Pittsburgh - The Los Angeles Dodgers probably saw the season-opening series against the Pirates on their schedule months ago and figured it would be an ideal way to get off to a good start.
Instead, it’s proving as tough for the two-time NL West champions to win in Pittsburgh as it was in September.
Ronny Cedeño singled over a drawn-in infield with the bases loaded and one out in the 10th inning, and the Pirates rode Garrett Jones’ third homer in two games to a 4-3 victory over the Dodgers on Wednesday night.
The Pirates, winning their second straight from Los Angeles, hadn’t scored since Jones’ three-run homer in the first off Clayton Kershaw. But their five relievers combined for five innings of scoreless, one-hit relief.
Cedeño finished off a nine-pitch at-bat against Ramon Ortiz (0-1) with a line-drive single to left. Second baseman Blake DeWitt mishandled Lastings Milledge’s grounder before throwing wildly to first and Ortiz walked the bases full to set up Cedeño’s first game-ending hit in the majors.
“I was thinking, I can do this, I can do this, and I did,” Cedeño said.
The inning began to unravel after DeWitt’s error.
“I just didn’t make the play, it’s a play you should make 100 times out of 100,” said DeWitt, who has mostly played third in the majors. “It’s unfortunate it happened right there.”
In the top half of the inning, Brendan Donnelly (1-0) got pinch-hitter Ronnie Belliard to pop up with runners on first and third.
“We had plenty of opportunities, we just couldn’t get it done,” manager Joe Torre said.
The Dodgers managed only five hits against five pitchers, four against starter Ross Ohlendorf, but drew nine walks and left 12 on base. They’ve now lost five of six in Pittsburgh dating to the final 10 days of last season, when they failed during a four-game weekend to close out the NL West against a Pirates team that had dropped 23 of 26 and was finishing up a 99-loss season.
“A lot of things went wrong,” Kershaw said.
A lot of them were in the final two innings.
The Dodgers had the potential go-ahead run at third with nobody out in the ninth after pinch-hitter Jamey Carroll doubled and moved up on Octavio Dotel’s wild pitch. But Dotel got Rafael Furcal on a grounder and Matt Kemp and Manny Ramirez on strikeouts around a two-out walk to Andre Ethier. Ramirez is 0-for-8 against Dotel.