Andre Ethier hasn't been fooled by many pitchers during his long hitting streak. He'll have to overcome some daunting numbers to keep the run going for another game.
Looking to extend his major league-record April hit streak to 25, Ethier and the Los Angeles Dodgers face Clayton Richard and the San Diego Padres on Friday night.
Ethier's home run in the 10th inning lifted Los Angeles (13-13) over Florida 5-4 on Wednesday in the finale of a six-game road trip, helping the Dodgers avoid a third straight loss. The right fielder went 2 for 5 to raise his average to .380, and he's batting .402 during the hit streak.
Ethier has the longest hitting streak by a Dodger since Paul Lo Duca hit in 25 straight in 2003. He is the 11th player since 1919 to get at least a hit in 25 of his first 26 games.
"Our team has been on the brink of getting things really going," Ethier said after Los Angeles finished its trip 3-3 and ended a run of 20 games in as many days. "We're starting to figure things out offensively."
Despite his red-hot start, Ethier has yet to figure out left-handed pitching this season. He is batting .207 (6 for 29) against left-handers as compared to .451 against right-handers.
Richard (1-1. 3.95 ERA) has limited Ethier to one hit in 13 at-bats, though left-handers are hitting .292 (7 for 24) off of him this season. He has gone 4-0 with a 2.48 ERA in six career starts against Los Angeles.
Richard allowed two runs in 7 1-3 innings last Friday but lost 2-0 to Philadelphia as the Padres' eye-opening offensive problems continued.
San Diego (9-16), loser of six of seven, is last in the majors with 70 runs and has scored 16 over the last 10 games. It has been shut out seven times on the season.
That happened most recently Wednesday, when the Padres fell 7-0 to Atlanta. Mat Latos tied a club record by losing his ninth consecutive start and first baseman Brad Hawpe made an error in the second inning that led to five unearned runs.
Left fielder Ryan Ludwick went 0 for 3 to drop his average to .202. He has 21 strikeouts and 18 hits.
"We're trying to grind it out," second baseman Orlando Hudson told MLB.com after getting one of San Diego's four hits. "I've seen it happen before; the tide will turn. Good things will happen."
The Padres will look to reverse their fortunes against Ted Lilly (1-2, 5.13), who is coming off a rough outing. He allowed season highs of five runs and 11 hits in 4 1-3 innings of a 10-8 loss to Chicago on Saturday.
Lilly has gone 6-3 with a 2.69 ERA in 11 career starts against the Padres. He allowed two runs in 4 1-3 innings at San Diego on April 8 before the game was suspended due to rain.
Richard also started that contest, pitching one inning and not returning after the contest resumed. The Dodgers went on to win 4-2 in 11 innings and took two of three in the teams' only series of the season.
Ludwick is 5 for 34 (.147) against Lilly.
San Diego has won three of the last four meetings in Los Angeles.