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MLB.com looks back on Ethier's 30-game hit streak

History can sneak up on you. And it can happen early.

Cases in both points: Andre Ethier, who will be out to confirm his growing repute as Major League Baseball's hottest April hitter on Monday night when the Dodgers move into Sun Life Stadium for the first of three against the Marlins.

Ethier will seek a hit in his 22nd consecutive game, which would tie his former manager, Joe Torre, for the longest April hitting streak on record. Torre ripped off his 22-game streak in 1972, with the Cardinals.

Dodgers right-hander Jon Garland will face Ricky Nolasco, part of a Florida pitching staff certainly capable of throwing ice on anyone's fire.

"When we have a rotation like we have, chances are over a full season, I don't see we're going to see a big slump from our team," Marlins manager Edwin Rodriguez said. "Some of those guys have the ability to start that slump."

But, since Ethier went 0-for-4 on April 1 against the Giants -- his only hitless game of the season -- no one has been able to douse the outfielder, a .412 hitter (33-for-80) since the first day of the month.

The only qualifier for Ethier's feat is that prior to the expansion of the schedule (from 154 games to 162 in 1962) and of the postseason, the season usually began later in April.

Still, all of the April hitting streaks of 20-plus games occurred in this era, with the only others being Danny Bautista's 21-game streak in 2004, and 20-game skeins by former Dodgers first baseman Steve Garvey (1978) and Rico Carty (1970).

If looked at as a showdown of Los Angeles heroes, Ethier will be up against Mike Stanton, the Southern California native who struck the winning blow of Sunday's 6-3 win over Colorado with a tie-breaking three-run homer in the eighth.

Stanton was dialed in against the Dodgers last season, going 4-for-12 with two homers and six RBIs against them as a rookie.

The lefty-hitting Ethier has done most of his damage against right-handers, but the enabler of his career-long streak has been getting the occasional knock against the southpaws who in the past troubled him.

"There's no reason in the world he shouldn't hit lefties," said Dodgers manager Don Mattingly, who studied Ethier's swing in his previous role as the club's hitting coach. "He has a short swing, a quick bat, he's not afraid. Maybe with experience, he's forming a better game plan."

Regardless of how this series goes, the Dodgers will bid farewell to Sun Life Stadium -- the Fish move into their new park next season -- with an all-time winning record. They begin this series at 39-35.

Dodgers: No end to the Ethier watch
• Ethier is also one game shy of matching the Dodgers' longest hitting streak in the last five years -- Nomar Garciaparra's 22-game string in 2006.

• Juan Uribe, who drove in four runs in the series-opening win over the Cubs, sat out the last two games with a sore left quadriceps muscle.

Marlins: Night off for Hanley?
• Hanley Ramirez, lifetime 3-for-16 against Garland and already in the throes of a deep slump, may sit out the series opener. Another hitless game on Sunday dropped the shortstop's average to .182. He has two hits in his last 27 at-bats.

Worth noting
Hero-a-Day? When Stanton settled Sunday's game with his tie-breaking homer, he became the 10th different Florida player to claim the game-winning RBI in the team's 13 wins. John Buck, Chris Coghlan and Donnie Murphy lead with two apiece, and Scott Cousins, Greg Dobbs, Omar Infante, Josh Johnson, Ramirez and Anibal Sanchez each had one before Stanton.

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