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Los Angeles at Pittsburgh

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L.A. Dodgers (93-63)001000103592
Pittsburgh (58-96) «0020000046110

Pirates shock Dodgers with four in ninth, preventing L.A. party

CBSSports.com wire reports
  •  

PITTSBURGH -- This should have been so easy for theDodgers: Jonathan Broxton on the mound, a three-run lead in the ninth inning against the dismal Pirates and an NL West title to celebrate as soon as they closed it out.

Instead, easy turned into excruciating as Los Angeles let a victory slip away when the majors' second-worst team pulled off a four-run rally aided by several defensive lapses.

Right fielder Andre Ethier misplayed Lastings Milledge's two-run single for an error that allowed the winning run to score, and last-place Pittsburgh beat the Dodgers 6-5 to prevent Los Angeles from clinching the NL West title on Sunday.

 Playoff Race

"You've got to get 27 outs. That's why baseball's a little crazy sometimes," said shortstop Rafael Furcal, who committed one of two Dodgers errors in the ninth.

Los Angeles, already assured a playoff spot, went ahead 5-2 with three runs in the ninth against Matt Capps (4-8), only to let the Pirates stage their best rally of a miserable season. Pittsburgh, four losses from 100, won for only the fifth time in 29 games.

"As many times as you snatch it back from somebody else, you have to understand those things happen," Dodgers manager Joe Torre said. "It's not easy to take, but that's why you watch every pitch."

The Dodgers went into the game with a magic number of two for clinching the division crown, but it essentially was one because Colorado would lose any tiebreaker with them. After they lost, the Dodgers sat quietly in front of their lockers watching the Cardinals-Rockies game, hoping for a St. Louis victory and a delayed celebration.

Instead, the Rockies won 4-3, meaning the Dodgers must win Monday afternoon if they want to leave Pittsburgh as division champions. The Rockies are off Monday.

Furcal wasn't among those staying around after the Dodgers lost.

"I don't care about that game," Furcal said. "I care about us. I'll go back and think about the [bad] game we played."

Broxton (7-2) gave up singles to pinch-hitters Delwyn Young and Brandon Moss before Andrew McCutchen grounded into a force out. Andy LaRoche's infield single scored Young, making it 5-3, and McCutchen moved to third when Furcal threw wildly for an error.

Furcal also thought he should have turned a double play on McCutchen's grounder.

"If I make those two plays, we win easy," he said.

After Garrett Jones was intentionally walked for the third time, Milledge -- who stranded five runners while going hitless in his first four at-bats -- lined a two-run single into right field to tie it. Jones kept running on the play and scored when the ball went under Ethier's glove and rolled to the warning track.

"The Dodgers have a great team and they're going to do great things in the postseason," Milledge said. "For us to score four runs in the bottom of the ninth inning against that team and one of the best closers in baseball is quite an accomplishment. It's something we can feel good about, something that can give us a little confidence going into the offseason."

Los Angeles went into the seventh trailing Pirates rookie Daniel McCutchen 2-1, but shortstop Luis Cruz fumbled a potential double-play grounder by pinch-hitter Jim Thome and settled for getting one out as James Loney scored the tying run.

The Pirates brought in their closer, Capps, to pitch the ninth, but he immediately gave up singles to Loney, Ronnie Belliard and Russell Martin that put the Dodgers ahead.

After Orlando Hudson bunted the runners up and pinch-hitter Manny Ramirez was intentionally walked, second baseman Brian Bixler threw late to the plate trying to get pinch-runner Juan Castro on Furcal's grounder. Robinzon Diaz's passed ball allowed the third run of the inning to score.

The lead didn't stand up, as Broxton blew his sixth save in 42 opportunities.

Dodgers left-hander Clayton Kershaw made his first start since Sept. 4, three days before separating his right shoulder while shagging fly balls in Dodger Stadium, but left trailing 2-1 after four innings. He threw 77 pitches, almost exactly the number Torre wanted, but his wildness hurt him as he allowed two runs in the third.

After Bixler and McCutchen singled, Kershaw's wild pitch scored Bixler from third, and another wild pitch sent McCutchen to third. LaRoche followed with a run-scoring double.

Kershaw gave up four hits, struck out four and walked one but is winless in his last 10 starts while receiving only 11 runs of support.

The Dodgers scored in the third on Furcal's RBI single, which extended his hitting streak to 11 games, but Daniel McCutchen made the best of his five starts. He gave up five hits and two runs over six-plus innings.

Notes

  • Torre didn't start Ramirez in a day game that followed a night game.
  • The Dodgers also had two costly errors while losing to the Pirates 3-1 on Friday. The Dodgers are 3-3 in their last six games against the teams with the majors' two worst records, the Nationals and Pirates.
 
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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Lastings Milledge and the Pirates celebrate a miraculous comeback from a four-run hole in the ninth.  (AP)
Lastings Milledge and the Pirates celebrate a miraculous comeback from a four-run hole in the ninth. (AP)

Players of the Game
Pittsburgh

A. LaRoche
AB 5
R 1
H 2
HR 0
RBI 2
Los Angeles

J. Loney
AB 4
R 2
H 2
HR 0
RBI 0
 

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Los Angeles Dodgers
Rafael Furcal, SS5012012 .267
Juan Pierre, LF5010004 .310
Andre Ethier, RF4000113 .274
Matt Kemp, CF4010001 .303
James Loney, 1B4220002 .287
Ronnie Belliard, 3B4020000 .274
    Juan Castro, PR-3B0100000 .288
Russell Martin, C4111022 .253
Orlando Hudson, 2B1110200 .287
Clayton Kershaw, P0000000 .109
   a- Doug Mientkiewicz, PH1000011 .231
    Jeff Weaver, P0000000 .231
   b- Jim Thome, PH1001000 .249
    Ronald Belisario, P0000000 .000
    George Sherrill, P0000000 .000
   c- Manny Ramirez, PH0000100 .299
    Jonathan Broxton, P0000000 .000
Totals3359445  
a-struck out for Kershaw in the 5th
b-grounded out for Weaver in the 7th
c-was walked intentionally for Sherrill in the 9th
Batting
2B - Ronnie Belliard (14, J. Chavez)
SH - Orlando Hudson (9), Clayton Kershaw (8)
RBI - Rafael Furcal 2 (47), Russell Martin (52), Jim Thome (77)
2-OUT RBI - Rafael Furcal (13)
PK - Matt Kemp (3, D. McCutchen)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
E - Andre Ethier (7, Misplayed grounder), Rafael Furcal (20, Throwing)
Los Angeles Dodgers
Clayton Kershaw 4422140 2.89
Jeff Weaver 2200120 3.69
Ronald Belisario 1100120 2.10
George Sherrill 1000010 1.75
Jonathan Broxton (BS,6; L,7-2) 0.1443100 2.68
IBB - G. Jones by Jeff Weaver, G. Jones by Ronald Belisario, G. Jones by Jonathan Broxton
WP - Clayton Kershaw 2 (11)
Pitches-Strikes - Clayton Kershaw 77-49, Jeff Weaver 33-20, Ronald Belisario 16-11, George Sherrill 11-7, Jonathan Broxton 22-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Clayton Kershaw 6-2, Jeff Weaver 3-1, Ronald Belisario 1-0, Jonathan Broxton 1-0
Batters Faced - Clayton Kershaw 17, Jeff Weaver 9, Ronald Belisario 5, George Sherrill 3, Jonathan Broxton 6
Pittsburgh Pirates
Andrew McCutchen, CF5230001 .281
Andy LaRoche, 3B5122012 .251
Garrett Jones, RF2100321 .303
Lastings Milledge, LF5012015 .279
Robinzon Diaz, C4000000 .276
Steve Pearce, 1B4010000 .201
Luis Cruz, SS3010121 .218
Brian Bixler, 2B3110012 .225
   a- Delwyn Young, PH1110000 .261
Daniel McCutchen, P2000011 .100
    Jesse Chavez, P0000000 .000
   b- Ramon Vazquez, PH1000010 .234
    Joel Hanrahan, P0000000 .000
    Matt Capps, P0000000 .000
   c- Brandon Moss, PH1010000 .243
Totals36611449  
a-singled for Bixler in the 9th
b-struck out for J. Chavez in the 7th
c-singled for Capps in the 9th
Batting
2B - Andy LaRoche (24, Kershaw), Steve Pearce (13, Kershaw)
3B - Andrew McCutchen (8, Belisario)
RBI - Andy LaRoche 2 (55), Lastings Milledge 2 (19)
SB - Andrew McCutchen (17, 2nd base off Weaver/Martin)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
PB - Robinzon Diaz (7)
Pittsburgh Pirates
Daniel McCutchen 6522230 4.80
Jesse Chavez (BS,4) 1100110 4.11
Joel Hanrahan 1000000 4.86
Matt Capps (W,4-8) 1332110 5.91
IBB - Hudson by Jesse Chavez, Ramirez by Matt Capps
Pitches-Strikes - Daniel McCutchen 90-56, Jesse Chavez 19-9, Joel Hanrahan 10-8, Matt Capps 29-21
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Daniel McCutchen 6-7, Jesse Chavez 2-0, Joel Hanrahan 1-2, Matt Capps 2-1
Batters Faced - Daniel McCutchen 23, Jesse Chavez 5, Joel Hanrahan 3, Matt Capps 8
Game Information
Attendance - 26831
Game Time - 3:09
Temperature - 61
Umpires - Home - Brian O'Nora, First Base - Adrian Johnson, Second Base - Gary Cederstrom, Third Base - Field Culbreth