Dodgers Power Up Their Offense
It is amazing how facing a pitcher with a 16.20 ERA can jump start an offense. Home runs by Andre Ethier and James Loney helped propel the Dodgers to a 6-2 win breaking a five game losing streak.
Things didn’t start smoothly for Chad Billingsley who gave up a ground-rule double on his first pitch to Akinori Iwamura. After an infield pop up to Andy LaRoche, Andrew McCutchen doubled to bring in Iwamura. After walking Garrett Jones, a visit by pitching coach Rick Honeycutt refocused Billingsley. He got Ryan Church to ground into a double play to end the inning.
Xavier Paul, inserted in the lineup with Torre “just trying to find somebody at the top to give us a spark,” as he put it before the game, led off the home half of the first with a single. Paul stole second when Russell Martin struck out swinging, however strangely Pirates’ catcher Ryan Doumit threw the ball back to the pitcher Charlie Morton rather than the second baseman Iwamura.
Andre Ethier got the offense kick started hitting his sixth homer of the season giving the Dodgers the 2-1 lead.
In the third inning the Pirates defense demonstrated they are not as sharp as last season. After leading the Major Leagues in field percentage and committing the few errors last season, fielding errors by shortstop Bobby Crosby and first baseman Jeff Clement allowed runners on first and second base.
While he had to wait until May 13 to hit his first homer last season and September 19 to hit his only homer at home, James Loney got both taken care of in one swing on a fly ball that squeaked into the right field box seats on the fair side of the foul pole to give the Dodgers a 5-1 lead.