On the same night that the Penguins started their first round series with the Flyers, the Bucs played their first away night game of the year against the Dodgers. The Bucs were looking to come back from losing the first game of the series, which was very winnable. Opening Day starter Erik Bedard took the mound for the Pirates and Chad Billingsley started for LA.
Billingsley set the top of the Bucs’ lineup down in order in the first, and Bedard got through the bottom half of the inning, although he did give up a double to Matt Kemp and balk him over to third.
Pedro Alvarez took a Billingsley hanging curveball to deep right field, but it wasn’t quite deep enough and he ended the second inning. Bedard got through the bottom half, giving up one run. Clint Barmes then led off the top of the third with a deep fly ball to left field that just got over the wall. It gave the Bucs a 1-0, and also gave Barmes his first hit of the season. With two outs and runners on first and second in the bottom of the inning, Juan Rivera singled into right, scoring Mark Ellis and knotting the score at 1-1.
Garrett Jones had a two out double in the fourth, but nothing came of it. Bedard pitched a clean bottom of the inning, and both starters had 1-2-3 in the fifth. With one out in the sixth, Nate McLouth and Andrew McCutchen hit back to back singles, followed by a Neil Walker lineout to short that McLouth got doubled off on. Matt Kemp and Juan Rivera lead off the bottom of the sixth with singles, and Andre Ethier followed with a single of his own into left. Kemp scored, giving the Dodgers a 2-1 lead. Bedard was done after that, and Chris Resop came in. Resop got two big outs, and then intentionally walked A.J. Ellis to load the bases. James Loney then pinch hit for Billingsley, and Tony Watson came in to face the lefty. He got Loney to pop up to Pedro at third, stranding the bases loaded.
The Bucs went down in order in the seventh, but still hit a few balls hard. Dee Gordon led off the bottom of the inning with a double, and Evan Meek came out in relief of Watson. He struck out Mark Ellis swinging, then got down 3-0 to Matt Kemp. After working it back to full, Meek got Kemp to chase a ball in the dirt for the second out, while Gordon moved up to third. Juan Rivera then singled up the middle, just out of the reach of Barmes, and the Dodgers went up 3-1. Tony Gwynn, Jr pinch hit and followed with a single to left-center, scoring Rivera and making it 4-1.
The Bucs couldn’t score in the eigth, although Alex Presley did have a single. Jared Hughes came on for the bottom of the inning, and had Dee Gordon picked off at second. Walker dropped the ball when he went for the tag, and Gordon was safe (it wasn’t ruled an error). Hughes got out of the inning without giving up a run. Javy Guerra came on for the save in the ninth, and retired Cutch, Walker, and Jones in order to secure the Dodgers’ 4-1 win.
- The offense looked much better tonight, hitting a few balls hard and hitting a few deep fly balls. They only managed one run though.
- Erik Bedard had a solid start, but only went 5 innings. He looked pretty good, but gave up eight hits and was still tagged with the loss.
- Alex Presley extended his hit streak to five games.
- Evan Meek got two big strikeouts, but didn’t look good after that.
Star of the Game: Juan Rivera. He had two big RBIs, which was enough to help his team get the win.
Goat of the Game: Evan Meek. Meek wasn’t credited for the loss, but the most damage was done when he was in, and he just couldn’t get the job done.
Pirates (2-3) – Dodgers (5-1)
Win: Billingsley (2-0)
Loss: Bedard (0-1)
Save: Guerra (4)