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McLouth's ninth-inning homer powers Pirates

Apr 15, 2008 - 6:37 AM LOS ANGELES (Ticker) -- Nate McLouth picked the perfect time to extend his hitting streak.

McLouth blasted a three-run home run in the top of the ninth inning Monday, lifting the Pittsburgh Pirates to a 6-4 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The 26-year-old center fielder had been held hitless before his ninth-inning shot off Dodgers closer Takashi Saito (0-1) extended his hitting streak to 13 games and lifted the Pirates to their fourth straight win.

"Our guys didn't give up against one of the best closers in our league," Pirates manager John Russell said. "This was a good win for us against a good team."

After Doug Mientkiewicz flied out to center to lead off the inning, Jose Bautista singled to left and was replaced on the bases by rookie Brian Bixler. Luis Rivas struck out before Adam LaRoche kept the inning alive with a pinch-hit single to center.

That brought up McLouth, who capitalized by depositing a fastball in the right field stands for his second home run of the season.

"This was a great win to kick off the road trip - the first game is always an important one," McLouth said. "I've never had a ninth-inning home run before, and it's definitely a good feeling."

Tyler Yates (2-0) picked up the win after allowing one hit in the eighth inning before giving way to Matt Capps, who pitched a perfect ninth inning to register his fourth save of the season.

The late-inning heroics spared Zach Duke from his first loss of the season. The lefthander, who entered the game just 1-3 with a 7.99 ERA in four career starts against Los Angeles, surrendered eight hits and four runs - three earned - in six innings.

"I just wanted to keep us in the ballgame and keep us within striking distance to win the game," Duke said. "Nate (McLouth) came up in a big way for us tonight. Nate is a good player and he's just doing stuff to his capability."

Rookie Hiroki Kuroda bounced back from a dismal start with six strong innings for the Dodgers, who suffered their sixth loss in the last seven games.

"He (Kuroda) battled and even pitched well enough to win the game, but it just didn't work out for him today," Dodgers manager Joe Torre said.

Kuroda allowed three runs and seven hits while striking out two. He gave up his second home run of the season, a two-run blast to Jose Bautista, which put the Pirates ahead, 2-0, in the second inning.

"It seemed like after the first inning, he (Kuroda) had trouble with his location," Dodgers catcher Russell Martin said. "It was a tough way to get a no-decision but he'll come back and give us another great outing."

Andrew Jones halved the deficit with an RBI groundout in the second, and led off the fifth inning with a triple before scoring the tying run two batters later on a double to left field by Kuroda.

"I know that I haven't been producing at the plate, but I know I'll come around," said Jones, who entered Monday's game 4-for-40 (.100) this season. "It's always good to drive a ball the opposite way, and right now I'm trying to hit it where it's pitched."

After the Pirates gained a 3-2 lead when Xavier Nady plated Ryan Doumit with a double in the sixth, Jeff Kent opened the Dodgers' half of the inning with a double to deep right-center field before James Loney extended his hitting streak to 13 games with an RBI single to right.

"I'm not focused on how many games I have hits in," Loney said. "I just try to go up to the plate and have a quality at-bat for the team. As long as I do my job and we win games, then that's all that matters."

Loney advanced to second on a ground ball by Martin and, after Jones flew out, scored on a single to right by Blake DeWitt.








  • NL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    PITTSBURGH 0 2 0 0 0 1 0 0 3 6 12 1
    LA DODGERS 0 1 0 0 1 2 0 0 0 4 10 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: PIT - ZACH DUKE, JOHN GRABOW (7TH), TYLER YATES (8TH), MATT CAPPS
    (9TH) AND RYAN DOUMIT
    LOS - HIROKI KURODA, SCOTT PROCTOR (7TH), JOE BEIMEL
    (7TH), JONATHAN BROXTO

    Apr 15 1:10 AM
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    bigbelly Added 5 roots

    Pirates 6, Dodgers 4  Bot 9, 0 OutsApr 15 1:09 AM


  • NL
    AT LA DODGERS - SCORING UPDATE
    THREE-RUN HOME RUN BY NATE MCLOUTH (2) TO RIGHT WITH 2 OUT
    IN THE 9TH OFF TAKASHI SAITO SCORED BRIAN BIXLER AND ADAM LAROCHE.
    CURRENT SCORE: PITTSBURGH 6, LA DODGERS 4
    DUE UP FOR PITTSBURGH: F SANCHEZ (.231, 2-FOR-4)

    Pirates 6, Dodgers 4  Top 9, 0 OutsApr 15 12:59 AM
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    RUWTbot Took away 35 roots (Close Finish)

    Pirates 6, Dodgers 4  Top 9, 0 OutsApr 15 12:59 AM
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    RUWTbot Added 35 roots (Close Finish)

    Pirates 3, Dodgers 4  Top 9, 0 OutsApr 15 12:45 AM


  • NL
    AT LA DODGERS - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY BLAKE DEWITT SCORED JAMES LONEY.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, B DEWITT ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: PITTSBURGH 3
    LA DODGERS 4 BOTTOM, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR LA DODGERS: H KURODA (.167, 1-FOR-2, RBI)

    Pirates 3, Dodgers 4  Bot 6, 0 OutsApr 14 11:58 PM


  • NL
    AT LA DODGERS - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY JAMES LONEY SCORED JEFF KENT.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J LONEY ON FIRST, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: PITTSBURGH 3
    LA DODGERS 3 BOTTOM, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR LA DODGERS: R MARTIN (.163, 1-FOR-2)

    Pirates 3, Dodgers 3  Bot 6, 0 OutsApr 14 11:51 PM


  • NL
    AT LA DODGERS - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY XAVIER NADY SCORED RYAN DOUMIT.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, X NADY ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: PITTSBURGH 3
    LA DODGERS 2 TOP, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR PITTSBURGH: D MIENTKIEWICZ (.250, 0-FOR-2)

    Pirates 3, Dodgers 2  Top 6, 0 OutsApr 14 11:44 PM


  • NL
    AT LA DODGERS - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY HIROKI KURODA SCORED ANDRUW JONES.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, H KURODA ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: PITTSBURGH 2
    LA DODGERS 2 BOTTOM, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR LA DODGERS: R FURCAL (.375, 0-FOR-2)

    Pirates 2, Dodgers 2  Bot 5, 0 OutsApr 14 11:31 PM


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    AT LA DODGERS - SCORING UPDATE
    GROUND OUT BY ANDRUW JONES SCORED RUSSELL MARTIN.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, NONE ON, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: PITTSBURGH 2
    LA DODGERS 1 BOTTOM, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR LA DODGERS: B DEWITT (.256, 0 HR, 4 RBI)

    Pirates 2, Dodgers 1  Bot 2, 0 OutsApr 14 10:44 PM


  • NL
    AT LA DODGERS - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY JOSE BAUTISTA (1) TO LEFT WITH 2 OUT IN
    THE 2ND OFF HIROKI KURODA SCORED XAVIER NADY.
    CURRENT SCORE: PITTSBURGH 2, LA DODGERS 0
    DUE UP FOR PITTSBURGH: L RIVAS (.242, 0 HR, 4 RBI)

    Pirates 2, Dodgers 0  Top 2, 0 OutsApr 14 10:32 PM
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    Pirates vs. DodgersApr 14 9:38 PM
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    Pirates vs. DodgersApr 14 11:21 AM
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    Pirates vs. DodgersApr 14 6:40 AM