April 12, 2012; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen (22) is called safe at first as Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman James Loney (7) takes the throw in the first inning at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE

The Dodgers Make the Bucs Swab the Decks in Three-game Sweep

Dodgers 3 8 0

Pirates   2 8 0

WP- Capuano (1-0)

LP- Karstens (0-1)

S- Guerra (5)

HR- McKenry (1)

April 12, 2012; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Chris Capuano (35) throws against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE

The Dodgers start the season 6-1 after they complete the three-game sweep of the Pirates at home. This is the first time they have started the season 6-1 in 31 years (1981 was the year). Chris Capuano pitched very well, and he picked up his first win as a Dodger. Javy Guerra gets his fifth save on the season as well. James Loney also finally broke his hitless streak with a RBI single in the first inning. The Pirates could only muster 4 runs during the entire series, and the Dodger pitchers only allowed two walks during the three-game matchup.

Chris Capuano starts the first inning off nicely by striking out Jose Tabata and Josh Harrison back-to-back. Andrew McCutchen is just ahead of Juan Uribe‘s throw on a grounder to third base. Uribe makes a great play, but McCutchen’s speed beats out his throw. Casey McGehee singles to left field with two outs. Yamaico Navarro pops out to Dee Gordon for the final out of the inning. Dee Gordon flies out, and Mark Ellis singles to right field. Matt Kemp slaps a curve ball down the third base line for a double, and Mark Ellis ends up at third! Karstens, seemingly pissed, then nails Andre Ethier on the back to load the bases up. Seems like it was intentional to me. Juan Rivera‘s sacrifice fly brings in Mark Ellis for a run, 1-0. James Loney, #7, finds luck on this seventh game of the year and knocks a two-out RBI single! His first hit of the season! Then the miracles keep comin’ Dodger fans. Uribe promptly follows with an RBI single, and the Dodgers lead 3-0 just like that. A.J. Ellis ends the rally by flying out.

Cappy is firing in the second and quickly strikes out the side! The Dodgers go down in order as well in the second.

In the third, Cappy continues his momentum and sends down the Pirates in order. Karstens returns the favor by striking out Bison in the bottom of the third, and the Dodgers go down in order as well.

McCutchen gets his second hit of the night to start the fourth inning off for the Pirates with a double down the third base line. McGehee grounds out to Uribe who makes a nice play to keep McCutchen at second base, but McCutchen tags up on Navarro’s fly out. Barmes strands Andrew at third on his groundout to short. James Loney goes back to what he knows best in the bottom of the fourth. A softly hit groundball out. Uribe also grounds out. A.J. Ellis gets his fourth hit of the season with a two-out single. Chris Capuano has a nice at bat, and he walks on 8 pitches. Dee flies out to end the inning and strand two runners.

Capuano starts out the fifth inning by striking out Pedro Alavarez, and the out is recorded at first base. The ghosts of fifth innings past come back to haunt Capuano. Michael McKenry hits his third big league homerun on a shot to straightaway center field. Cappy just tires by the fifth inning. 3-1 Dodgers. Capuano bounces back to strike out Jeff Karstens for out number two. Tabata is hit by a pitch. Harrison flies out to Rivera, and Capuano gets through the fifth only allowing the one run.

Mark Ellis gets a bloop single to lead off the bottom of the fifth for his second hit of the game. Matt Kemp then powers a single to center field. Andre Ethier goes down on strikes for the first out of the inning. Rivera flies out. Loney’s extremely weak groundball is the third out, and two more runners are stranded.

McCutchen picks up his third hit off Capuano to start the sixth inning off. McGehee singles to left field, and McCutchen goes to third with nobody out. McCutchen tags and scores on a sac fly by Navarro, 3-2. Donnie decides it’s the end of the line for Cappy, and he brings in Mike MacDougal to relieve him.

Chris Capuano goes 5 1/3 innings allowing 6 hits, 2 runs, no walks, and 7 strikeouts on 81 pitches.  

Barmes gets a broken bat single that drops right in front of Ethier. Alvarez’s groundball is grabbed by Mark Ellis who reverse pivots and gets the out at second. Really nice play by Ellis. That ball was headed into right field. Dougie walks McKenry to load the bases with two outs. That was the first walk by a Dodger pitcher during this entire series! Donnie brings out the hook, and Scott Elbert is brought in to try to get the last out. Matt Hague flies out to Kemp, and we all sigh with relief. The Bucs bring in Chris Resop to pitch the bottom of the sixth.

Jeff Karstens goes 5 innings allowing 7 hits, 3 runs, 1 walk, and 3 strikeouts on 71 pitches.

Juan Uribe leads off the sixth with a big single to center field for his second hit of the game. A.J. Ellis sac bunts over Uribe to second. Adam Kennedy grounds out, and Uribe takes third on the play. Dee grounds out to end the inning and is 0 for 4 in the game.

Josh Lindblom comes in to pitch the seventh inning for the Dodgers. He’s pitched very well so far this season, and he has yet to allow a run. Tabata reaches safely after his groundball up the middle hits Lindblom on the leg. Neil Walker hits into a double play for the first and second out. McCutchen walks, but is mowed down by A.J. Ellis trying to steal second base! I believe that’s Ellis’ first thrown out base stealer this season. Resop sends the Dodgers down in order in the bottom of the seventh inning.

Matt Guerrier pitches a scoreless eighth for the Dodgers, and ends the inning with a Barmes whiff. Jason Grilli comes out of the pen for the Bucs in the bottom of the eighth. The Dodgers go down in order which includes a Loney groundout and a Uribe swinging strikeout.

Javy Guerra is called on to close shop for the third night in a row. He strikes out Alvarez for out number one. He sets Big Rod and his fellow swashbucklers down in order to pick up his fifth save!

Wow. The Dodgers are playing very well, and we can even see some signs of life from Loney and Uribe. It must be that Blue Magic!

Tomorrow the Dodgers will take on the Padres at Dodger Stadium at 7:10 pm. Aaron Harang will be matched against Clayton Richard. Good night everyone!

 

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Tags: Chris Capuano James Loney Javy Guerra Jeff Karstens Los Angeles Dodgers Pittsburgh Pirates

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