Dodgers Battered 11-5 in Season Opener

On an afternoon that saw a blustery wind stir up whitecaps in the Allegheny River just over the right field wall, Pittsburgh took up where they left off last September and handed the Dodgers their fourth loss in the last five games in PNC Park. The Pirates, who have endured 17 straight losing seasons, whacked three home run an an 11-5 win.

When the Dodgers announced Vincente Padilla would be the Opening Day Starter, many fans questioned the decision. However, the free agent pickup was 4-0 last season after Texas cut him loose, and in his seven starts he was 7-1. He allowed 14 earned runs in 39.1 innings but coughed up seven in his first start of 2010.

The veteran right-hander struggled with his command and was up in the strike zone most of the afternoon. He allowed six hits, two of them home runs, walked two and hit a pair of Pirates in his 4.2 innings of work and trailed 4-2 when he left the game with the bases loaded.

Ramon Ortiz, who will be 37 in May, was the talk of spring training. He hadn't pitched in the major leagues since 2007, playing in Japan in 2008 and with the Giants AAA team in 2009. But he had picked up a curve ball while in Japan and was lights out during the spring, allowing only two runs in 18.2 innings for an 0.96 ERA.

He retired the first Pirate on a pop but then gave up a long double into the right field gap and all three of Padilla's runners scored. A wind-blown pop fell safely in center for another run and suddenly the dodgers trailed 8-2.

Matt Kemp had doubled in two run in the first but that was the last time the Dodgers were on the friendly side of the scoreboard.

Manny Ramirez singled in two runs in the seventh and Loney's run-scoring ground ball cut the lead to 8-6.

Carlos Monasterios and Russ Ortiz had held Pittsburgh scoreless but in the bottom of the eighth. George Sherrill, who had a dreadful spring, had an even more dreadful inning, giving up a three-run homer to put the game out of reach.

Before the crushing home run, both Russell Martin and Andre Ethier struck out with two men on in the eighth inning.

The Dodgers used six pitchers in an attempt to stop the bleeding. Pittsburgh also used six and allowed 11 hits. Los Angeles had a base hit or more in the first eight innings but left 10 (Pittsburgh left six) and were 2-for-13 with runners in scoring position (Pittsburgh was 4-for-12).

The two teams walked six between them and all six scored.

The number two and three batters in the Pirates lineup, Garrett Jones and Ryan Doumit, had four hits and knocked in six runs. Three of the hits were home runs and the other was a double.

Andre Ethier, clutch hitter of the year in 2009, left five on base himself and both Rafael Furcal and Manny Ramirez stranded three runners.

Kemp, Ramirez, Casey Blake and Blake DeWitt had a pair of hits each.

The Dodgers have today (Tuesday) off to straighten out what had gone wrong, and will send lefty Clayton Kershaw to the mound in a night game on Wednesday.

LA Dodgers Insider Top Stories