The Pittsburgh Pirates accomplished their goal of taking 2 of 3 games against the Los Angeles Dodgers but came out flat in their attempt to sweep the reigning NL West champions Thursday afternoon at PNC park.
The Pirates struggled on the mound, made costly errors defensively and hit little as the Los Angeles Dodgers routed the Pirates 10-2 to avoid being swept by the Pirates for the first time since 2000.
Starting pitcher Paul Maholm allowed four runs and six hits over six innings to take the loss.
Ronnie Belliard getting a spot start for the Dodgers, went 3-for-5 and hit a two run homer off of Maholm in the 5th inning to break the game open and give Los Angeles a 4-0 lead.
With an 0-1 count and two outs, it was a pitch that Maholm wished he could have had back.
“It was a sinker that didn’t do a whole lot, except go about 405 feet,” Maholm said. “In my head, I had a left-handed batter coming up…….I agreed to it and threw it…..but in my mind I wanted to throw something different.”
In the 6th inning, the Pirates got on the board as Jeff Clement hit a pinch hit sacrifice fly, scoring Delwyn Young but any chance of getting back into the game was thrown out the window as the Dodgers scored four runs in the 7th inning.
Pirates reliever Hayden Penn was hit hard in the inning as the Dodgers managed six straight hits to open up the inning.
Penn who was given a roster spot after being claimed off waivers last week, indicated after the game that he was a bit uncomfortable on the mound appearing in his first game with his new team. Penn said afterwards that he’s looking to move forward.
Offensively the Pirates managed 8 hits. Delwyn Young was the lone bright spot getting his first start of the season in right field. Young went 2-for-2 with 2 doubles, run scored and a walk.
Dodgers starter Chad Billingsley pitched 5 1/3 innings, limiting the Pirates to five hits, and striking out seven.
The Pirates left 11 players on base.
Bobby Crosby made his first start of the season at shortstop and went 2-for-4 on the afternoon but how had two throwing errors in the field.
The Pirates will hit the road for a 6 game road trip that begins in Arizona Friday night. Charlie Morton will be on the mound for the Pirates. Morton was 5-9 with a 4.55 era in 2009.
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