After a bad start to their week, the Dodgers ended their week on a high note, crushing the Pirates 9-3 behind Hiroki Kuroda's right arm and the four left-handed bats in today's lineup. The lefties combined for 12 hits in 18 at-bats, with three doubles, a triple, and two home runs:
- Blake DeWitt had the first four-hit game of his career, smashing two doubles, including one off the wall in the seventh inning that confused the scoreboard operator, who began playing home run music and graphics before realizing the ball stayed in the park
Andre Ethier homered twice, the third straight game he has hit a home run -- the second time in his career he has done so -- and added an RBI single as well. In Ethier's last 162 games at Dodger Stadium, he has 106 runs scored, 41 doubles, 39 home runs, 121 RBI, and is hitting .312/.391/.596
- Xavier Paul scored twice and had two hits, including his first major league triple
- James Loney had two singles and a double, and is hitting a cool .500/.525/.711 at home this season
All that offense from the left side -- plus two hits, a walk, and three runs scored by Matt Kemp -- was more than enough to support the dominant pitching of Kuroda. For the second time this season, Kuroda pitched eight innings, allowing just five hits and a run. He walked one, struck out three, and induced 13 groundball outs. Kuroda threw a first pitch strike to 20 of the 29 batters he faced.
The only Dodger downside in today's game was that George Sherrill gave up a pair of runs in the ninth inning in mop-up duty, retiring only two of the six batters he faced after entering with an eight-run lead. "He's just not locating," Torre said, "I thought he was maybe rushing himself today. I have to believe that way, because the fact that what he's done over the years tells me more than what he's done in a month."
After the game, Joe Torre announced that John Ely will start Thursday's game against the Brewers.
The Dodgers are off tomorrow before starting a three-game series with the Brewers Tuesday, with Clayton Kershaw facing Chris Naverson in the opening contest.
WP - Hiroki Kuroda (3-1): 8 IP, 5 hits, 1 run, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts
LP - Jeff Karstens (0-1): 5 IP, 11 hits, 6 runs, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts