On the night Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier made their long-awaited returns, two other recently activated players had emotionally charged performances that lifted the Dodgers to a 2-1 victory over the San Diego Padres.
But what was felt by second baseman Mark Ellis and reliever Javy Guerra on Friday night were on opposite ends of the emotional spectrum.
Ellis smiled as he recalled his two-run home run in only his fifth game back from a leg injury that nearly left him an amputee. Guerra spoke solemnly about how his father's heart attack affected him as he pitched a scoreless seventh inning.
Guerra, who grew up in Texas, said he received a phone call in the morning from his mother informing him of his father's condition. He secured a passport and made preparations to travel to the Mexican border town of Laredo, where his father is scheduled to undergo open-heart surgery Saturday morning.
Taking the mound momentarily relieved him of his fears and concerns.
"I'm thankful I got to come out here, to be honest," said Guerra, who underwent a minor knee operation in June and was activated July 5.
Guerra said he doesn't know how long he'll be away from the team.
On the other side of the clubhouse, the atmosphere was more lighthearted. Ellis hadn't played at Dodger Stadium since he was hurt on a collision on the basepaths and underwent an emergency leg operation May 19.
His sixth-inning home run off Clayton Richard reversed a one-run deficit.
"It was really fun to get a big hit tonight, especially in front of the home crowd," Ellis said.
Kemp, Ethier return; Mark Ellis powers Dodgers
Los Angeles Times | Jul 14