Martin Slams the Pirates in 10th

The little boy (or girl) in all of us has played the game many times. Bottom of the ninth, score tied, bases loaded and you're at bat. Russell Martin acted out the part in real time Saturday night, except the game was in the 10th. And it ended like it does for all of us non-participants: grand slam, game over, instant heroship.



Normally forgotten in the dream were the important participants who tied the game in the ninth so it would reach the 10th and those who reached base before the big hit that gave the Dodgers a 7-3, 10-inning classic in front of 48,995 at Dodger Stadium.

Pinch-hitter Wilson Valdez provided the tying run in the ninth almost by himself, reaching base on a fielder's choice after Andre Ethier worked a crucial eight-pitch walk, racing to second on a wild pitch and taking third on an overthrow by the catcher. He scored moments later on a passed ball, sliding over just before the tag.

In the 10th, Juan Pierre led off the inning with a line single to right and moved to second on a single by Kent. Gonzalez worked a walk, setting the stage for Martin' big hit that landed in the Dodgers' bullpen in left field and in the hearts of the Dodger fans.

The Dodgers (13-5), maintained their two-game lead over second-place San Diego in the NL West, winning their third game in a row and sixth in seven starts.

Jonathan Broxton (1-0) worked around an infield single by Jason Bay and a wild pitch in the top of the 10th to run his personal scoreless streak, which dates to last September, to 15-consecutive appearances. Four relievers combined for four shutout innings.

Starter Brad Penny was looking to become the first Dodgers pitcher to win his first four games of the season since Kaz Ishii did it in 2002.

But he walked three batters in the third inning, allowing three runs in six innings of work. He walked Adam LaRoche with the bases loaded, was visibly upset and manager Grady Little came out to deflect his anger and got himself thrown out of the game for arguing balls and strikes.

Martin's error in the first inning gave the Pirates a 1-9 lead. The Dodgers tied in the bottom of the inning when Nomar Garciaparra blooped a double right and scored on Jeff Kent's single.

Penny imploded in the third, allowing a single, a pair of walks and a wild pitch.

Ethier and Valdez combined to tie it in the ninth and Martin unknotted it in the 10th with his first career slam.

Jonathan Broxton (1-0), whose scoreless 19th followed scoreless innings by Chin-hui Tsao, Joe Beimel and Takashi Saito, worked around an infield single and a wild pitch in the top of the 10th to run his personal scoreless streak, which dates to last September, to 15 consecutive appearances.

Brett Tomko (0-0, 1.64 ERA) will make his third start of the season today against Pirates lefty Tom Gorzelanny (2-0, 1.33).
 Score by innings
Pittsburgh	103 000 000 0-3
Dodgers	        100 001 001 4-7


 Dodgers	ab r h bi ave
Furcal ss	5  0  0  0  .158 	 
Pierre cf	5  1  1  0  .273 	 
Garciaparra 1b 	5  1  2  0  .290
Kent 2b 	5  1  3  1  .355
Gonzalez lf	3  2  1  0  .317
Martin c	4  1  1  4  .306
Ethier lf 	2  0  0  0  .273	
Betemit 3b 	2  0  0  0  .125 
 Valdez ph-3b	1  1  0  0  .357	
Penny p 	2  0  1  0  .333
 Tsao	        0  0  0  0  .000
 Anderson ph	1  0  0  0  .000
 Beimel p	0  0  0  0  .000
 Saito p	0  0  0  0  .000
 Saenz ph	1  0  0  0  .111
 Broxton p	0  0  0  0  .000
   Totals	36 7 9 6 	
   Pirates	37 3 9 2	 

 Error- Martin (2). 2B- Garciaparra (7), 
Gonzalez (3). HR- Martin (2). RBI- Kent 
(13), Ethier (8), Martin 4 (13). SF- 
Ethier. LOB- Los Angeles 7, Pittsburgh 9. 
DP- Kent, Furcal and Garciaparra; Furcal, 
Kent and Garciaparra. 

 Dodgers	 in  h  r-er bb so era
Penny	        6.0  6  3-2  4  3  1.37
Tsao	        1.0  1  0-0  1  1  0.00
Beimel	        1.0  1  0-0  0  1  1.00
Saito	        1.0  1  0-0  0  1  1.04
Broxton (1-0)	1.0  1  0-0  0  1  0.00
 WP- Penny 2, Broxton. T-3:30. Att- 48, 995.
Aybar in Trouble--David O'Brien of the Atlanta Constitution-Journal reports that former Dodger Willy Aybar is struggling with substance abuse and trying to get his life and baseball career back in order, his agent told the pager.

The agent, Luis Valdez, said the player was dealing with 'drinking and drugs' and that he drove alone from Atlanta to Boston to be with his brother, Francis Aybar, who lives there. Minutes later, Valdez backpedaled a bit and said he didn't know if Aybar, 24, was involved in anything other than alcohol.

The agent said Aybar was too shy and embarrassed to reach out to anyone with the team. The Braves suspended him for three days after he failed to show up for injury-rehabilitation sessions, then suspended him indefinitely when he failed to show up for a meeting with manager Bobby Cox.Aybar is on the disabled list with a sprained right hand, which he hurt during winter ball and aggravated during spring training.

Dodger Blue Notes-- Juan Pierre two stolen bases Friday gave him seven, the second-highest total in the Major Leagues behind New York's Jose Reyes (8). Since 2001, Pierre has stolen 325 bases, almost 100 more than the second-best base stealer in the game during that period, Ichiro Suzuki (236). Pierre is off to the best start stealing bases for the Dodgers since Dave Roberts snagged 13 bases in his first 17 games in 2004. Pierre is on pace for 67 steals, which would surpass his career high of 65 for Florida in 2003. That would also tie him with Jimmy Sheckard (1903) for sixth place on the single-season franchise list. Pierre has had two or more hits in five consecutive games to raise his average to /278. ...Kent went 3-for-5 with an RBI. ... Little's previous ejection was Aug. 23 in San Diego, the only other time he's been tossed with the Dodgers. ... The Dodgers are 35-11 against the Pirates since 2001

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