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Dodgers are upbeat in 10-3 win over Pittsburgh

They can relax after going on a scoring barrage for one of the few times this season. Matt Kemp hits a three-run home run and Jamey Carroll and Aaron Miles have three hits apiece.

May 10, 2011|By Dylan Hernandez
  • Dodgers center fielder Matt Kemp watches his three-run home run clear the fence during the sixth inning of the Dodgers' 10-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday.
Dodgers center fielder Matt Kemp watches his three-run home run clear the… (Gene J. Puskar / Associated…)

Reporting from Pittsburgh — Andre Ethier said the atmosphere in the Dodgers dugout noticeably changed Tuesday night.

How could it not?

The Dodgers hadn't scored many runs all season, but they suddenly couldn't stop scoring.

No more crossing fingers. No more hoping for a single to push in a run.

"It definitely does lighten it up," Ethier said.

Behind two huge innings, the Dodgers cruised to a 10-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park and received a one-night reprieve from their season-long offensive nightmare.

Matt Kemp hit his seventh home run. Each of the Dodgers' eight starting position players got at least one hit. Six players drove in runs, including reliever Matt Guerrier, who drew a bases-loaded walk in the eighth inning.

"We started something," Kemp said. "We went from there, kept adding on, something we haven't done the last 10, 11, 12 games."

Actually, it's something the Dodgers haven't done outside of Chicago's Wrigley Field, where they scored 27 runs in a three-game series they played with winds at their backs.

Not counting the three games in Chicago, the Dodgers had scored six runs or more only three times. The game Tuesday was their first 10-run game that wasn't played at Wrigley Field.

Tuesday looked like more of the same, as starter Ted Lilly and Pirates counterpart Kevin Correia were locked in a pitchers' duel through five scoreless innings.

The Dodgers' big break came on the smallest of hits. With two outs and Jamey Carroll on first base, Aaron Miles reached base on a bunt single.

"The chances of me scoring Jamey from first was very small," Miles said. "You peek at the third baseman and he's playing back. You take a shot at it. First and second with one of the best players in the game [coming up behind], I'll take that shot any day."

That player was Ethier, who singled to center field to put the Dodgers ahead, 1-0.

Kemp followed with a three-run home run.

It was the Dodgers' second three-run home run this season. Sixteen of their 26 home runs were hit with the bases empty.

The Pirates scored twice in the bottom of the inning, but Jerry Sands responded with a run-scoring single in the seventh that increased the lead to 5-2.

The Dodgers blew open the game with a five-run eighth inning.

Ethier and Kemp credited Carroll and Miles for providing them with run-scoring opportunities.

Carroll, who batted leadoff, was three for four. Miles, who hit behind him, was three for five.

The two utilitymen are a combined 14 for 28 since Manager Don Mattingly put them at the top of the lineup Sunday.

"They definitely have done a great job, both of them, getting on base," Kemp said. "We have to start driving those guys in because they're getting on base for us."

Reflecting on the last few weeks, Kemp lamented the number of runners he has left on base. Kemp's production has slowed in recent weeks and he began the game hitting .228 in his previous 20 games.

"I've given up some RBI situations, not getting runs in with guys on third base," Kemp said. "I have to be more consistent doing that."

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