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.
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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 games.
“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.