Pirates' Cedeno singles in 10th to beat Dodgers, 4-3


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Garrett Jones hit his third home run in the opening two games, a three-run blast in his first at-bat, and the Pirates got a 10th-inning bases-loaded single from Ronny Cedeno to beat the Los Angeles Dodgers, 4-3, tonight before a surprisingly large crowd of 31,061 at PNC Park.

Lastings Milledge led off the Pirates' 10th against Ramon Ortiz by grounding a ball to second that Blake DeWitt muffed, then threw high. Jeff Clement bunted Milledge to second, and Andy LaRoche and pinch-hitter Ryan Church drew five-pitch walks to load the bases for Cedeno.

Ortiz got ahead, 0-2, but Cedeno battled through a nine-pitch at-bat to line the ball into left-center through the drawn-in outfield.

The Pirates are 2-0 for the first time since starting 2007 at 3-0, and it is the first 2-0 start to a season in Pittsburgh since 1993.

In the Los Angeles ninth with a 3-3 tie and closer Octavio Dotel on the mound, Jamey Carroll led off by poking a sinking liner into center field. Andrew McCutchen made a diving attempt, but the ball landed in front of the glove and bounced by him. Milledge sharply backed him up, and it was ruled a double.

A wild pitch gave Carroll third and, after a comebacker for one out and a strikeout of Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier walked to bring up Manny Ramirez, one of the game's most formidable hitters.

Dotel's hardest pitch of the inning -- 94 mph on the gun -- sawed off Ramirez for a groundout to end the inning.

Brendan Donnelly escaped trouble in the 10th, too, setting the stage for victory.

Jones, the 28-year-old, 12th-year professional finally seeing his first full year of Major League Baseball, had said Monday that he "couldn't have dreamt it up any better" after homering twice in his first opening day, once reaching the Allegheny River.

Aki Iwamura opened the Pirates' first by working a full-count walk off Clayton Kershaw, setting a trend that eventually would wear down Los Angeles' fine left-hander. McCutchen followed with a single, and Jones was next.

Kershaw, perhaps frustrated, came right at Jones with the hard stuff, but he left it belt-high and Jones belted it into the center-field seats for a 3-0 lead.

That was three home runs in six plate appearances, all to different fields, two off a right-hander and one off a left-hander, as well as six RBIs.

Starter Ross Ohlendorf shook off a terrible finish to his spring -- 20 runs in his last 12 2/3 innings -- to limit Los Angeles to three runs and five hits, all the damage coming in the Dodgers' three-run fifth.

Beforehand, manager John Russell expressed confidence in Ohlendorf.

"I know he'll be ready," Russell said. "He's always prepared, and he's got a good head on his shoulders, obviously. He's shown it in the past, and there's no reason to think he won't show it tonight. I expect him to be fine."

The first of the Dodgers' three runs in the fifth was a Russell Martin home run above the Clemente Wall.

LaRoche had made two defensive gems at third base early in the game, one of them saving a run, but his errant throw to first off Rafael Furcal's routine grounder brought trouble: Kemp's RBI double and Ethier's RBI single tied the score at 3-3.

The Pirates had numerous opportunities to pull ahead, but they stranded nine runners, going 1 for 5 when they were in scoring position in the first nine innings. The bases were left loaded in the fifth with pinch-hitter Delwyn Young's first-pitch popup.

The crowd was the largest at PNC Park for a second home game since a sellout of 36,040 in 2002, when Willie Stargell bobbleheads were given away. There were no giveaways for this one, but there was a buck-night promotion in which several thousand seats sold for $1, as did hot dogs and other concessions.


Dejan Kovacevic: dkovacevic@post-gazette.com . Find more at PBC Blog .


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