Dodgers right fielder Andre Ethier slides into home past Pittsburgh catcher… (Mark J. Terrill / Associated…)
No bonus points awarded for beating up on the puny, but if you desire to be a good team, it is sort of required.
The Dodgers remain an enormous unknown, but early indications are they can at least beat up on the downtrodden.
As further evidence, the Dodgers edged the Pittsburgh Pirates, 3-2, on a cool Thursday night before an announced crowd of 28,328, completing a three-game sweep to improve their early record to 6-1.
It’s the first time the Dodgers have started 6-1 since 1981, when they went on to – dare it be said? – win the World Series.
That these six victories came equally against the lowly Pirates and Padres, who could probably combine rosters and not be a .500 team, doesn’t detract that the Dodgers won them.
The Dodgers will have to wait until next week when they head to Milwaukee to finally meet a playoff-caliber team, because now coming to Dodger Stadium for a three-game series are the … Padres.
It’s not like the Dodgers are annihilating these lesser clubs; it’s more like they’re just good enough.
Thursday they got a good enough starting performance from Chris Capuano, timely hitting and solid bullpen work to with their third game by a single run.
Capuano went 5 1/3 innings, giving up a solo homer to Michael McKenry in the fifth and one run in the sixth on a couple of singles and a sacrifice fly to Yamaico Navarro. He gave up six hits, struck out seven and did not walk a batter.
The Dodgers scored all their runs in the first inning off Jeff Karstens. Base hits by Mark Ellis and Matt Kemp, and Andre Ethier getting hit by a pitch, loaded the bases for Juan Rivera, who singled in the first run.
The Dodgers then got a couple of needed RBI singles from struggling James Loney and Juan Uribe. It was the first hit of the year for Loney and first run batted in for Uribe.
Mike MacDougal, Scott Elbert, Josh Lindblom, Matt Guerrier and Javy Guerra continued the bullpen’s strong start, not giving up another Pittsburgh run. Guerra earned his fifth save.
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