Dodgers 7, Pirates 3, 10 innings
LOS ANGELES (AP)—A night after lamenting that everyone on the Dodgers was hitting except him, Russell Martin erased his struggles with one swing.
Martin’s first career grand slam in the bottom of the 10th inning gave Los Angeles a come-from-behind 7-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Saturday night.
“I was 0-for-3 until that point, but nobody remembers that right now,” said Martin, who 0-for-9 overall before his walkoff slam.
He sent a 1-2 pitch from Shawn Chacon into the Dodgers’ bullpen in left against a two-man outfield and five-man infield.
“I was really just trying to hit a flyball there,” Martin said. “I knew I hit it good, but you never know when it’s nighttime here at Dodger Stadium. That ball does die out there at night, a little bit more than during the day.”
The game was a messy one on both sides, with the Dodgers having three wild pitches and the Pirates two, along with a passed ball. Both teams’ catchers— Martin included—committed throwing errors.
“This would’ve been a very good game for us to win,” Pirates manager Jim Tracy said. “Unfortunately, we let it get away from us.”
Jonathan Broxton (1-0) got the victory for the NL West-leading Dodgers, who have baseball’s best record at 13-5. They have won seven of their last eight.
Jonah Bayliss (1-1) took the loss after giving up singles to Juan Pierre and Jeff Kent in the 10th. Damaso Marte walked Luis Gonzalez to load the bases before Chacon came in to face Martin, who hit his second homer.
The Dodgers tied it at 3 without a hit in the ninth. Andre Ethier drew a leadoff walk from reliever Salomon Torres. Pinch-hitter Wilson Valdez reached on a fielder’s choice before taking second on Torres’ wild pitch and moving to third on catcher Ronny Paulino’s throwing error.
Valdez scored the tying run on a passed ball when Torres’ pitch sailed past Paulino, who went after it and threw too late to Torres.
“That kid makes things happen,” Dodgers starter Brad Penny said. “He’s quick out there and you got people rushing throws just to keep him from doing too much damage. He’s a big reason this team is winning.”
Jack Wilson went 3-for-5 with an RBI and a run scored for the Pirates, who lost their fourth in a row.
Dodgers manager Grady Little was ejected by plate umpire Joe West in the third inning for arguing balls and strikes.
“You can’t argue balls and strikes. That’s a written rule,” Little said. “He had a little bit better angle on those pitches than I did. But all we knew from the dugout was the reaction of our players and I wasn’t getting a good feel about the reaction.”
Both of Penny’s wild pitches set up a run and scored a run.
Chris Duffy led off the first with a single and took second on Penny’s wild pitch to Wilson. Martin had no play at second, but he threw there anyway, hitting Duffy on the left arm. Duffy took third on Martin’s error and scored on Wilson’s groundout.
The Dodgers tied it in the bottom of the inning on Kent’s two-out RBI single.
Things came undone for the Dodgers in the third. Penny walked pitcher Ian Snell to start the inning. With one out, Wilson singled and Penny walked Jason Bay to load the bases. Penny followed with his fourth walk to Adam LaRoche, forcing in the go-ahead run for the Pirates.
Little went to the mound to talk to Penny and West followed. Penny, who had a couple notable outbursts during games last season, stayed quiet. Little walked away and apparently said more to West. Little got animated as they neared home plate and West ejected him.
“I couldn’t hear what they were saying as they walked off,” Penny said.
Both Little and Martin complimented Penny’s newfound calm.
“It seems like he’s got a new attitude out there this year,” Martin said. “He’s keeping his composure a little bit better. It’s helping him out. When you’re out there cussing and stuff and getting angry, it really doesn’t help you.”
The Pirates took a 3-1 lead in the third on Penny’s second wild pitch. The ball went in the dirt and got behind Martin, who retrieved it and threw to Penny at the plate, but it wasn’t in time and Wilson scored.
Ethier’s sacrifice fly in the sixth scored the Dodgers’ second run.
Pirates RF Xavier Nady left in the sixth because of a strained hamstring and is day-to-day. … Broxton hasn’t allowed a run in 15 consecutive outings dating to Sept. 20. … Kent went 3-for-5 with an RBI. … Little’s previous ejection was Aug. 23 in San Diego, the only other time he’s been tossed with the Dodgers. … The Dodgers are 35-11 against the Pirates since 2001. … The Pirates fell to 6-6 on the road.