|L.A. Dodgers (80-73) «||0||0||0||2||0||0||1||0||0||0||0||1||4||6||0|
PITTSBURGH -- Hitters hear it from the day they graduate from T-Ball: a walk is as good as a hit. For the division-leading Los Angeles Dodgers, their 11 walks were barely good enough for a much-needed win on a day their bats didn't do much.
James Loney's line-drive single scored the go-ahead run in the 12th inning after Pittsburgh reliever Craig Hansen walked the bases full, and the Dodgers inched closer to winning the NL West by holding off the Pirates 4-3 Thursday.
The Dodgers left 12 on base despite getting only six hits and withstood two Pittsburgh comebacks for their 15th victory in 18 games. They own a four-game lead over Arizona, which played San Francisco on Thursday night. The Dodgers' magic number for winning the division is seven, in any combination of Los Angeles wins and Arizona losses.
"This time of year -- I know, it's just a ballgame -- but when you start taking them off the schedule, they mean so much more, especially in the position we're in," manager Joe Torre said. "To win a game like this on the road, with as many opportunities as we didn't take advantage of, it was terrific."
Los Angeles hadn't scored since the seventh until Hansen (1-4) -- the seventh of eight Pittsburgh pitchers -- walked Russell Martin, Manny Ramirez intentionally and Casey Blake. Loney, a left-handed batter, then drove a one-out single into left off T.J. Beam.
"Two strikes right there, you don't want to hit a groundball hard at somebody, you want to get it to the outfield deep enough for the runner to score," Loney said. "Obviously, with two strikes it's harder."
Hansen recorded just one out and has walked 20 in 15 2/3 innings since being dealt by Boston to Pittsburgh.
"He couldn't get into any rhythm with his fastball or his slider," manager John Russell said. "You wish you could harness that because he throws in the high 90s with a slider that drops off the table."
Scott Proctor (2-0) won it with a scoreless 11th inning and Jonathan Broxton finished for his 14th save in 16 opportunities, stranding the potential tying run at third after Torre chose to intentionally walk Nate McLouth, who represented the winning run.
"This time of year, every day is like a season, and you need to win every day," Torre said.
The Dodgers, coming off an ugly 15-8 loss Wednesday night in which they got 18 hits but still lost by seven runs, took a 2-1 lead in the fourth on a walk, Matt Kemp's two-out double -- he has six hits in two games -- and Blake DeWitt's two-run single to center.
Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw was lifted after allowing one run and two hits over five innings, but former closer Takashi Saito couldn't hold the lead in his second appearance since missing 53 games with an injured right elbow. Former Dodgers infielder Andy LaRoche's RBI single tied it at 2.
The Dodgers, who took three of four in the series and are 23-7 in PNC Park, retook the lead against Paul Maholm in the seventh on three walks and Andre Ethier's run-scoring infield single. Ramirez flew out to left with two outs and the bases loaded.
"With as many chances we had that we let get away from us, this was a gift," Torre said.
Maholm, the Pirates' most reliable starter, limited the Dodgers to three hits over seven innings but was hurt by wildness, walking six. All but one Dodgers run was scored by a runner who walked.
"I had no clue how many I walked," Maholm said. "That's a tough game to lose. They're a good team, and we were that close."
Pittsburgh tied it again when Nyjer Morgan singled with two out in the seventh, stole second and scored on fellow rookie Luis Cruz's single against Cory Wade. Wade's streak of facing 25 consecutive batters without allowing a hit ended earlier in the inning with pinch-hitter Doug Mientkiewicz's single, but Mientkiewicz was thrown out trying to stretch the hit into a double.
In the 10th, Morgan gambled but failed to score from second on an unusual play in which Park threw to an uncovered second base on a one-out ball back to the mound and two runners on. Second baseman DeWitt caught the ball about 10 feet behind the bag and threw to the plate for the out.
Los Angeles is 5-10 in extra innings and Pittsburgh -- despite being 25 games under .500 -- is 12-5, with two losses in its last three.
"We didn't play that great and managed to win that game," Broxton said. "That's big."
|Russell Martin scores the winning run as the Dodgers cut their magic number for the division to seven. (AP)|
|Players of the Game|
|Los Angeles Dodgers|
|Russell Martin, C||3||1||0||0||3||1||0||.278|
|Andre Ethier, RF||6||0||2||1||0||2||2||.301|
|Manny Ramirez, LF||4||1||0||0||2||1||3||.327|
|Casey Blake, 3B||4||0||0||0||2||2||1||.277|
|James Loney, 1B||6||0||1||1||0||2||3||.296|
|Matt Kemp, CF||5||2||2||0||1||0||5||.290|
|Blake DeWitt, 2B||4||0||1||2||2||2||3||.263|
|Angel Berroa, SS||1||0||0||0||1||0||1||.246|
|a- Mark Sweeney, PH||0||0||0||0||0||0||2||.138|
|Chin-lung Hu, SS||2||0||0||0||0||0||0||.161|
|Clayton Kershaw, P||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.077|
|Takashi Saito, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|b- Delwyn Young, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||2||.254|
|Cory Wade, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|c- Jason Repko, PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.167|
|Chan Ho Park, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.111|
|Joe Beimel, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|d- Juan Pierre, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.273|
|Scott Proctor, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Jonathan Broxton, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a-?? for Berroa in the 8th|
|b-fouled out for Saito in the 7th|
|c-struck out for Wade in the 9th|
|d-flied out for Beimel in the 11th|
|2B - Matt Kemp (38, Maholm)|
|SH - Angel Berroa (5), Clayton Kershaw (9)|
|RBI - Andre Ethier (74), James Loney (87), Blake DeWitt 2 (47)|
|2-OUT RBI - Andre Ethier (26), Blake DeWitt 2 (26)|
|SB - Russell Martin (18, 2nd base off Hansen/Doumit), Matt Kemp (34, 2nd base off J. Chavez/Chavez)|
|CS - Matt Kemp (11, 3rd base by Burnett/Chavez)|
|Team LOB - 12|
|Outfield Assists - Andre Ethier 1|
|DP - Park-Hu-Loney|
|Los Angeles Dodgers|
|Takashi Saito (BS,4)||1||2||1||1||1||1||0||2.28|
|Cory Wade (BS,1)||2||3||1||1||0||2||0||2.32|
|Chan Ho Park||1.2||1||0||0||1||0||0||2.80|
|Scott Proctor (W,2-0)||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||5.84|
|Jonathan Broxton (S,14)||1||0||0||0||2||1||0||3.18|
|IBB - LaRoche by Takashi Saito, McLouth by Chan Ho Park, McLouth by Jonathan Broxton|
|HBP - Morgan (by Chan Ho Park)|
|WP - Clayton Kershaw (6)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Clayton Kershaw 86-48, Takashi Saito 25-15, Cory Wade 35-23, Chan Ho Park 22-11, Joe Beimel 1-1, Scott Proctor 10-5, Jonathan Broxton 21-9|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Clayton Kershaw 3-7, Cory Wade 1-2, Chan Ho Park 4-0, Scott Proctor 2-1, Jonathan Broxton 1-1|
|Batters Faced - Clayton Kershaw 19, Takashi Saito 6, Cory Wade 8, Chan Ho Park 7, Joe Beimel 1, Scott Proctor 3, Jonathan Broxton 5|
|Nyjer Morgan, LF||4||2||2||0||1||1||1||.283|
|Luis Cruz, SS||5||0||1||1||0||0||2||.262|
|Nate McLouth, CF||3||1||1||1||2||0||1||.282|
|Jason Michaels, RF||6||0||1||0||0||0||5||.224|
|Adam LaRoche, 1B||3||0||0||0||2||2||3||.271|
|Andy LaRoche, 3B||5||0||1||1||0||1||1||.172|
|Chris Gomez, 2B||5||0||0||0||0||2||2||.273|
|Raul Chavez, C||3||0||1||0||1||0||0||.259|
|Brian Bixler, PR||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.160|
|John Grabow, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Matt Capps, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a- Brandon Moss, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.247|
|Craig Hansen, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|T.J. Beam, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Paul Maholm, P||2||0||0||0||0||2||1||.125|
|b- Doug Mientkiewicz, PH||1||0||1||0||0||0||0||.282|
|Jesse Chavez, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Sean Burnett, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.333|
|Tyler Yates, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|c- Ryan Doumit, PH-C||2||0||0||0||0||1||1||.321|
|a-flied out for Capps in the 11th|
|b-singled for Maholm in the 7th|
|c-grounded into a double play for Yates in the 9th|
|2B - Nyjer Morgan (12, Kershaw), Nate McLouth (46, Saito)|
|SF - Nate McLouth (6)|
|SH - Luis Cruz (1)|
|RBI - Luis Cruz (1), Nate McLouth (93), Andy LaRoche (17)|
|2-OUT RBI - Luis Cruz (1), Andy LaRoche (9)|
|SB - Nyjer Morgan 2 (8, 2nd base off Wade/Martin, 2nd base off Broxton/Martin), Nate McLouth (21, 2nd base off Broxton/Martin), Jason Michaels (2, 2nd base off Kershaw/Martin)|
|Team LOB - 10|
|Craig Hansen (L,2-7)||0.1||0||1||1||3||1||0||6.22|
|IBB - Martin by Paul Maholm, DeWitt by Jesse Chavez, Blake by John Grabow, Ramirez by Craig Hansen|
|Pitches-Strikes - Paul Maholm 105-63, Jesse Chavez 16-10, Sean Burnett 6-5, Tyler Yates 4-3, John Grabow 15-7, Matt Capps 9-8, Craig Hansen 22-7, T.J. Beam 14-10|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Paul Maholm 12-5, Sean Burnett 1-0, John Grabow 1-0|
|Batters Faced - Paul Maholm 30, Jesse Chavez 4, Sean Burnett 2, Tyler Yates 1, John Grabow 4, Matt Capps 4, Craig Hansen 4, T.J. Beam 3|
|Attendance - 12709|
|Game Time - 3:54|
|Temperature - 71|
|Umpires - Home - Gary Cederstrom, First Base - Field Culbreth, Second Base - Jim Reynolds, Third Base - Tim Timmons|