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Hiroki Kuroda leads Dodgers to 2-0 victory over Pirates

Sometimes a team does just enough. It doesn’t have to be jaw-dropping or awe-inspiring, but just enough to slip away with victory.

Which is the way the Dodgers went about it Wednesday night in Pittsburgh, riding a strong outing from Hiroki Kuroda and scratching together a couple of runs in the sixth inning to eke out a 2-0 victory over the Pirates.

Kuroda (4-3) shut the Pirates out in his seven innings, giving up three hits. He struck out eight and walked three.

With Hong-Chih Kuo placed on the disabled list with anxiety disorder prior to the game, the Dodgers picked up scoreless innings from Matt Guerrier in the eighth and Vicente Padilla in the ninth to close it.

For Padilla, the Dodgers’ current closer, it was his third save in as many opportunities.

Kuroda, who had allowed five runs in the 5 2/3 innings of his previous start, was in control from the outset. He was using all his pitches, consistently keeping the Pirates off balance.

He took a no-hitter into the fifth, when, with one out, former Angel Brandon Wood’s broken-bat blooper landed in front of left-fielder Jerry Sands for a single.

The Dodgers weren’t doing much more with Pirates left-hander Paul Maholm. The game was scoreless through five innings, Maholm holding the Dodgers to three singles when he committed one of those cardinal sins for pitchers -- walking the leadoff hitter.

Maholm walked Ivan DeJesus Jr., batting just .200, on four pitches to open the sixth. It cost him too.

Andre Ethier followed with a slow bouncer he was able to beat out for an infield hit. Ethier has now reached base safely in 35 consecutive games, the longest streak for a Dodger since Jeff Kent reached in 37 consecutive games in 2007.

Maholm pitched Matt Kemp too carefully and ended up walking him to load the bases. Struggling Juan Uribe hit into a double play, but it did score DeJesus.

The Pirates then elected to intentionally walk Rod Barajas to get to Sands. Since Sands was batting .203, there was a certain logic to the move. Only Maholm kept pitching the right-handed hitting Sands outside, and the rookie has shown an early affinity for driving the outside pitch to right, which is exactly what he did.

Sands doubled down the line to score Ethier, and the Dodgers had their 2-0 lead.

The Pirates finally made a little noise in the bottom of the sixth when ex-Dodger Xavier Paul singled up the middle and Lyle Overbay walked with two outs, but Kuroda ended the threat by striking out catcher Chris Snyder.

-- Steve Dilbeck

Photo: Hiroki Kuroda delivers a pitch during the Dodgers' 2-0 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Wednesday. Credit: Charles LeClaire / U.S. Presswire

Comments () | Archives (6)

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Don't you hate the hyperbole when reports use the word "shutout" combined with "over 7 innings"? It is not only NOT a "shutout" it devalues the real goal...the throw real shutouts!! Go tell Koufax, or better Bob/Kirk Gibson some guy just threw seven "shutout innings" and see what you get back? Hint when addressing Bob, wear a cup and helmet. ;)
So come on Dilbeck you are better than that, while Kuroda did not allow any runs over his seven innings of work it is not a shutout. It was two full innings short as a matter of fact.
This is not EA Sports, or is it? hmmmm? I wonder....which is real?
Next think you'll be calling Jamie the true face of the Dodgers, a real baseball girl...
Oh, and NO don't give me the rain shortened shutout, that is a complete game by the rules and can be called a shutout because the pitcher did finish the game.

grump3b: Actually the word ``shutout'' never appears in the story. He did shut them out during his seven innings, which is quite different than saying he pitched a shutout (one word).

Call it what you will, that was a masterful performance by Kuroda. Hiroki kept the Bucs off balance mixing in an occasional splitter with a 94 mph fastball with great life. One particular at bat it appeared that Chris Snyder was waiting for the splitter, and Kuroda struck him out with fastballs. Then, the next AB, Snyder was looking for heat and Kuroda made him look bad with the split. He kept them off balance the entire night and his fastball was as good as I've ever seen it.

If Grumpy wants to criticize someone, how about starting with Uribe's futility at the plate?

Padilla is a good pitcher. Since he is injury prone, this type of role seems to be the best use of his talent. The difference in speed between his fastball and change-up throws off the hitters. Three saves is a good start. I am a Padilla fan.

"Andre Ethier followed with a slow bouncer he was able to beat out for an infield hit."

- must have been (REALLY slow)...


"Ethier has now reached base safely in 35 consecutive games, longest streak for a Dodger since Jeff Kent reached in 37 consecutive games in 2007."

- a poor man's batting equivalent pitcher Carlton/'72 Phillies... alas, to what end team and/or individually?

Sub .500 the former, sub-superstar the latter, sub-title (with apologies to Dinah Washington), 'what a difference a YEAR makes' -


2011 ~ vs ~ 2010

Games 33 ~ 33
At Bats 128 ~ 125
Runs 15 ~ 25
Hits 47 ~ 49
Avg .366 ~ .392
2bs 10 ~ 11
3bs 0 ~ 0
Hrs 3 ~ 11
Rbis 17 ~ 38
Tbs 66 ~ 93
Ks 23 ~ 16
OBP .434 ~ .457
Slug % .516 ~ .744


Days radio's 'boss hit bound single' lingo, would be announced "and the hits"- check that, "slap singles just keep on comin"... alas, not an winning recipe the team (wins) or slappy 'e' (payday)...

I dunno, just keep waiting for this 'superstar'/'Triple Crown' performance some pundits have been tossing at slappy 'e's feet for a year + now; I just don't see it/feel the love...

Posted by: Steve Dilbeck | 05/11/2011 at 09:40 PM

Oh, dear gawds, I am sorry, I don't know why I read it the way I did, apologies for that gaff on my part. And yeah I no doubt on the difference between "shut out" vs. "shutout"...but otherwise...D'OH!!! hahaha...must be that contagious post-McCourt-stress-syndrome that seems to be making the rounds among players and fans alike!! hahaha...


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