Pirates 7, Dodgers 6
LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Rich Aude used to attend about 25 games a year at Dodger Stadium, where his father had season tickets in row 36. He likes the view better from the field.
The Pittsburgh Pirates rookie snapped a 5-5 tie with a pinch-hit, two-run homer in the sixth inning, and the bullpen barely made it stand up for a 7-6 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Thursday night.
``I’ve been coming here every year since about the fourth grade,″ said Aude, 23. ``I never imagined doing something like that in any kind of game. It’s just the biggest thrill of my life.
``I’ve fantasized about hitting home runs, but not my first one in my home town with my whole entourage up there watching.″
The Pirates’ first baseman, who grew up in nearby Van Nuys, hit his homer with two out in the sixth inning while batting for reliever Jason Christiansen (1-0). The left-hander struck out the only batter he faced in the fifth inning and got his first major league victory.
Todd Williams (2-2), surrendered the deciding home run after entering the game because of a groin injury to Antonio Osuna. Osuna was forced to the sidelines after striking out his only batter, Orlando Merced, and was placed on the 15-day disabled list right after the game.
Nelson Liriano got his first four RBIs of the season after 26 fruitless at-bats. He ended an 0-for-11 slide by driving a 2-2 pitch into the right field bullpen in the first inning for his first homer in a Pirates uniform and his 17th in 1,662 career at-bats.
``He’s been around a long time and a pretty professional player,″ Pirates manager Jim Leyland said. ``He’s a good hitter, can hit from both sides of the plate and he’s capable of getting a base hit at any time.″
Liriano, who started the game at shortstop with Jim Leyland benching the slumping Jay Bell, moved over to second base in the seventh inning and recorded the final out. He went to his right to grab a comebacker off reliever Jim Gott’s glove and throw out pinch-hitter Eddie Pye.
``We were fighting to the last out,″ Dodger catcher Carlos Hernandez said. ``They were pretty lucky. The second baseman made a good play, or else we’d still be alive.″
The Pirates added four runs in the second on three singles, a walk and Liriano’s bases-clearing double to left-center.
``Obviously, he looks like a hero tonight because of the way he batted,″ Leyland said. ``But to me, the last play of the game was a great play. I’m more happy about that than anything else.″
Eric Karros and Billy Ashley homered on consecutive pitches in the fourth inning to trigger a game-tying five-run rally by the Dodgers. After the homers, Chris Gwynn singled, Dave Hansen walked and pinch-hitter Jeff Treadway hit a two-out RBI single that knocked out Esteban Loaiza and narrowed the gap to 5-3.
Treadway, who batted for starting pitcher Pedro Astacio, took third on Jose Offerman’s single against Mike Dyer and Garey Ingram followed with an RBI single that tied the score.
Astacio allowed five runs and seven hits over four innings with two walks and two strikeouts. His winless streak reached 15 starts, including 11 no-decisions.
Gott, the sixth Pirates pitcher, worked 1 1-3 innings for his third save. He allowed an RBI single to Dave Hansen with one out in the ninth, before getting pinch-hitter Mitch Webster on a fly ball and then Pye.
Notes: Dan Plesac pitched 1 2-3 scoreless innings of relief and is unscored on in 11 1-3 innings over his first 10 outings. ... Ingram started at second base for slumping Delino DeShields, while Offerman moved from the two hole to the leadoff spot in the order. ... Liriano has never hit more than five home runs in a season since coming up to the majors in 1987 with Toronto. ... Liriano started at shortstop for Jay Bell, who is mired in a 2-for-32 slump and is hitless in his last 20 at-bats. ... The Dodgers have played consecutive errorless games for the first time since their first two games of the season at Florida. They lead the NL with 27 errors in 21 games. ... Pittsburgh’s 14 strikeouts against Hideo Nomo were the team’s most since Sept. 12, 1984, when Mets rookie Dwight Gooden fanned 16. ... Pirates leadoff hitter Jacob Brumfield is 1-for-13 in the first inning this season. He left the game in the second inning with a strained right quadriceps. ... Al Martin is 1-for-18 with runners in scoring position.