On a night the Dodgers needed somebody, anybody, to give them a few good innings, Carlos Monasterios and Ramon Ortiz came through in a big way, leading the Dodgers to a 5-1 win at Dodger Stadium. Can you smell winning streak?
Monasterios was effectively wild for his four innings, walking two and hitting two to go along with scattering three hits, but he limited the Pirates to one run in the longest outing of his major league career. Four of Monasterios' last five outings have been two innings or longer. He even got his first major league hit, a single in the bottom of the third inning. Per the Dodger postgame notes, check out the similarities between tonight's start by Monasterios, and his last start, for the Double A Reading Phillies last September 7:
Ortiz picked up were Monasterios left off, and was even more effective, striking out five while allowing only two hits in his three scoreless innings. Ortiz threw just 40 pitches in his three innings, including 28 (70%) for strikes. Because Monasterios didn't pitch the required five innings, Ortiz picked up the win, his first of the year.
Providing the offense tonight for the Dodgers was Andre Ethier, who on his third straight curveball from Zach Duke smashed his second home run in as many nights, a three run shot to right in the third inning, to go along with two doubles. Ethier joined Ronnie Belliard as the only Dodgers with three extra base hits in one game this season. James Loney added two doubles, including knocking in Ethier in the seventh inning for what was deemed a State Farm Insurance Run on the scoreboard. You gotta love the sponsor tie in.
Our second True Blue LA night was a success, and thanks to everyone who made it out to the stadium. I will have a post later, probably tomorrow morning with (perhaps incriminating) photos and a recap of the fun night.
Hiroki Kuroda faces off with Jeff Karstens in tomorrow's series finale at 1:10pm.
WP - Ramon Ortiz (1-1): 3 IP, 2 hits, 5 strikeouts
LP - Zach Duke (2-3): 6 IP, 9 hits, 4 runs, 2 walks, 5 strikeouts