Pittsburgh at Los Angeles

Scoreboard
Pittsburgh (55-87)000110000260
L.A. Dodgers (86-59) «10012101x6120

Ethier, Ramirez deliver key hits, push Dodgers past last-place Pirates

CBSSports.com wire reports
  •  

LOS ANGELES -- While NL West rivals Colorado and San Francisco face off in a high-tension series up the California coast, the Los Angeles Dodgers are hoping to knock a few digits off their magic number while enjoying a slight letup in the September grind.

Andre Ethier hit a tiebreaking home run, Manny Ramirez had an early RBI double and the Dodgers opened their penultimate regular-season homestand with a 6-2 victory against the woeful Pittsburgh Pirates on Monday night.

Jon Garland (10-11) persevered through six rocky innings to remain unbeaten since joining Los Angeles last month, winning the NL leaders' first of seven games in 15 days against the Pirates. In fact, 10 of Los Angeles' final 18 games are against last-place clubs Pittsburgh and Washington, putting the Dodgers in prime position for their race with St. Louis and Philadelphia for the NL's best record.

  Playoff Race

The Dodgers extended their division lead to four games and reduced their magic number for clinching a playoff spot to 11. The Giants, who beat the second-place Rockies 9-1 to open their important series in the wild-card race, visit Los Angeles this weekend -- and the Dodgers hope their biggest rivals are properly tenderized.

"We knew coming in that this was a great opportunity for us to get some distance from Colorado and San Francisco, and let them beat up on each other a little bit," Ethier said. "You can't take an opportunity lightly just because of the name across their jerseys."

The Pirates ended a 13-game road losing streak with a victory at Houston on Sunday, but it's late in their 17th consecutive losing season. Ramon Vazquez had an RBI double for the Pirates, who have lost 15 of 17.

"You have to treat every game like it's important," Pittsburgh outfielder Andrew McCutchen said. "You can't just go through the motions, because that's not going to do anything for you. So just for yourself, you need to go out there and treat this game like there's a purpose behind it, and there is a purpose behind every single game."

Orlando Hudson had three hits and drove in two late runs as the Dodgers (86-59) got hits from all eight starting position players to move back to a season-high 27 games over .500 with their fifth victory in seven games.

Ethier put the Dodgers ahead 4-2 in the fifth with his 29th home run off rookie Daniel McCutchen, and Hudson added a long RBI double in the sixth. Hudson twice drove home Casey Blake, who reached base four times.

After two solid outings, Garland scuffled through his third start since joining the Dodgers for the playoff chase in a trade with Arizona on Aug. 31. The right-hander yielded six hits and two runs while walking three, never retiring the side in order until the sixth.

"It was definitely a grind out there," Garland said. "As long as we keep playing good baseball, things are going to work out. The speed, the power, the ability to get on the basepaths -- it's great to play with these guys."

The Dodgers secured Garland's second win with the club by tagging McCutchen (0-2) for seven hits and four runs in the right-hander's third career start. Less than three weeks after making the big leagues, McCutchen soaked up the chance to pitch at Dodger Stadium -- even if the result wasn't great.

"I definitely went out there with not my best stuff," McCutchen said. "That's a great ballclub, and pitching in front of this crowd and this atmosphere, I really would have liked to come out with my good stuff. I've never pitched in an atmosphere like this."

Los Angeles scored in the first inning on Ramirez's double toward the Mannywood sign near the left-field foul pole, but Lastings Milledge and shortstop Ronny Cedeno teamed up to nail Matt Kemp at the plate as he attempted to score a second run.

Pittsburgh tied it when Cedeno slid headfirst to beat out a two-out infield single and later scored on No. 8 hitter Vazquez's double off the wall. The Dodgers went back ahead later in the fourth inning when James Loney scored on Hudson's double-play grounder.

Notes

  • The Dodgers haven't lost a season series with the Pirates since 2000, winning eight straight. The clubs will meet for four games in Pittsburgh starting next weekend.
  • Pittsburgh's last visit to Dodger Stadium was in April 2008.
  • Manager Joe Torre hopes LHP Clayton Kershaw will throw a simulated game during the Dodgers' homestand, which would put the 21-year-old about a week away from returning from a separated shoulder.
 
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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Matt Kemp greets Andre Ethier after Ethier's tiebreaking homer in the fifth inning.  (AP)
Matt Kemp greets Andre Ethier after Ethier's tiebreaking homer in the fifth inning. (AP)

Players of the Game
Pittsburgh

A. LaRoche
AB 3
R 1
H 2
HR 0
RBI 0
Los Angeles

O. Hudson
AB 4
R 0
H 3
HR 0
RBI 2
 

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Pittsburgh Pirates
Andrew McCutchen, CF3010100 .271
Andy LaRoche, 3B3120110 .248
Garrett Jones, 1B4010022 .303
Ryan Doumit, C3001102 .236
Lastings Milledge, LF4000004 .280
Brandon Moss, RF4000033 .241
Ronny Cedeno, SS4110000 .216
Ramon Vazquez, 2B4011000 .247
Daniel McCutchen, P2000001 .167
    Jeff Karstens, P0000000 .056
    Phil Dumatrait, P0000000 .000
   a- Steve Pearce, PH1000000 .225
    Steven Jackson, P0000000 .000
    Denny Bautista, P0000000 .000
    Chris Bootcheck, P0000000 .000
Totals3226236  
a-popped out for Dumatrait in the 7th
Batting
2B - Garrett Jones (16, Garland), Ramon Vazquez (7, Garland)
RBI - Ryan Doumit (30), Ramon Vazquez (16)
2-OUT RBI - Ramon Vazquez (8)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Lastings Milledge 1
DP - Cedeno-G. Jones
Pittsburgh Pirates
Daniel McCutchen (L,0-2) 5744211 5.50
Jeff Karstens 0.1211000 5.19
Phil Dumatrait 0.2000000 9.53
Steven Jackson 1000010 3.71
Denny Bautista 0.1311100 6.00
Chris Bootcheck 0.2000010 11.57
HBP - Blake (by Daniel McCutchen)
WP - Denny Bautista (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Daniel McCutchen 84-50, Jeff Karstens 13-8, Phil Dumatrait 9-5, Steven Jackson 9-6, Denny Bautista 25-16, Chris Bootcheck 11-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Daniel McCutchen 5-7, Phil Dumatrait 1-1
Batters Faced - Daniel McCutchen 23, Jeff Karstens 3, Phil Dumatrait 2, Steven Jackson 3, Denny Bautista 4, Chris Bootcheck 2
Los Angeles Dodgers
Rafael Furcal, SS5110005 .255
Matt Kemp, CF3110110 .305
Andre Ethier, RF4112002 .282
Manny Ramirez, LF4011000 .306
    Juan Pierre, LF0000000 .313
James Loney, 1B3110101 .283
Casey Blake, 3B2220100 .281
Russell Martin, C4020002 .260
Orlando Hudson, 2B4032000 .290
Jon Garland, P2000013 .094
   a- Doug Mientkiewicz, PH0000000 .300
   b- Mark Loretta, PH1000001 .220
    Hong-Chih Kuo, P0000000 .000
    George Sherrill, P0000000 .000
   c- Jim Thome, PH1000012 .249
    Jonathan Broxton, P0000000 .000
Totals33612533  
a-announced for Garland in the 6th
b-flied out for Mientkiewicz in the 6th
c-struck out for Sherrill in the 8th
Batting
2B - Manny Ramirez (21, D. McCutchen), Russell Martin (18, D. Bautista), Orlando Hudson 2 (33, D. McCutchen, Karstens)
HR - Andre Ethier (29, D. McCutchen)
RBI - Andre Ethier 2 (96), Manny Ramirez (56), Orlando Hudson 2 (60)
SB - Rafael Furcal (7, 2nd base off D. McCutchen/Doumit), Matt Kemp (33, 2nd base off D. McCutchen/Doumit)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
DP - Hudson
Los Angeles Dodgers
Jon Garland (W,10-11) 6622330 4.19
Hong-Chih Kuo (H,11) 1000010 2.55
George Sherrill (H,9) 1000010 1.76
Jonathan Broxton 1000010 2.49
WP - Jon Garland (6)
Pitches-Strikes - Jon Garland 112-73, Hong-Chih Kuo 16-10, George Sherrill 14-10, Jonathan Broxton 11-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jon Garland 9-5, George Sherrill 1-1, Jonathan Broxton 2-0
Batters Faced - Jon Garland 26, Hong-Chih Kuo 3, George Sherrill 3, Jonathan Broxton 3
Game Information
Attendance - 42045
Game Time - 3:22
Temperature - 69
Umpires - Home - C.B. Bucknor, First Base - Mike Everitt, Second Base - Gerry Davis, Third Base - Brian Gorman