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Matt Kamlet, CBSLA.com
TORONTO (CBSLA.com) — 22 days ago, the Dodgers were in last place — they are now in first place.
A.J. Ellis, who went 4-for-6 with 5 RBI, had the best of his career from the plate and six Dodgers in the starting lineup recorded a multi-hit game as the Dodgers beat the Blue Jays 14-5 on Monday night to take first place in the National League West.
“I know I had a nice day going,” Ellis said after the game. “The RBI’s are just a testament to the guys getting on base ahead of me.”
Almost exactly a month ago, the Dodgers were a season-worst 12 games under .500. Since then, the club has gone 21-5 and has won six of their last nine series.
Josh Johnson became the second consecutive starter knocked out of a game by the Dodgers after just six outs.
Dodgers starter Hyun Jin Ryu, who made it through 5.1 innings with four earned runs and got his ninth win of the season, has now made it through at least five innings in all of his 19 starts in the majors.
Andre Ethier hit his 19th double of the season, the 250th of his career, with one out in the second inning. It was the first hit of the day for the Dodgers.
The second came in the form of a massive home run to straight-away center field by A.J. Ellis, his fifth of the year, giving the Dodgers a 2-0 lead.
As far as the rest of the lineup was concerned, the inning was not over.
The Dodgers extended the lead to three later in the inning when leadoff man Carl Crawford hit a liner back up the middle. Juan Uribe, who had been hit by a pitch, was waved around third. Center fielder Colby Rasmus fired home, but his throw was off, allowing Uribe to score.
Yasiel Puig got back on the hitting train when he grounded another pitch up the middle, scoring Mark Ellis from third, giving the Dodgers a 4-0 lead. It was Puig’s first RBI since the 4th of July.
Ethier struck again in the third when he doubled, again, to lead off the inning. Much like the previous inning, Ellis connected on a 2-2 pitch to ground one back up the middle to score Ethier.
Johnson was pulled from the mound before recording a single out in the third inning.
The next victim to the Ethier-Ellis duo was reliever Dustin McGowen, who gave up a walk to Hanley Ramirez, before Ethier connected a third time for a single, followed by an Ellis single into the gap in left-center, giving the Dodgers a 7-2 lead.
In the seventh inning, moments after Ellis got his fourth hit of the night to put runners on the corners, Skip Schumaker absolutely clobbered a three-run shot deep into the second section in right field for his first home run as a Dodger, giving Los Angeles a 14-4 lead.
Puig made a phenominal catch in the bottom of the eighth inning, robbing J.P. Arencibia of an extra-base hit when he tracked down a deep line drive in center field, covered more than 40 feet, and crashed into the wall with ball in glove.
Puig did not look to be too shaken on the play.
The Dodgers have won four games in a row, and officially moved into first place after Arizona lost to the Cubs 4-2 at Chase Field.
Going for the series win, the Dodgers will send Chris Capuano (3-6, 4.63 ERA) to the mound on Tuesday against Todd Redmond (1-1, 4.32).