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Los Angeles at Pittsburgh

Scoreboard
L.A. Dodgers (78-72) «0032011108120
Pittsburgh (63-87)000000002251

Manny keeps hitting away for Dodgers, winners of 13 in 15 games

CBSSports.com wire reports
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PITTSBURGH -- Hiroki Kuroda feels it on the mound, James Loney senses it in the batter's box. These aren't the Los Angeles Dodgers of April and May, June and July.

What must worry the other NL playoff contenders is these may be the Dodgers of October.

Kuroda allowed three hits over seven shutout innings for his first road win in more than two months and Manny Ramirez had three more hits, leading the surging Dodgers past the Pittsburgh Pirates, 8-2 on Monday.

With Juan Pierre homering for the first time in nearly two years, the Dodgers rebounded from a 1-0, 10-inning loss at Colorado on Sunday for their 13th victory in 15 games -- a surge that has given them a five-game lead in the NL West over Arizona. The Diamondbacks, who beat the Giants, led by 4½ games on Aug. 29.

"It's great for us," Loney said. "We've been playing consistent with timely hits and good pitching and that's where we want to be."

The Pirates swept three games from St. Louis over the weekend, but did nothing with Kuroda, who hadn't won in six road starts since beating Houston 4-1 on July 2. Kuroda (9-10) permitted one runner to reach third and yielded only one hit, Nyjer Morgan's double in the sixth, after the first.

"He was on and our bats weren't clicking," Morgan said. "He kept us off balance. He had a lot of movement on his pitches."

Ramirez has played the biggest role in the turnaround, hitting .395 with 14 homers and 43 RBI in 42 games since being dealt by the Red Sox to the Dodgers on July 31 -- a three-team deal completed only after the Pirates agreed to trade Jason Bay to Boston. Ramirez's production is the best of any hitter added in a late-season trade since Hank Sauer had 15 homers and 47 RBI in his first 40 games with the Cubs in 1949.

Ramirez doubled in the Dodgers' first two runs in a three-run third against Ross Ohlendorf (0-2), with the other run scoring on catcher Ryan Doumit's throwing error. Ramirez singled off the right-field wall an inning later -- the two runners held up to see if the ball would be caught -- and Loney had a two-run single.

It's obvious what Ramirez has given the Dodgers, besides one of the majors' best bats: confidence.

"Our offense has been really good lately. If I perform well enough, I know the offense is going to support me," Kuroda said. "Lately, I feel very relaxed pitching, knowing the offense is going to help me out."

Loney said the Dodgers' hitters also are loose, knowing that if they didn't get a hit, someone else will.

"You've got to have that confidence, and I think we have that confidence in each other," he said. "We've got the confidence in the next guy to pick it up."

Pierre, starting a third consecutive game because Andre Ethier was attending the birth of his first child, had three hits and scored three runs. His solo homer in the sixth off Marino Salas was his first in 1,070 at-bats, or since his drive off the Phillies' Jon Lieber on Sept. 18, 2006.

"We were trying to give him the cold shoulder after that, but he wouldn't let us," Loney said, referring to how Pierre made his teammates celebrate with him.

Takashi Saito, the Dodgers' closer most of the season, didn't allow a hit during a scoreless eighth in his first appearance since being diagnosed with an injured right elbow July 12. He chose not to have surgery.

"The last two months, I had a lot to think about, so it's really hard to express my feelings right now, but I was able to pitch," Saito said.

Brad Penny, recovering from a shoulder injury, pitched the ninth in his second appearance since Aug. 13 and allowed Adam LaRoche's two-run, two-out homer, his 20th.

Ohlendorf, formerly of the Yankees, is winless in three starts with a 7.62 ERA for Pittsburgh. He was chased after giving up five hits and three runs, two earned, in three innings.

Notes

  • The Dodgers' Casey Blake sat out with the back tightness that forced him out of Sunday's game.
  • INF Jeff Kent, who had arthroscopic knee surgery Sept. 2, is taking batting practice in Los Angeles but isn't close to returning.
  • Pirates RHP Jimmy Barthmaier will make his second career start on Saturday against Houston.
  • Pierre has 13 homers in 5,132 at-bats.
  • Los Angeles is 33-42 on the road but has won seven of nine.
  • The Dodgers finish the regular season against the Pirates, Padres and Giants, teams with a combined record of 188-260 (.420) before Monday's games.
  • Until Ethier left, Pierre hadn't started successive games since Aug. 2-3.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Manny Ramirez has three hits and adds two more RBI for a total of 43 with the Dodgers. (AP)
Manny Ramirez has three hits and adds two more RBI for a total of 43 with the Dodgers. (AP)

Players of the Game
Pittsburgh

A. LaRoche
AB 4
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 2
Los Angeles

J. Pierre
AB 5
R 3
H 3
HR 1
RBI 1
 

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Los Angeles Dodgers
Russell Martin, C3310200 .276
    A.J. Ellis, C0000000 .000
Juan Pierre, CF-LF5331002 .274
Manny Ramirez, LF4132000 .327
   a- Mark Sweeney, PH0000100 .128
    Jason Repko, PR-RF0000000 .200
James Loney, 1B4023011 .299
Nomar Garciaparra, 3B4020003 .243
    Pablo Ozuna, PR-2B1100002 .253
Matt Kemp, RF-CF5010014 .285
Blake DeWitt, 2B-3B1001300 .261
Angel Berroa, SS4000103 .238
Hiroki Kuroda, P2000102 .120
   b- Delwyn Young, PH1000010 .250
    Takashi Saito, P0000000 .000
    Brad Penny, P0000000 .192
Totals34812783  
a-walked for Ramirez in the 8th
b-struck out for Kuroda in the 8th
Batting
2B - Manny Ramirez (33, Ohlendorf), Nomar Garciaparra (7, Ohlendorf)
HR - Juan Pierre (1, Salas)
SF - James Loney (7), Blake DeWitt (4)
RBI - Juan Pierre (27), Manny Ramirez 2 (111), James Loney 3 (86), Blake DeWitt (44)
SB - James Loney (7, 2nd base off Ohlendorf/Doumit)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
DP - Berroa-DeWitt-Loney
Los Angeles Dodgers
Hiroki Kuroda (W,9-10) 7300120 3.77
Takashi Saito 1000120 2.13
Brad Penny 1222001 6.27
HBP - Doumit (by Hiroki Kuroda)
Pitches-Strikes - Hiroki Kuroda 83-55, Takashi Saito 21-13, Brad Penny 13-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Hiroki Kuroda 10-7, Brad Penny 2-1
Batters Faced - Hiroki Kuroda 24, Takashi Saito 4, Brad Penny 5
Pittsburgh Pirates
Nyjer Morgan, LF4020011 .264
Freddy Sanchez, 2B4020001 .267
Nate McLouth, CF4000014 .280
Ryan Doumit, C3100003 .319
Adam LaRoche, 1B4112003 .269
Brandon Moss, RF4000011 .251
Andy LaRoche, 3B2000110 .173
Luis Cruz, SS2000101 .294
Ross Ohlendorf, P0000000 .000
   a- Brian Bixler, PH1000000 .155
    Marino Salas, P0000000 .000
   b- Steve Pearce, PH1000000 .231
    Romulo Sanchez, P0000000 .000
   c- Luis Rivas, PH1000001 .220
    Denny Bautista, P0000000 .200
Totals3025224  
a-grounded out for Ohlendorf in the 3rd
b-flied out for Salas in the 6th
c-flied out for R. Sanchez in the 8th
Batting
2B - Nyjer Morgan (8, Kuroda)
HR - Adam LaRoche (20, Penny)
RBI - Adam LaRoche 2 (75)
2-OUT RBI - Adam LaRoche 2 (23)
CS - Adam LaRoche (1, 2nd base by Kuroda/Martin)
Team LOB - 4
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Brandon Moss 1
DP - Ohlendorf-Doumit-LaRoche, L. Cruz-F. Sanchez-LaRoche
E - Ryan Doumit (8, Throwing)
Pittsburgh Pirates
Ross Ohlendorf (L,1-3) 3532420 6.79
Marino Salas 3433301 8.47
Romulo Sanchez 2322110 3.65
Denny Bautista 1000000 5.17
WP - Ross Ohlendorf 2 (9), Romulo Sanchez (2)
Pitches-Strikes - Ross Ohlendorf 70-43, Marino Salas 56-29, Romulo Sanchez 31-18, Denny Bautista 13-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Ross Ohlendorf 3-3, Marino Salas 4-3, Romulo Sanchez 3-2, Denny Bautista 1-2
Batters Faced - Ross Ohlendorf 17, Marino Salas 14, Romulo Sanchez 10, Denny Bautista 3
Game Information
Attendance - 13147
Game Time - 2:53
Temperature - 68
Umpires - Home - Field Culbreth, First Base - Jim Reynolds, Second Base - Tim Timmons, Third Base - Gary Cederstrom