The Dodgers gave up three successive run-scoring doubles in the eighth inning, giving the Pirates a 4-1 win in the opener of a four-game series at PNC Park in Pittsburgh. The Dodgers had a rally in the top of the eighth inning cut short by a bad call of a trapped ball by left fielder Jose Tabata. The would-be single by Juan Uribe was ruled an out, turning a first-and-third, nobody out rally in a 1-1 tie into two outs, nobody on base for the Dodgers.
Uribe and manager Don Mattingly were ejected by third base umpire Mike DiMuro for arguing the call, which was a turning point, yes, but not the reason the Dodgers loss. Sure, the Dodgers might have scored to take the lead in that inning, but the fact remains that the Dodgers scored just one run against Jeff Karstens and friends. Also, the three doubles in the eighth inning, one allowed by Chad Billingsley and two by Hong-Chih Kuo, put the game away.
Billingsley had allowed one run through seven innings, and just 94 pitches, but didn't record an out in the eighth inning. A walk to Garrett Jones and a double by Neil Walker ended Billingsley's night. He allowed three runs in seven innings, his fourth quality start in his last five outings. Billingsley has a 2.36 ERA in those last five outings, averaging 6.87 innings per start, but has just one win to show for it.
Joel Hanrahan pitched a scoreless ninth, though a hit and an error on Hanrahan did allow the Dodgers to being the tying run to the plate. The former Dodgers' farmhand converted his 11th save in 11 opportunities this season.Jose Veras pitched a scoreless eighth inning, aided by the "catch" by Tabata.
The ejection of Mattingly was his first as Dodgers' manager. Aaron Miles, Rod Barajas, and the pitcher Billingsley each collected two hits for the Dodgers. The Dodgers are 4-9 in their last 13 games. Ted Lilly and Kevin Correia start the second game of the four-game series Tuesday night.
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