LOS ANGELES -- While James Loney has relapsed into first-half mode from last year with an 0-for-16 start, Andre Ethier is so on fire he's even hitting left-handed pitching.
Ethier is 3-for-9 with a double, triple and five RBIs against left-handers. Coming into Spring Training, manager Don Mattingly was talking about sitting Ethier against left-handed pitching if he didn't show improvement from the previous two seasons, although Mattingly always tempered that by insisting there was no reason why Ethier shouldn't hit lefties.
"He's battling now and that's what I like," Mattingly said. "He said he finally got one [Wednesday, a tie-breaking RBI single off lefty Erik Bedard]. I said, 'You're going to get your share.' His swing is too good not to get them. He'll make some outs, but he'll get his share of hits."
Mattingly said the only thing keeping Ethier from being great is Ethier and his tendency to lose focus and give away at-bats.
"If he doesn't get frustrated, he's going to be great," he said. "Nothing can hold him back if he's healthy. He knows his swing and understands hitting. He can fix himself. He doesn't need a coach."
Guerra racks up saves in three straight days
LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said he wouldn't hesitate using closer Javy Guerra for a third consecutive night if he was in position to save Thursday night's series finale with the Pirates.
And with a 1-2-3 ninth inning in the Dodgers' 3-2 win, Guerra notched save No. 5, which leads the Major Leagues.
"Sometimes they need a day off after one," Mattingly said before Thursday's game about Guerra and reliever Kenley Jansen. "Sometimes they throw a couple days in a row and feel all right."
Guerra saved each of the three games against the Pirates, and he's appeared in five of the Dodgers' seven games. Mattingly said he wouldn't necessarily be more cautious because the season just started.
"I play it safe all the time," he said. "I look at long range all the time. If we have a chance to get a save and Javy feels good, I'll use Javy. If Javy doesn't feel good and Kenley's good, I'll use Kenley."
Guerra has allowed one hit and struck out five in five scoreless innings.
Dodgers to speak at Robinson's high school
LOS ANGELES -- A contingent of Dodgers present and past will visit Jackie Robinson's high school to talk about the trailblazer's legacy in advance of Jackie Robinson Day.
Current Dodgers players Dee Gordon and Tony Gwynn and Dodgers alumni Tommy Davis, Lou Johnson, Ken Landreaux and Derrel Thomas will speak about Robinson's impact on baseball and society at John Muir High School in Pasadena.
On Sunday, the Dodgers will celebrate the 65th anniversary of Robinson breaking the color barrier in baseball as a Dodger. All uniformed personnel will wear No. 42, which has been retired by baseball in honor of Robinson.
Pregame ceremonies will include the First African Methodist Episcopal Church Unity Choir performing the national anthem and the American Legion Jackie Robinson Post from South L.A. presenting the colors. Seven of the Dodgers' Team 42 scholars, who receive college scholarships through the Dodgers Dream Foundation and the Jackie Robinson Foundation, will be recognized on the field before the game and Dodgers alumni Don Newcombe and Davis will throw out ceremonial first pitches.
Scully misses third game behind mic
LOS ANGELES -- Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully missed his third consecutive game Thursday night with a bad cold.
The Dodgers said Scully is improving and a weekend return is possible.
Charley Steiner and Steve Lyons called the game on PRIME TICKET, while Rick Monday and Kevin Kennedy will be behind the microphone on AM 570 Fox Sports Los Angeles.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.