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Three Is Enough As Dodgers Complete Sweep Of Pirates

Juan Rivera drove in the first of three Dodgers runs tonight.
Juan Rivera drove in the first of three Dodgers runs tonight.

The Dodgers scored three runs in the first inning, and made it hold up as they completed their sweep of the Pittsburgh Pirates with a 3-2 win Thursday night at Dodger Stadium.

Juan Rivera drove home the first run with a sacrifice fly, his 50th RBI in 69 games as a Dodger. "He's never been a huge home run guy. He's always been, for me, a close to .300 guy who drove in runs. What he's doing for us is what I've always pictured him as being," manager Don Mattingly said of Rivera before the game.

"You drive in a lot of runs with singles," Mattingly said. "Juan doesn't change with a guy on second base; he just hits the same way. He's looking for a pitch or location. He just stays with it and hits the ball hard."

That first sentence from Mattingly proved prophetic, as the Dodgers' two other runs came on RBI singles by James Loney (snapping an 0-for-16 start to his season) and Juan Uribe.

Like his last start, Chris Capuano began his game by pitching four scoreless innings. Capuano was dealing in the early going, with five strikeouts in the first two frames. Like last time, Capuano began to wane as the game went on, though tonight was less of an implosion and more the Pirates tacking on runs.

Michael McKenry hit a deep home run to center field in the fifth inning, then Capuano was removed after allowing a second run with one out in the sixth inning. All in all, this was an improvement over his last start for Capuano, who struck out seven and didn't walk a batter.

In fact, the Pirates didn't draw a single walk in the series until Mike MacDougal walked McKenry in the sixth.

After throwing 33 pitches over the last two nights, Kenley Jansen had Thursday off, which shifted Josh Lindblom to seventh inning duty, which he handled with ease, allowing one hit and one unintentional intentional walk to Andrew McCutchen. Matt Guerrier, throwing on back-to-back days for the first time all year, including spring training, retired all three batters he faced in the eighth inning.

Javy Guerra, working on his third straight day for the third time in his career, pitched the ninth for his fifth save in the first seven games of the season.

Scully Out Friday

Dodgers announcer Vin Scully, who has missed the first three games of the homestand while battling a bad cold, will miss Friday night's home game against the San Diego Padres as well. A Dodgers spokesman said Scully is improving and resting comfortably at home, and that a weekend return for Scully is possible.

Though I echo the thought of Steve Dilbeck of the Los Angeles Times, who thinks Scully should take all the time he needs to get well.

Tonight's Particulars

Home Runs: Michael McKenry (1)

WP - Chris Capuano (1-0): 5 1/3 IP, 6 hits, 2 runs, 7 strikeouts

LP - Jeff Karstens (0-1): 5 IP, 7 hits, 3 runs, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts

Sv - Javy Guerra (5): 1 IP, 1 strikeout