Rafael Furcal went 4-for-4 with a homer and two RBIs, James Loney extended his season-opening hitting streak to 15 games and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the mistake-prone Pittsburgh Pirates 8-1 Wednesday night.
Brad Penny (2-2) allowed an unearned run and five hits over 5 2-3 innings, striking out four and walking none. The right-hander, who gave up four runs in an inning in each of his previous two starts _ both losses _ breezed to the win after his teammates scored four runs in the first inning and two more in the second.
Paul Maholm (0-2) gave up six runs _ four earned _ and 11 hits over five innings after pitching 5 1-3 scoreless innings last Friday at San Diego. The left-hander is 0-3 against the Dodgers, allowing 17 earned runs over 23 innings in four career starts against them.
Loney, the only player other that Pittsburgh's Nate McLouth to hit safely in his team's first 15 games, had a pair of sacrifice flies before singling in the seventh off former Dodger Franquelis Osoria to extend his streak.
McLouth singled in the sixth to keep his streak going. It's the longest by a Pirates player from the start of a season since Al Oliver's 18-game run in 1972.
Dodgers third baseman Nomar Garciaparra was activated from the disabled list after batting practice. He went 1-for-2 with a pair of walks in his season debut and was charged with an error on Brian Bixler's seventh-inning grounder.
Garciaparra was injured in an exhibition game against St. Louis on March 8, when he was hit on the right wrist by a pitch. It was the second time in his three seasons with the Dodgers that he started out on the DL.
Each of the Dodgers' first four batters in the opening inning singled and scored. Matt Kemp and cleanup hitter Jeff Kent had run-scoring hits, Loney hit a sacrifice fly and Juan Pierre beat out a bunt for a hit that drove in Kent.
During the rally, Kemp took a wide turn rounding second on Kent's hit and was caught in a rundown after falling down. But third baseman Jose Bautista whiffed on the tag after getting the relay toss from shortstop Bixler, and Kemp scrambled to the bag safely.
Bautista was charged with an error, extending the Pirates' streak to 14 consecutive games with at least one defensive miscue. It's the longest such streak by the franchise since a 15-game stretch June 2-16, 1946. Last season, the Pirates set club records for fewest errors (83), consecutive errorless games (11) and most games in a season without an error (99).
Furcal drove Maholm's first pitch of the second inning into the lower seats in the left-field corner for his second homer in five games. Singles by Russell Martin and Kent put runners at the corners, and Loney followed with his second sac fly for a 6-0 lead.
The Pirates also made a monumental gaffe on the basepaths. Xavier Nady foolishly tried to score from second base on Ronny Paulino's two-out single to right in the second inning with his team four runs down, and got thrown out by Kemp on the fly after ignoring third base coach Tony Beasley's stop sign.
It didn't end there for the Bad News Bucs. One inning later, Pittsburgh first baseman Adam LaRoche began charging in anticipation of a possible sacrifice bunt by Penny before catching a pickoff toss from Maholm, who was called for a balk by umpire Tim Timmons as Garciaparra trotted to second.
Notes:@ None of Pittsburgh's major league-leading 21 errors have been committed by outfielders. ... RHP Ramon Troncoso was optioned to Triple-A Las Vegas to make room for Garciaparra. ... Pirates 2B Freddy Sanchez, who was born in nearby Hollywood, was 0-for-4 after hitting safely in each of his 15 previous games at Dodger Stadium (23-for-65).
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