Pierre tallies three hits with pink bat

Pierre tallies three hits with pink bat

LOS ANGELES -- Juan Pierre hit so well with his pink bat on Mother's Day, he just might want to keep using it.

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Pierre had three hits and a walk against the Giants' Tim Lincecum, who won the National League Cy Young Award last season.

Pierre said it was an honor to use the pink bats that have come to promote breast cancer awareness and are a tribute to mothers everywhere.

"Every time I look at the bats, I think about my mom and all my aunts and the women that are fighting breast cancer," Pierre said. "So all around it's a good thing what they do with Mother's Day for baseball."

Pierre was one of six Dodgers using the bats, joining Rafael Furcal, James Loney, Mark Loretta, Matt Kemp and Brad Ausmus.

And several players wore pink wristbands with the pink ribbon sign on them that symbolizes the support of women with breast cancer.

Second baseman Orlando Hudson even had special cleats made for the occasion with a pink Nike "swoosh" sign and pink laces.

The pink accessories all had plenty of exposure as the Dodgers' game against the Giants lasted nearly five hours and went 13 innings. The Dodgers lost the game, 7-5, but it didn't damper the enthusiasm from players that used the pink bats.

"I use the pink bat every year," said Kemp, who also has his mom's name tattooed on his wrist. "It's a tribute to breast cancer and to your mother. Basically, when I'm out there swinging that bat, it's like saying hello to my mother, and the wristbands are kind of like telling her that I love her and happy Mother's Day."

Pink bats have become annual Mother's Day symbols as part of an overall "Going to Bat Against Breast Cancer" initiative by Major League Baseball that raises awareness about breast cancer and directs proceeds to Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Fans play the next big role in this process, because attention will move now to the MLB.com Auction and the gradual arrival of game-used pink bats, home plates and logo bases and lineup cards. Fans also can purchase their own personalized "Mother's Day 2009" pink bats right now for $79.99 apiece at the MLB.com Shop, with $10 from the sale of each one going to Komen.

It's a tradition that Dodgers manager Joe Torre appreciates and one that he thinks is catching on with the players that sport pink bats and pink wristbands.

"I think the players are a little sensitive to what it represents," Torre said. "When it was first created, guys might've been a little more macho or shied away from it but I think players now understand the significance of it. Players are sensitive to causes and illnesses, which is good."

The Dodgers also featured Northridge's Julie Garfinkel as the winner of the honorary bat girl contest Sunday, part of another league-wide promotion to recognize fans who are going to bat against breast cancer in their lives. More than 1,000 fans submitted testimonials at MLB.com about how they are supporting the fight against breast cancer, and one winner was selected in each city.

Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.