Dodgers fall to Pirates, 11-5
Opening day provided a sobering reminder to the Dodgers about what they don’t have.
The ace-less Dodgers sent Vicente Padilla to the mound today and watched him get pole-axed over 4 1/3 brutal innings that sent them tumbling to an 11-5 defeat to the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Pirates.
Padilla was charged with seven runs and six hits. He walked three and plunked two others.
Garrett Jones hit two home runs for the home team, a two-run shot in the first inning and a solo blast in the third that gave the Pirates a 3-2 lead they would only extend.
The Pirates’ $35-million payroll is the lowest in baseball, but it’s not as if the Dodgers spent a significant amount of money this winter to improve their pitching.
Agreeing to a one-year deal worth $5.025 million, Padilla was the Dodgers’ highest-priced free agent signing of the off-season. He went into camp saying he thought of himself as a No. 3 or 4 pitcher, only to be told late in spring training that he would be starting on opening day.
Matt Kemp put the Dodgers on a board in the first inning with a two-run single, but Padilla wasted no time, serving up a game-tying home run to Jones that cleared the right field stands and bounced into the Allegheny River.
The Dodgers fell back, 3-2, in the third on Jones’ second home run.
But it was until the fifth inning that the game got out of hand.
The Pirates exploded for five runs in the decisive inning, four of them charged to Padilla, who was replaced by Ramon Ortiz with one out and the bases loaded.
Manny Ramirez was 2 for 5 with a double, a run and two runs batted in.
-- Dylan Hernandez