Pirates off to first 2-0 start since 2007
Pittsburgh — In the bottom of the 10th inning, with the bases loaded and a drawn-in infield, Ronny Cedeno singled to center, scoring Lastings Milledge as the Pittsburgh Pirates defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers 4-3 Wednesday night in extra innings for their second straight win of the season.
Cedeno battled in a nine pitch at-bat against Ramon Ortiz (0-1) who took the loss.
Blown opportunities was the story of the game in the Dodgers locker room who were not sound defensively in extra innings.
Blake Dewitt bobbled a Lastings Milledge grounder as Milledge reached first base to open the inning on a throwing error. No. 6 hitter Jeff Clement sacrifice bunt moved Milledge to second base and Ortiz walked Andy Laroche and Ryan Church to load the bases.
For Cedeno it was his first game winning ending hit of his career.
“I was thinking….I can do this….I can do this, and I did,” Cedeno said.
The Pirates off to their first 2-0 start since 2007, played in front of 31,061 fans, the second largest turnout for their second home game since 2002.
The Pirates struck early as Garrett Jones (3) hit a three-run homer in the 1st inning off of lefty Clayton Kershaw to give the Pirates a 3-0 lead.
Leadoff hitter Aki Iwamura walked to open the bottom of the 1st and No. 2 hitter Andrew McCutchen signled to left, moving Iwamura to second and in scoring position.
Jones took a chest high pitch deep, homering to center for his third home run of the season. “He {Kershaw} left that one about middle in and a little up and I got enough of it to carry it out, ” Jones said
Jones who turns 29 in June, has 24 home runs in 84 games with the Pirates, since being called up last July.
Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw struggled with his control, walking 6 batters over 4 2/3 innings but the Pirates would not score again until Cedeno’s game winning RBI single. The Pirates left 13 players on base.
Pirates starter Ross Ohlendorf lasted five innings, giving up 4 hits and 3 earned runs. Ohlendorf also walked three batters.
After pitching four scoreless innnings, Ohlendorf ran into some troubles in the 5th inning. Russell Martin hit a leadoff solo homer to open up the 5th inning. Matt Kemp then hit an RBI double and Andre Ethier added an RBI single, scoring Kemp to tie the game at 3-3.
John Russell went to his bullpen in the 6th inning and the Pirates rebuilt bullpen came up big in the win.
Reliever Evan Meek pitched a scoreless 6th and 7th innings, surrendering just 1 hit and D.J. Carrasco pitched a 1-2-3 8th inning.
The Dodgers had a prime opportunity in the top of 9th to pull ahead but Octavio Dotel closed the door.
With a runner on third and nobody out in the ninth, Dotel battled against the Dodgers 1-4 hitters.
Dotel got leadoff hitter Rafael Furcal to ground out and struck out Matt Kemp.
After walking Andre Ethier with two outs that put runners at first and third, Dotel got Manny Ramirez to ground out to second and end the inning. Ramirez is 0 for 8 against Dotel in his career and Dotel drew praise from his manager John Russell who said young players on the team can learn a lot from how Dotel performs in those kind of situations.
Dotel said after the game that as a pitcher you can’t let the situation get to you when the game is on the line and there’s a runner at third with no outs.
“You’ve got to keep yourself relaxed as much as you can and go pitch by pitch and that’s what I did, ” Dotel said.
In the 10th inning, Los Angeles was looking to strike again with runners on first and third but veteran reliever Brendan Donnelly (1-0) got pinch-hitter Ronnie Belliard to pop out and end the inning.
Donnelly was awarded the win.
The Pirates managed 9 hits in the game and walked 9 times.
Andrew McCutchen led the Pirates with 3 hits and was 3-for-5 on the night with 1 run scored. Ronny Cedeno and Ryan Doumit each had 2 hits.
Andy Laroche walked three times and Aki Iwamura and Ross Ohlendorf each walked two times.
The Pirates host the Dodgers Thursday night afternoon at 12:35 for the final game of the three-game series. Paul Maholm will be on the mound for the Pirates.