Los Angeles at Pittsburgh

W: C. Billingsley (1-0) L: P. Maholm (0-1)
HR: LA - R. Belliard (1)   PIT - None

Belliard homers, finishes with 4 RBI as Dodgers escape Bucs sweep

CBSSports.com wire reports

PITTSBURGH -- The Los Angeles Dodgers didn't need Manny Ramirez or Andre Ethier, Casey Blake or Russell Martin to finally find a way to beat what is usually one of the majors' worst teams, the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Manager Joe Torre simply plugged in a bunch of backups, and a lot of hits followed.

Ronnie Belliard homered among three extra base hits and drove in four runs, and the Dodgers won 10-2 on Thursday to avoid being swept in a three-game series by the Pirates for the first time in 10 years.

The Dodgers didn't start five regulars, including middle-of-the-lineup hitters Ethier (sore left ankle) and Ramirez (day off), but still got 16 hits off four pitchers, including 10 from their No. 1-4 hitters. Reed Johnson doubled among three hits and scored twice, and Matt Kemp, James Loney and Garret Anderson drove in two runs each.

"They're an aggressive-hitting team," Pirates manager John Russell said. "You throw the ball over the middle of the plate, they're going to make you pay."

The Dodgers hadn't been swept in a three-game series by Pittsburgh since Sept. 4-6, 2000, in Los Angeles. The last such sweep in Pittsburgh was May 31-June 2, 1999, when the Pirates played in Three Rivers Stadium.

Belliard, making a spot start after losing the second baseman's job to Blake DeWitt, hit a two-run homer off Paul Maholm (0-1) in the fifth to make it 4-0. Belliard added a run-scoring triple during a breakout four-run seventh against reliever Hayden Penn, huffing and puffing into third.

Belliard doubled in the ninth, finishing 3 for 5 and a single short of the cycle.

"I'm not going to play every day, I'm going to come from the bench and sometimes when they need to give the guys off they're going to put me out there," said Belliard, who replaced Orlando Hudson at second base late last season. "I'm going to keep working and keep myself strong to help the ballclub."

Maholm second-guessed himself for throwing a hittable pitch to Belliard on an 0-1 count, especially with two out and Anderson on deck.

"It was a sinker that didn't do a whole lot, except go about 405 feet," Maholm said. "In my head, I had a left-handed batter coming up. I agreed to it and I threw it, but in my mind I wanted to throw something different."

Dodgers starter Chad Billingsley (1-0) gave up a run while throwing 107 pitches over 5 1-3 innings, yielding five hits, striking out seven and walking four.

Billingsley was 4-0 during five April starts last season and was 9-3 with a 2.72 ERA after 14 starts, making the NL All-Star team. He faded during the second half, losing eight of his final 11 while having a 4.03 ERA.

"Last year was last year, this is a new season, a new start," Billingsley said. "We'll have to take it one start at a time and one win at a time."

With the Dodgers having no established No. 1 starter, they would welcome Billingsley or left-hander Clayton Kershaw pitching himself into that role.

"We needed a win," Billingsley said. "You always want to be that guy who is the one who can stop it (a losing streak)."

The Pirates, who had had won four in a row and five of six against Los Angeles since late September, wasted a chance to get back into the game when Maholm struck out with the bases loaded and his team down 2-0 in the fourth. Normally a position player would have batted, but Russell is hitting his pitcher eighth.

The Dodgers got a scare when center fielder Kemp and left fielder Johnson bumped into each other as Kemp charged into left-center to catch Bobby Crosby's fly ball to end the sixth, but both got up quickly.

"That one scared the hell out of me," manager Joe Torre said. "Matt's used to taking everything, especially with Manny in left field. ... It looked like Reed was calling for it, but the center fielder is the boss. I'm just glad we got through that."


Ethier's status for Friday night's game at Florida is uncertain. He was hurt getting back to first on a pickoff attempt Wednesday. ... All three games were played with temperatures of 72 or above. ... The Pirates unconditionally released INF Ramon Vazquez, who was cut during spring training. He is owed $2 million this season. ... The attendance was 9,352, down from 39,024 on Monday and 31,061 on Wednesday. ... Garrett Jones went 0 for 3 with a pair of walks after homering three times in the first two games.

Copyright 2017 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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With four RBI, Ronnie Belliard ensures the Dodgers avoid their first sweep to the Pirates since 2000. (AP)
With four RBI, Ronnie Belliard ensures the Dodgers avoid their first sweep to the Pirates since 2000. (AP)

Players of the Game
Los Angeles

R. Belliard
AB 5
R 2
H 3
HR 1

D. Young
AB 2
R 1
H 2
HR 0

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Los Angeles Dodgers
Rafael Furcal, SS5220012 .250
Reed Johnson, LF4230010 .750
Matt Kemp, CF4222022 .357
James Loney, 1B5232001 .214
Ronnie Belliard, 3B5234002 .429
Garret Anderson, RF3012100 .400
Jamey Carroll, 2B5010003 .333
Brad Ausmus, C4010000 .250
Chad Billingsley, P2000101 .000
    Jeff Weaver, P0000000 .000
    Ramon Troncoso, P0000000 .000
   a- Manny Ramirez, PH1000000 .300
    Carlos Monasterios, P0000000 .000
    Jonathan Broxton, P0000000 .000
a-grounded out for Troncoso in the 8th
2B - Rafael Furcal (1, Maholm), Reed Johnson (1, Maholm), Matt Kemp (3, Penn), Ronnie Belliard (1, Lopez), Brad Ausmus (1, Maholm)
3B - Ronnie Belliard (1, Penn)
HR - Ronnie Belliard (1, Maholm)
SF - Matt Kemp (1), Garret Anderson (1)
SH - Reed Johnson (1)
RBI - Matt Kemp 2 (5), James Loney 2 (3), Ronnie Belliard 4 (4), Garret Anderson 2 (2)
2-OUT RBI - James Loney (1), Ronnie Belliard 2 (2)
Team LOB - 6
DP - Carroll-Furcal-Loney, Carroll-Furcal-Loney
E - Ronnie Belliard 2 (2, Misplayed grounder)
Los Angeles Dodgers
Chad Billingsley (W,1-0) 5.1511470 1.69
Jeff Weaver 0.2100000 0.00
Ramon Troncoso 1000000 0.00
Carlos Monasterios 1211010 4.50
Jonathan Broxton 1000110 0.00
Pitches-Strikes - Chad Billingsley 107-66, Jeff Weaver 13-8, Ramon Troncoso 10-6, Carlos Monasterios 23-15, Jonathan Broxton 11-5
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Chad Billingsley 5-3, Ramon Troncoso 3-0, Carlos Monasterios 1-2, Jonathan Broxton 1-1
Batters Faced - Chad Billingsley 24, Jeff Weaver 3, Ramon Troncoso 3, Carlos Monasterios 6, Jonathan Broxton 4
Pittsburgh Pirates
Akinori Iwamura, 2B5010011 .083
Andrew McCutchen, CF4000002 .308
   a- John Raynor, PH0000100 .000
Garrett Jones, 1B3000202 .250
Ryan Doumit, C4010022 .385
    Jason Jaramillo, C1000001 .000
Ryan Church, LF4110012 .400
Delwyn Young, RF2121200 .500
Andy LaRoche, 3B4010024 .111
Paul Maholm, P2000023 .000
   b- Jeff Clement, PH0001000 .143
    Hayden Penn, P0000000 .000
    Jack Taschner, P0000000 .000
   c- Lastings Milledge, PH1000012 .200
    Javier Lopez, P0000000 .000
Bobby Crosby, SS4020003 .400
a-walked for A. McCutchen in the 9th
b-hit a sacrifice fly for Maholm in the 6th
c-struck out for Taschner in the 8th
2B - Delwyn Young 2 (2, Billingsley, Monasterios)
SF - Jeff Clement (1)
RBI - Delwyn Young (1), Jeff Clement (1)
Team LOB - 11
Outfield Assists - Ryan Church 1, Delwyn Young 1
DP - Iwamura-Crosby-G. Jones
E - Bobby Crosby 2 (2, Throwing), Garrett Jones (1, Misplayed grounder)
Pittsburgh Pirates
Paul Maholm (L,0-1) 6644231 6.00
Hayden Penn 1644000 36.00
Jack Taschner 1000000 0.00
Javier Lopez 1422010 10.80
Pitches-Strikes - Paul Maholm 90-61, Hayden Penn 30-18, Jack Taschner 11-7, Javier Lopez 18-15
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Paul Maholm 11-5, Hayden Penn 1-0, Jack Taschner 1-2
Batters Faced - Paul Maholm 27, Hayden Penn 7, Jack Taschner 3, Javier Lopez 6
Game Information
Attendance - 9352
Game Time - 3:09
Temperature - 73
Umpires - Home - Ron Kulpa, First Base - Al Porter, Second Base - Larry Vanover, Third Base - Mark Carlson