Dodgers nearly called on Loney to pitch in pinch

Dodgers nearly called on Loney to pitch in pinch

ST. LOUIS -- If Sunday's marathon against the Mets had remained tied one more inning, James Loney would have made his Major League pitching debut, manager Don Mattingly said Monday.

"I don't think he was thinking that far ahead, but it was definitely in my head," said Mattingly, who used 20 of his 25-man roster in the 12-inning 8-3 win, including reigning National League Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw for pinch-bunting duties. "He would have been the pitcher. He would have got his shot."

Loney, who also pitched in high school, has frequently lobbied to be allowed to pitch.

Mattingly was in a jam, he said, because he absolutely was not going to use closer Kenley Jansen, would have used Ronald Belisario only to save a lead and was reluctant to pitch Josh Lindblom, although he ultimately pitched the bottom of the 12th inning after the Dodgers scored five runs in the top of the 12th.

Mattingly used every position player on his bench. He said he would have played starting pitcher Chris Capuano in the outfield and moved Andre Ethier to first base if Loney had moved to the mound or anybody had gotten hurt. He already had called Jansen, a former catcher, in from the bullpen for a possible pinch-hitting appearance after the 11th inning.

Matt Treanor made all of the contingencies unnecessary with a bases-loaded, two-run, two-out single that triggered the winning rally, which Loney started with a single.