|L.A. Dodgers (48-26) «||0||3||0||1||1||2||0||1||x||8||14||0|
Fifteen years later, Ethier put on an impressive power display for Wakamatsu, hitting three home runs and driving in a career-high six runs for the Los Angeles Dodgers in an 8-2 victory over the Mariners on Friday night.
"I saw him as a young player at [Arizona State] and saw his talent there," Wakamatsu said. "He hit three different pitches off three different pitchers, and that was awfully impressive."
He made it 7-2 in the sixth with a drive into the right-field pavilion off Roy Corcoran after Russell Martin was hit by a pitch. The Dodgers' right fielder capped his first three-homer game with a leadoff shot in the eighth off Miguel Batista.
"It was a lot of fun. It's something I never dreamed of before," Ethier said. "It's one of those unlikely things that's a nice individual accomplishment, and if it helps the team and makes the outcome better for us, so be it. But I don't expect home runs now just because of this."
Ethier has hit 13 of his 14 homers this season at Dodger Stadium.
"It's frustrating and something that I prefer not to think about," he said. "But the guys on the team definitely reminded me of it tonight."
It was Ethier's fifth career multihomer game.
"It just looked like he was very comfortable tonight and very relaxed, and he had very live hands," manager Joe Torre said.
Ethier became the 15th player to hit three or more home runs for the Dodgers and the first since Hee-Seop Choi on June 12, 2005, against Minnesota at Dodger Stadium.
"I think his home runs come in bunches, but that's for everybody," Torre said. "Obviously a three-run homer tonight his first time up, it puts you in a good place."
Clayton Kershaw (5-5) allowed two runs and five hits over six innings and struck out eight, helping the defending NL West champions improve baseball's best record to 48-26. The 21-year-old left-hander hasn't given up more than five hits in any of his last 11 starts, but is only 5-3 during that stretch despite a 2.48 ERA in those eight outings.
Seattle's Ichiro Suzuki had his sixth straight multihit game giving him a major league-leading 34 this season. The two-time AL batting champ played his first game at Dodger Stadium since March 23, when his two-run single in the 10th inning helped Japan capture its second straight World Baseball Classic championship.
Vargas gave up five runs and nine hits over 4 2/3 innings. The left-hander faced Los Angeles one other time in the regular season, winning 7-1 on Aug. 21, 2005, with a six-hitter for his only complete game in 29 big-league starts.
Seattle second baseman Jose Lopez, in his second game back after missing the previous six while on the bereavement list, had two run-scoring singles. He leads the club with 44 RBI.
Seattle catcher Kenji Johjima was activated from the disabled list after missing 26 games because of a broken toe. He was 0 for 4 and grounded into an inning-ending double play with the bases loaded in the fourth.
|There it goes. Andre Ethier admires his third homer of the game in the bottom of the eighth. (US Presswire)|
|Players of the Game|
|Ichiro Suzuki, RF||4||2||2||0||0||1||0||.371|
|Russell Branyan, 1B||4||0||1||0||0||1||1||.300|
|Adrian Beltre, 3B||4||0||0||0||0||0||3||.260|
|Jose Lopez, 2B||4||0||3||2||0||0||0||.251|
|Franklin Gutierrez, CF||3||0||0||0||1||2||2||.258|
|Kenji Johjima, C||4||0||0||0||0||0||2||.239|
|Wladimir Balentien, LF||3||0||0||0||0||3||0||.231|
|Ronny Cedeno, SS||3||0||0||0||0||1||0||.121|
|Miguel Batista, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Jason Vargas, P||2||0||0||0||0||2||0||.250|
|Roy Corcoran, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Josh Wilson, SS||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.152|
|RBI - Jose Lopez 2 (44)|
|2-OUT RBI - Jose Lopez (13)|
|SB - Ichiro Suzuki (13, 2nd base off Kershaw/Martin)|
|Team LOB - 4|
|DP - Vargas-Cedeno-J. Lopez, Cedeno-J. Lopez-Branyan|
|Jason Vargas (L,3-3)||4.2||9||5||5||1||2||2||3.79|
|HBP - Martin (by Roy Corcoran)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Jason Vargas 78-45, Roy Corcoran 31-17, Miguel Batista 32-19|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jason Vargas 5-4, Roy Corcoran 1-2, Miguel Batista 2-4|
|Batters Faced - Jason Vargas 21, Roy Corcoran 9, Miguel Batista 8|
|Los Angeles Dodgers|
|Juan Pierre, LF||4||0||2||0||1||0||1||.329|
|Rafael Furcal, SS||3||0||0||0||1||0||2||.238|
|Orlando Hudson, 2B||4||0||0||0||0||2||5||.307|
|Casey Blake, 3B||4||2||2||1||0||0||2||.301|
|James Loney, 1B||4||1||1||0||0||1||0||.281|
|Russell Martin, C||3||1||1||0||0||0||2||.249|
|Andre Ethier, RF||4||3||3||6||0||0||1||.268|
|Matt Kemp, CF||4||1||3||0||0||0||0||.313|
|Clayton Kershaw, P||2||0||1||1||0||0||1||.182|
|a- Mitch Jones, PH||1||0||1||0||0||0||0||.364|
|Guillermo Mota, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|b- A.J. Ellis, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||.000|
|Ronald Belisario, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a-singled for Kershaw in the 6th|
|b-flied out for Mota in the 8th|
|2B - Casey Blake (18, Vargas)|
|3B - Matt Kemp (5, Vargas)|
|HR - Casey Blake (11, Vargas), Andre Ethier 3 (14, Vargas, Corcoran, Batista)|
|SH - Rafael Furcal (2)|
|RBI - Casey Blake (48), Andre Ethier 6 (49), Clayton Kershaw (1)|
|CS - Juan Pierre (6, 2nd base by Vargas/Johjima)|
|Team LOB - 6|
|DP - Blake-Hudson-Loney|
|Los Angeles Dodgers|
|Clayton Kershaw (W,5-5)||6||5||2||2||1||8||0||3.70|
|Pitches-Strikes - Clayton Kershaw 96-64, Guillermo Mota 33-22, Ronald Belisario 13-10|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Clayton Kershaw 3-6, Guillermo Mota 4-1, Ronald Belisario 2-0|
|Batters Faced - Clayton Kershaw 23, Guillermo Mota 6, Ronald Belisario 4|
|Attendance - 50752|
|Game Time - 2:39|
|Temperature - 72|
|Umpires - Home - Mike Reilly, First Base - Chuck Meriwether, Second Base - Laz Diaz, Third Base - Eric Cooper|