PITTSBURGH - MAY 09: Jeff Karstens #27 of the Pittsburgh Pirates pitches against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the game on May 9, 2011 at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

Dodgers Vs. Pirates: Big Eighth Inning, Blown Call Help Pirates To 18-17 Record

The Pirates aim to go to 18-17 in a game that could be viewed as a minor milestone for fans exhausted by years of losing.

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Dodgers Vs. Pirates: Bucs Sneak Over .500 Thanks To Blown Call, Eighth-Inning Doubles

The Pirates now have a winning record on the season after their victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers at PNC Park Monday night helped them to an 18-17 record.

Jeff Karstens pitched 5.2 innings and allowed one run on seven hits. Dodgers starter Chad Billingsley held steady with Karstens, allowing only a third-inning RBI single by Garrett Jones in the first seven innings.

In the eighth, however, the Bucs caught a huge break when the Dodgers had a man on first and no outs. Jose Tabata slid to catch a ball in left field, the batter was called out, and the Bucs doubled the runner off first. Replays showed that Tabata’s apparent catch was actually a trap. Dodgers manager Don Mattingly and infielder Juan Uribe were ejected for arguing, to no avail.

The Pirates then added three runs in the bottom of the inning. Garrett Jones led off with a walk, which was followed by doubles by Neil Walker, Lyle Overbay and Ryan Doumit (who went 3-for-4 on the day). That proved to be more than enough, and the Pirates now have a winning record to take into mid-May.

For more on the Pirates, check out Bucs Dugout.


Dodgers Vs. Pirates: Aim For Winning Record As Pedro Alvarez Returns

The Pirates look to improve their record to 18-17 in a series-opening matchup against the Los Angeles Dodgers at 7:05 PM Monday evening at PNC Park.

A winning record at this early point in the season would mean little in terms of the overall direction of the franchise, but it would be a major benchmark in the eyes of many fans who are understandably annoyed with 18 straight years of losing.

Pedro Alvarez, who has missed the past several games with a quad strain, returns to the Pirates' lineup tonight - he'll bat seventh and play third base, while Brandon Wood, who substituted for Alvarez, will return to the bench.

Monday night's pitching matchup will feature Chad Billingsley of the Dodgers and Jeff Karstens of the Bucs. Billingsley had a 3.92 ERA with 38 strikeouts and 16 walks and is coming off an excellent start against the Chicago Cubs in which he allowed one run and had eight strikeouts over seven innings. Karstens was chased early in his last start against the San Diego Padres, allowing three runs in four innings.

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