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Breaking News: The Los Angeles Dodgers Hit A Home Run

Power: Its name is Hairston Jr.

It’s baby steps for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

First, get a lead. They did that on Sunday for the first time in 66 innings. That helped them snap a seven-game losing skid.

They scored eight runs Sunday, more than what they finished with in those seven previous games combined. Who cares if six of their eight runs were unearned? The Dodgers just suffered through a record-setting streak in which they played six games and scored a grand total of two runs.

But something was missing in Sunday’s triumph: a home run.

Soon-to-be honorary member of the 500-HR club, Jerry Hairston Jr., put an end to that on Tuesday with a shot that made it into the left-field bullpen. Hairston’s third home run of the season was the Dodgers’ first in nine games. Nothing too unusual; L.A. had a 10-game powerless stretch last season.

But go back nine games. Bobby Abreu hit a home run on June 22 in a 8-5 loss to the Angels. Prior to that home run, the Dodgers hadn’t hit one out in their previous seven games.

Seventeen games, one home run.

The last time the Dodgers had two home run droughts of that length in the same season, it was 1992. In that year, the Dodgers actually had three long power outages — nine games, 10 games and 12 games without a homer. Two of those streaks were snapped by Mike Sharperson, who hit 10 home runs in more than 1,200 career at-bats. The other streak, the puny nine-gamer, was broken by pinch-hitter extraordinaire and current Dodgers hitting coach, Dave Hansen. It’s too good to be true but fortunately, it is.

That ’92 team went 63-99 and hit just 72 home runs, the fewest by a Dodgers team in what is now more than 40 years.

This 2012 team isn’t that terrible and should be OK once Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier return after the break.

But just so we’re clear: Hairston’s home run tied him for fourth place on the team. With three.

Kemp, who has played in two games since May 13, still leads Los Angeles in HRs and is second in RBIs. He hit 12 home runs in April. The entire Dodgers team has hit 26 home runs since.

That’s three ways to say this team is really bad right now. Everyone knows that, and every offense would fall into the toilet if you took away their two best hitters. But when your backup plan involves a 3-4-5 of Hairston, Rivera and Loney, it’s hard to not point and laugh/cringe.

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