Leadoff man Felipe Lopez appeared to be struck out but the umpire declared the pitch a ball. He doubled on the next pitch, was bunted to third and scored on Steven Drew's sac fly. So the Dodgers trailed 1-0 going into the top of the second inning.
Andre Ethier walked and Juan Pierre, starting in place of Matt Kemp, singled him to third and moments later, stole second. Wolf, who is a pretty good hitter, lined a shot to Arizona pitcher Dan Haren, who threw to second and Felipe Lopez ran Pierre down for the third out.
But during the rundown, Ethier scored from third without tagging up.
Arizona left the field and the Dodgers moved out to their positions for the bottom of the second. As the teams changed sides, plate umpire Larry Vanover walked over to third-base umpire Charlie Reliford, apparently to discuss the play.
Dodgers bench coach Bob Schaefer pointed out to manager Joe Torre that Ethier had scored before the out was made, and since it was not a force out the run should count.
Torre appealed the decision and the umpires ruled the run did, indeed, count even though Ethier had not tagged up at third. Arizona did not take the ball to third base and appeal the play, which would have nullified the run. And then they left the field so no appeal could be made.
Even though a play at third on Ethier would have been the fourth out of the inning, it would have taken precedence over the third out and would have erased a run.
Had the Dodgers allowed one pitch in the bottom of the inning, they could not have appealed the play. The whole thing is called the "Fourth Out Play" and as you can imagine, it is very rare.
"They could have gotten the fourth out with an appeal at third base, but they didn't do that before leaving the field," umpire Charlie Reliford told a pool reporter. "We had about six rules involved here."
Torre gave Bench Coach Schaefer credit for knowing the rule. "When it happened Schaefer said, ‘That's the four-out play,"' Torre said.
The umpires pointed out that the run wouldn't have counted if Lopez had stepped on second instead of tagging Pierre.
As you might imagine, the call was not well received by the Arizona fans.
The Dodgers scored their second run in the top of the third when Rafael Furcal and Manny Ramirez and James Loney singled Raffy in. The third, and final, run came in the ninth when Russell Martin singled, moved to second on an out and scored when Kemp doubled to deep center.
Wolf retired 16 consecutive batters and he finished with five strikeouts, leaving after allowing his second hit in the eighth. Hong-Chih Kuo gave up a two-out single but pitched out of the trouble and Jonathan Broxton worked a perfect ninth for his third save. The win boosted Wolf to 5-1 lifetime at Chase Field.
Loney had two of the Dodgers' six hits and boosted his average to .370. Kemp's ninth inning double left him with a .375 average.
The Dodgers finally will get to play at home, opening the 48th season at Dodger Stadium after four years in the Los Angeles Coliseum (1958-61) with a 1:10 matinee against the San Francisco Giants.
The Dodgers will play the San Francisco Giants for the 11th time in the home opener since the two teams moved from New York following the 1957 season, including the lid-lifter in the clubs' inaugural 1958 season in California.
The Dodgers are 26-25 in home openers since their move to Los Angeles, including a 23-24 mark at Dodger Stadium. Despite last year's 5-0 win over the Giants, L.A. just 2-5 in their last seven Dodger Stadium openers.
LHP Randy Johnson (0-1, 7.20) will be opposed by RHP Chad Billingsley (1-0, 3.00). The Dodgers will play three with San Francisco (Tuesday is an offday) before hosting the Colorado Rockies for three next weekend.
Los Angeles 011 000 001-3 Arizona 100 000 000-1 Los Angeles ab r h bi ave Furcal ss 3 1 0 0 .231 Hudson 2b 4 0 0 0 .250 Ramirez lf 2 0 1 0 .286 Loney 1b 4 0 2 1 .370 Martin c 4 1 1 0 .167 Ethier rf 3 1 0 0 .208 Blake 3b 4 0 0 0 .167 Pierre cf 3 0 1 0 .400 Kemp cf 1 0 1 0 .375 Wolf p 3 0 0 1 .000 Kuo p 0 0 0 0 .000 M'kiewicz ph 0 0 0 0 .000 Loretta ph 1 0 0 0 .000 Broxton p 0 0 0 0 .000 ----------------------------- Totals 32 3 6 3 Arizona 28 1 3 1 Two-base hits- Kemp (2). RBI- Wolf (1), Loney (4), Kemp (5). SB- Pierre (1). LOB- Los Angeles 6, Arizona 4. Los Angeles in h r-er bb so era Wolf (1-1) 7.0 2 1-1 2 5 3.65 Kuo 1.0 1 0-0 0 1 0.00 Broxton (3) 1.0 0 0-0 0 1 0.00 T- 2:48. Att- 12,209.Stults Earns Spot In Rotation
Eric Stults' winning effort on Saturday earned him a start against the Giants on Thursday. Torre wanted to work James McDonald out of the bullpen at the start of spring training and perhaps Stults' will allow that to happen.
The Dodgers will operate with a four-man rotation until next Sunday when they host the Rockies and it is assumed that McDonald will start that game but only work two or three innings.
Torre said the decision was not based on the way McDonald pitched but because the Dodgers have a day off on Tuesday and a fifth starter would not be needed immediately.
"I had told Mac that even if he pitches well, of those two pitchers [Stults and McDonald] on the staff, it makes more sense to do it this way with his experience last year," said Torre, referring to McDonald's impressive relief work at the end of last year. "McDonald can help us during games out of the bullpen more than Stults could."
Dodger Blue Notes --Ken Gurnick of MLB.com reports that the Indians, Pirates and Phillies all have had scouts in Albuquerque this week to watch outfielder Eric Young. Young is out of options and the Dodgers are out of roster spots for him. Young, who is on the 15-day disabled list with a right elbow impingement, is playing with Triple-A Albuquerque. ...Kemp has a hit in all seven Dodgers games, and Loney has hit in six of seven. ... Dodger relievers have retired 18 of 21 first batters faced (.857 percent), including one of two yesterday at Arizona. Right-hander Cory Wade has made a team-high four appearances, and he's retired all four of his first batters faced. Right-hander Ronald Belisario, who hadn't pitched above the Double-A level prior to 2009, has retired all three of his first batters while working 4.2 scoreless innings. The Dodgers bullpen ranks second in the Majors with 23.1 innings of work. ... ?