Dodgers win ninth in row, 7-3 over Astros

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Manny Ramirez, James Loney and Casey Blake each drove in two runs to help keep the Dodgers' offense humming without the injured Andre Ethier, and Los Angeles extended its winning streak to nine games with a 7-3 victory over the Houston Astros on Tuesday night.

Hiroki Kuroda (5-1) allowed three runs and seven hits over six innings, striking out two and walking one. The victory was the 14th in 17 games for the Dodgers, who placed Ethier on the 15-day disabled list because of a fractured right pinky he sustained four days earlier while taking swings in the indoor batting cage at San Diego's Petco Park.

Carlos Lee homered and had his first three-RBI game of the season for the Astros, who lost the final five games of their eight-game road trip after a three-game sweep at St. Louis. Houston has dropped 16 of its last 21 altogether, and is an NL-worst 13-26.

Bud Norris (2-5) gave up six runs, seven hits and three walks over 4 1-3 innings in his first career appearance against the Dodgers. The right-hander was struck on his pitching arm by a line-drive single off the bat of Matt Kemp with two out in the third and the score tied 3-all, then faced eight more batters and departed after giving a Ramirez's two-run single.

The Dodgers took a 4-3 lead in the fourth when Loney drew a leadoff walk and scored on Jamey Carroll's sacrifice fly. They extended the margin to 6-3 on Ramirez's hit, and Blake hit his fourth homer of the season in the eighth against Jeff Fulchino.

Los Angeles scored three in the first after Norris retired his first two batters. Ramirez walked on a 3-2 pitch, Kemp hit a ground-rule double into the right field corner, Loney hit a two-run single and Blake singled home another.

Lee, who was 3 for 24 during the first seven games of the road trip, got Houston on the board in the second with a leadoff homer. The Astros loaded the bases in the third after Kuroda retired his first two batters, and Lee lined an 0-2 pitch through the box for a two-run single that tied the score.

NOTES: Ethier, who leads the majors with a .392 average and 38 RBIs, went on the DL for the first time in his five-year career just hours before the sellout crowd of 55,662 received bobblehead dolls with his likeness as they entered the ballpark. ... Astros C Humberto Quintero threw out Kemp trying to steal second base in the third. Kemp already has been caught stealing eight times in 14 attempts, matching the number of times he was thrown out last season when he stole 34 bases. ... Lee's three RBIs matched the total he had in 36 at-bats over his previous 10 games. The home run was his first at Dodger Stadium since May 7, 2006, when he hit a solo shot for the Milwaukee Brewers against Jonathan Broxton. ... Dodgers C Russell Martin singled in the fifth to extend his hitting streak to 13 games, one more than his previous best in 2007. ... Astros 2B Kaz Matsui was 0 for 4 and is hitless in his last 20 at-bats.