DeWitt starting opener vs. southpaw

DeWitt starting opener vs. southpaw

LOS ANGELES -- Blake DeWitt will start at second base on Monday in Pittsburgh, even though the Pirates' opposing pitcher will be left-hander Zach Duke, manager Joe Torre said Saturday.

Torre earlier said that lefty-swinging DeWitt would get the bulk of playing time early in the season, but also indicated that reserve infielders Jamey Carroll or Ronnie Belliard could start against certain left-handed pitching.

However, Torre said that Duke isn't extraordinarily tough against left-handed hitters because he uses a changeup liberally.

DeWitt is 1-for-3 lifetime against Duke, Carroll is 2-for-5 with a double and Belliard is 0-for-10. Right-handers hit .285 off Duke last year; left-handers hit .284.