Is the Pirates Garrett Jones becoming baseball’s version of Allen “The answer” Iverson or is Dodger pitching just that pathetic? On Monday, Jones homered twice in the Pirates 11-5 drubbing of the Dodgers. Jones delivered the key blow again Wednesday with a first inning, three run home run in a game the Pirates would win 4-3 in ten innings.
The Dodgers second straight loss was once again marked by poor starting pitching. Clayton Kershaw allowed three runs before he recorded an out. In the bottom of the first, he walked Pirate second baseman Akinori Iwamura, surrendered a single to outfielder Andrew McCutchen, and gave up Jones’ home run.
But wildness continued to plague Kershaw. He would give up five more walks before being pulled with two outs in the Pirates half of the fifth. Kershaw ended the night with 6 walks in just 4.2 innings.
The Dodgers came back in the fifth. Catcher Russell Martin led off with a home run, his first. An error by Pirate third baseman Andy LaRoche on Rafael Furcal’s grounder, followed by hits from the Batman-and-Robin team of Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier would tie the game at three all.
It would stay that way until the tenth inning. Ramon Ortiz (0-1), who fooled the Dodgers by posting a 0.96 ERA this spring, was called in to start the bottom of the tenth. Dodger second baseman Blake DeWitt made a throwing error on a Lastings Milledge ground ball. Ortiz would go on to walk LaRoche and Ryan Church setting the stage for shortstop Ronny Cedeno’s game winning single. In the first two games this season, Ortiz, who has been out of the majors since 2007, has given up three hits, two walks, and a run in just one inning.
The positive tonight was the Dodger middle relief. Jeff Weaver, Russ Ortiz, George Sherrill, and Ramon Troncoso kept the Pirates off the board from the sixth through the ninth.
On the other side, first baseman James Loney has opened the season going 0-9. He left five men on base Wednesday night.