Never-jealous Ellis can relish without embellish in latest Dodger romp

August, 24, 2011
8/24/11
2:13
PM PT

Dilip Vishwanat/Getty ImagesA.J. Ellis on his first official trot.
Since there's no way you can't be rooting for A.J. Ellis, there's no way you can't be a happy camper today.

Less than a day after bidding farewell to Albuquerque — quite possibly for the last time after spending most of the past three seasons there — the 30-year-old Ellis hit his first major-league home run, the icing on the Sara Lee of the Dodgers' 9-4 victory over St. Louis.

The Dodgers swept the three-game series from the Cardinals and, as Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch noted, at this moment are the same distance out of first place as St. Louis in their respective divisions.

The day after washable-tattooing the Cardinals with 13 runs, Los Angeles stamped it up again with a six-run third inning in which the first eight batters reached base. Matt Kemp's two-run single (RBI No. 96 and 97) put the Dodgers ahead to stay, 2-1, and the hits just kept coming after that, including an RBI single from Ellis.

Ellis' home run — the third by a Dodger catcher in two days — came in the fifth inning, in his 200th career plate appearance. Juan Rivera hit a two-run homer in the seventh.

The 22 runs in two games were the most by the Dodgers since they rolled 23 on the Reds on April 20-21 last year. All eight Dodger starting position players had hits — James Loney's two singles and a double gave him 17 total bases in his past 17 at-bats — while pinch-hitter Eugenio Velez extended his major-league hitless streak to 27 at-bats this year and 36 overall.

Hiroki Kuroda allowed a first-inning run, shut out the Cardinals for his next five innings, then allowed a two-run homer to Gerald Laird (scoring a 4-for-4 Skip Schumaker) in the seventh. Kuroda finished his seven innings with eight hits allowed, one walk and four strikeouts.

In 12 starts from June 1 through August 8, Kuroda had 24 runs of support. He has matched that in his past three starts.

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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Clayton Kershaw
WINS ERA SO IP
14 1.86 174 145
OTHER LEADERS
BAY. Puig .312
HRA. Gonzalez 17
RBIA. Gonzalez 83
RY. Puig 69
OPSY. Puig .905
ERAC. Kershaw 1.86
SOC. Kershaw 174