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LAst Night's Action: Dodgers, Angels and Clips All Lose

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Pittsburgh Pirates (2-0) defeat LA Dodgers (0-2) 4-3 (10 innings). Since PNC Park opened in 2001 the Dodgers cruised through going 23-7 until last season when they struggled going 1-3 at the end of the season while trying to clinch the NL West. It looks like those struggles have continued in this first series of the season. The Pirates didn’t care that Clayton Kershaw led the Majors with the lowest opponents’ slugging percentage with Garrett Jones hit another homer in the first inning with runners on first and second. While Kershaw didn’t give up another run, he had problems finding the strike zone running up his pitch count. The Dodgers responded in the fifth inning when Russell Martin hit a leadoff homer, the first for the Dodgers this season. After Rafael Furcal reached on an error, Matt Kemp drove him home with a double and Ethier knocked Kemp home with a single to tie the game.

The Dodgers had many chances to win the game none more so than in the ninth inning when Jamey Carroll led off with a pinch hit double and took third on a wild pitch. With three outs to play with to get Carroll home, Furcal grounded back to the box, Kemp struck out looking, Ethier walked and Manny Ramirez grounded to second. Ramon Ortiz after his shaky performance on Monday proved he is still unreliable when after loading the bases Pirates shortstop Ronny Cedeno lined a single over Furcal’s head. The Dodgers were 2-for-15 with runners in scoring position leaving 12 men on base. Sound familiar?

Clayton Kershaw (ND, 0-0): 4 2/3 innings, 5 hits, 3 earned runs, 4 strikeouts, 6 walks, 1 homer. 109 pitches, 59 strikes.
Ramon Ortiz (L, 0-1): 0.1 innings, 1 hit, 1 earned run, 2 walks.

Ross Ohlendorf (ND, 0-0): 5 innings, 4 hits, 3 runs (2 earned), 1 strike out, 3 walks, 1 homer. 91 pitches, 50 strikes.
Brendan Donnelly (W, 1-0): 1 innings, 2 walks.

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Minnesota Twins (2-1) defeat LA Angels (1-2) 4-2. Ervin Santana couldn’t stay away from the Twins power in this game. With a runner on first Justin Morneau homer to right field to give the Twins the 2-0 lead in the fourth inning. JJ Hardy added his contribution with a leadoff homer in the fifth inning while Denard Span hit a scoring fly ball after Nick Punto tripled. The Angels had a scoring chance in the second inning when they had the bases loaded with one out. But catcher Mike Napoli flied out to very shallow right field and third baseman Brandon Wood struck out to end the threat. The Angels would get into the game when left fielder Juan Rivera singled in Hideki Matsui in the sixth inning and would rally in the ninth with a run, but it was too little too late.

Ervin Santana (L, 0-1): 6 innings, 5 hits 4 earned runs, 4 strikeouts, 1 walk, 1 wild pitch, 2 homer. 105 pitches, 63 strikes.
Carl Pavano (W, 1-0): 7 innings, 6 hits, 1 earned run, 6 strikeouts, 1 hit batter. 102 pitches, 73 strikes.
Jon Rauch (S, 2).

Portland Trail Blazers defeat LA Clippers 93-85. The Clippers loss helped the Lakers avoid a first round match up against Portland who climbed up to seventh place in the Western Conference. LaMarcus Aldridge had 27 points and 12 rebounds while Brandon Roy scored 23 points for the Blazers as they had to fend off a late Clippers charge. Marcus Camby in his first return to the Staples Center Clippers hardwood scored two points with nine rebounds before leaving in the second half with a strained hamstring. Chris Kaman, Rasual Butler and Steve Blake all scored 14 points each as the Clippers lost their sixth consecutive game.

Tonight’s Action

LA Lakers at Denver Nuggets. 7:30 pm TNT, AM 710 KSPN.

LA Dodgers (0-2) at Pittsburgh Pirates (2-0). Chad Billingsley (0-0) vs. Paul Maholm (0-0). 9:35 am FS Prime Ticket, AM 790 KABC.

Phoenix Coyotes at LA Kings. 7:30 pm FSWest, AM 1150 KTLK.

Minnesota Twins at LA Angels. Kevin Slowey (0-0) vs. Joel Pineiro (0-0). 7:05 pm KCOP, AM 830 KLAA.

Anaheim Ducks at Dallas Stars. 5:30 pm KDOC, Web Radio Only.

LA Clippers at Sacramento Kings. 7:00 pm FS Prime Ticket, AM 980 KFWB.