For the second consecutive day at Dodger Stadium, Andre Ethier drove in the winning run in a Dodgers win. On Wednesday, that run came when Ethier singled off left-hander Erik Bedard in the bottom of the sixth inning, driving in Matt Kemp to give the Dodgers a 2-1 lead in a game they would eventually win 4-1.
The run made a winner out of Chad Billingsley, who was pulled after just 77 pitches in six innings. The Dodgers had the bases loaded with two outs in the bottom of the sixth inning up 2-1, and Mattingly wanted more offense so he tabbed James Loney to pinch hit for Billingsley, who allowed just one run on five hits with no walks and four strikeouts.
Pirates manager Clint Hurdle countered by bringing in Tony Watson, the only left-handed pitcher in his bullpen, to face Loney, and the result was predictable, a pop out in short left field to end the inning.
But in the end, Mattingly got what he wanted with his formulaic final three innings pitched by Matt Guerrier, Kenley Jansen, and Javy Guerra, in that order. That trio delivered by retiring nine of the 10 men they faced to close out the game.
The Dodgers did get the extra offense they craved, just one inning later, as both Juan Rivera and Tony Gwynn Jr. delivered RBI singles to add two runs to the cushion.
- Kemp had his RBI streak stopped at nine games, but he did have two singles and a double on the night.
- Rivera had three hits, including a pair of RBI singles.
- Ethier was 1-for-3 off Bedard and is now 3-for-9 against left-handed pitchers this season.
- Loney, who did not start against the lefty Bedard, was 0-for-2 and is now 0-for-16 on the season.
- Jansen had three strikeouts in the eighth, and in his last three outings has retired 12 of 13 batters he has faced, with seven strikeouts.
- Dee Gordon stole second base in the eighth inning, his fifth steal of the season, in six games.
- The Dodgers have now won six straight (and 12 of 13) home series against the Pirates, and are 59-23 in their last 82 games against Pittsburgh.
Home Runs: Clint Barmes (1)
WP - Chad Billingsley (2-0): 6 IP, 5 hits, 1 run, 4 strikeouts
LP - Erik Bedard (0-2): 5 IP, 8 hits, 2 runs, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts
Sv - Javy Guerra (4): 1 IP, 1 strikeout