06/07/12 5:28 PM ET
Ethier snaps out of funk on 'calm-down' day
By Jake Kaplan / MLB.com
But Ethier, who entered the game in the eighth inning to play right field, ended up breaking open a close game when he batted the next inning. The Dodgers beat the Phillies, 8-3, to finish their first four-game sweep in Philadelphia. Ethier replaced Juan Rivera in the third spot of the order, and he came up fifth in the ninth. The bases were loaded when he walked to the plate, and his single scored two runs. Ethier took second after the ball was deflected by first baseman John Mayberry, then he took third as Elian Herrera was thrown out at the plate. Ethier scored on Jerry Hairston's single one batter later.
The outfielder has played in all but one of the Dodgers' 58 games.
"Mentally, it's a grind, man, trying to get ready to play every day," Mattingly said before Thursday's game. "As you get in that grind, then some days you just get worn down and you just need that mental break."
Ethier's two RBIs gave him a National League-leading 48, but he was hitless with four strikeouts in the first three games of the series.
Mattingly also said he's planning to give Ethier a chance to serve as the designated hitter in the Dodgers' upcoming series in Seattle, which starts Friday, to save his legs a bit.
On fourth day of sweep, Jansen rests
PHILADELPHIA -- Closer Kenley Jansen was not available in the Dodgers' 8-3 win over the Phillies on Thursday. Jansen pitched the ninth inning and earned the save in each of the first three games of the series.
"Yeah, we won't use him today," manager Don Mattingly said prior to the game.
On the season, the 24-year-old right-hander finished the day 4-0 with a 2.20 ERA and nine saves.
If the Dodgers were to get into a save situation on Thursday, Mattingly said he would decide who would pitch based on matchups.
Dodgers have edge over Phils in tight games
PHILADELPHIA --- The Dodgers and Phillies played their fifth straight one-run game on Wednesday, and their third of the current four-game set. All three times, the Dodgers prevailed.
Los Angeles, which still owns Major League Baseball's best record at 37-21, is 16-9 in one-run games this season. The Dodgers broke open a one-run game in an 8-3 win on Thursday with a four-run ninth inning.
Manager Don Mattingly attributed part of his club's success in close games to the Dodgers' steady bullpen, which is made up of mostly first- or second-year Major Leaguers and a few veterans. Los Angeles' bullpen has allowed just one run in eight innings in the current series against Philadelphia.
"I think it tells that our bullpen's pretty solid, where we've been able to -- when we get to that seventh inning, and you've gotten past your starter and you're in a one-run game, you're basically relying on your bullpen to hold it. And they've been pretty good," Mattingly said.
The Dodgers swept a four-game series in Philadelphia for the first time in team history.
Aaron Harang earned the win on Thursday, giving him 100 in his career. He is the 35th active pitcher to reach that mark.
Jake Kaplan is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.