15 RBIs in his

last 16 home meetings with the Marlins (57-71), but he’s 0 for 6

versus Marlins scheduled starter Mark Buehrle.

Aaron Harang (9-7, 3.65) surely wouldn’t mind some offensive

help as he seeks to win a third straight start. The right-hander

has a 2.13 ERA and 12 strikeouts and eight walks in 12 2-3 innings

in winning his last two – both on the road.

Harang, though, is 0-2 with a 6.50 ERA in his last three home

games and facing the Marlins for the first time this year. He beat

them twice in as many meetings last year with San Diego.

Like Harang, Buehrle (11-11, 3.69) has won back-to-back starts,

posting a 2.57 ERA after going 0-3 with a 6.84 ERA in his previous

five. That included a 5-2 loss to the Dodgers on Aug. 10, when he

gave up four runs in six innings.

The left-hander continued to put that rough stretch behind him

Monday with plenty of help in a 12-3 victory at Arizona. He allowed

two runs and six hits in seven innings while the offense delivered

a nine-run fourth to take the lead for good.

Buehrle has split two visits to Chavez Ravine with a 1.93 ERA,

and he’s making his first appearance there since a win with the

Chicago White Sox on June 24, 2008.