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Dodgers Sweep Away All Worries, Pirates

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Six solid innings by Hiroki Kuroda were enough on this day of rest for many Dodger regulars, as the Dodgers swept away the Pirates, 3-1 on Manny Ramirez Bobblehead Day II at Dodger Stadium.

After Kuroda pitched his six innings, allowing just one run while striking out seven, Matt Kemp turned a 1-0 deficit into a 2-1 Dodger lead with a two-run home run off Kevin Hart in the bottom of the sixth.

The five Dodger reserves who started today had five hits in 15 at-bats, with two walks.  The one who did the most damage was Ronnie Belliard, who had a home run, a double, a single, and a walk.  Belliard's eighth inning bomb gave the Dodgers an insurance run in the eighth inning.

The terrific trio of Hong-Chih Kuo, George Sherrill, and Jonathan Broxton (I really need to come up with a better nickname) did what they do:  shut down the opposition.  Nine Pirates came to the plate, and nine batters were retired, four by strikeout.

The Dodgers as a team had 11 strikeouts and no walks today, tying the season high for team strikeouts without walking a batter.  The other two games that happened were the home opener, and August 16.  Kuroda himself has not walked a batter in his last 16 innings.

Tomorrow is a rare home off day for the Dodgers.  The Giants come to town this weekend for a three-game set.  Vicente Padilla will face Jonathan Sanchez Friday night.

The Rockies and Giants finish their series tonight at 7:05pm.  You can follow on Gameday here.  The Cardinals lost to Florida today, so the Dodgers now have a three-game lead for the best record in the National League, over both the Cardinals and Phillies.  The Phillies host the Nationals at 4:05pm.

Magic Numbers
To win NL West: 10
To clinch a playoff spot: 9

WP - Hiroki Kuroda (7-6):  6 IP, 5 hits, 1 run, 7 strikeouts

LP -Kevin Hart (4-7): 6 IP, 7 hits, 2 runs, 1 walk, 5 strikeouts

Sv - Jonathan Broxton (35):  1 IP, 1 strikeout

Box Score