Shane Victorino's first Dodger HR helps secure win over Bucs. AP Photo/Keith Srakocic

Shane Victorino's First Blue Homerun Lifts Dodgers Over Bucs

Dodgers 5 9 2

Pirates 4 8 0

WP- Harang (8-7)

LP- Karstens (4-3)

S- Jansen (24)

HR- Victorino (10)

 

PNC Park is one of my favorite MLB ballparks.

The Dodgers came into this four-game series in Pittsburgh fresh off a series win down in Miami. This Pirates team is a lot more energized than the one they saw earlier in the year. The Pirates, led by MVP candidate Andrew McCutchen, are second in the NL Central behind the Reds, but they are poised for a Wild Card spot. In what could be a postseason preview, this Dodgers versus Bucs series should be a dog-eat-dog battle. This evening’s game was just that. Aaron Harang and Jeff Karstens both allowed two runs to each opposing team in the third inning. The Dodger would score another two runs in the fifth off a Shane Victorino two-run homerun preceded by an important single by Aaron Harang. The Dodgers would add an insurance run in the eighth on a clutch RBI single from Juan Rivera. This was key since the Pirates clawed back for two runs in the bottom of the eighth off of Ronald Belisario. Kenley Jansen dominated once again to close in the home half of the ninth which gave the Dodgers their 63rd win of the year.

In the top of the first inning, Matt Kemp gets a gift double on a shallow fly ball to right field. Garrett Jones lets the ball fall, and The Bison ends up at second with two outs. Andre Ethier flies out to left to end the inning.

Aaron Harang goes to work in the home half of the first inning at PNC Park. Starling Marte, the rookie who hit a homerun in his first Major League at bat, strikes out against The Big Show. Andrew McCutchen grounds out, and Harang retires the side in order.

Jeff Karstens whiffs Hanley Ramirez to begin the second inning. James Loney flies out to center. Adam Kennedy strikes out as the Dodgers go down 1-2-3.

Garrett Jones singles to lead-off the bottom of the second, but Gaby Sanchez grounds into a 4-6-3 double play. Pedro Alvarez beats Adam Kennedy’s throw on a grounder (according to the umpire) for a two-out infield single. Michael McKenry draws a walk, but Clint Barmes grounds out to end the frame.

A.J. Ellis doubles off the wall in right field to lead-off the third inning for the Dodgers. Aaron Harang executes a good sacrifice bunt to move A.J. over to third. Shane Victorino hits the third double of the game for the Dodgers down the right field line, and A.J. plates the first run of the game. 1-0 dodgers. Mark Ellis draws a one-out walk. Matt Kemp singles to left, and he collects his 47th RBI as Victorino crosses the plate for the second Dodger run of the inning. Garrett Jones robs Ethier of an extra base hit as he makes a nice catch in right field at the warning track. Matt Kemp is doubled up at first to end the inning.

Marte singles with one-out in the bottom of the third. Harang walks McCutchen with two outs. Garrett Jones ties the game up with one swing of the bat. Two runs score as McCutchen comes all the way home from first base. Jones ends up at third on a throwing error by Mark Ellis when his throw home goes wide past A.J. Sanchez flies out to end the damage at two.

The Dodgers go down quickly in the fourth. Karstens only needs five pitches to put the Blue away.

Harang strikes out Alvarez to start the bottom of the fourth, but then he walks McKenry in the next at bat. Harang finally puts away Barmes on strikes after a 11-pitch at bat. Loney snags a chopper hit by Karstens for the last out.

In the fifth, Aaron Harang manages to hits his third base hit of the season with a single up the middle. Shane Victorino then hits his first homerun as a Dodger-a two-run shot to right! The Dodgers take a 4-2 lead!

Harang pitches a very nice 1-2-3 inning in the bottom of the fifth.

Andre Ethier singles to lead off the sixth. Hanley pops out in foul territory. Loney flies out. Adam Kennedy grounds out, and the Dodgers waste the lead-off single by Dre.

Garrett Jones collects his third hit of the night with a lead-off single in the bottom of the sixth. Sanchez hits into another double play to clear the bases! Alvarez strikes out.

In the seventh, Juan Uribe gets the nod as pinch-hitter, and Aaron Harang calls it a night. Uribe strikes out as he slowly and sadly heads back to the dugout. Victorino flies out, and Karstens sends the Dodgers down in order.

Aaron Harang pitched 6 innings, allowing 5 hits, 2 runs, 3 walks, and 4 strikeouts on 99 pitches.

Javy Guerra gets the ball in the seventh inning in relief of Harang. With two outs Josh Harrison walks. Mark Ellis bumbles a grounder  hit by Marte for his second error of the game. Don Mattingly has to go to the bullpen for the last out, and he brings in the lefty Randy Choate. Choate catches a blazing line drive comebacker from Neil Walker to end the inning!

Juan Cruz comes out of the Pittsburgh bullpen for the eighth. Matt Kemp walks with one out. Ethier is hit by the pitch on the back of his arm. Hanley walks, and the bases are loaded for the Dodgers. Clint Hurdle has to make a call to the pen. He brings in Tony Watson, a lefty. Juan Rivera will pinch-hit. Rivera comes up with a clutch single to center, and Kemp scores. 5-2 Dodgers. Kennedy hits into a force as Ethier is out at home. A.J. Ellis strikes out to end the inning, but not before the Dodgers tack on another run.

Jeff Karstens pitched 7 innings, allowing 7 hits, 4 runs, 1 walk, and 4 strikeouts on 100 pitches.

Andrew McCutchen gets an infield hit in the bottom of the eighth when the ball deflects off Ronald Belisario’s glove. Garrett Jones then proceeds to crush his fourth hit, a double to center field. McCutchen comes in and the Dodger lead is cut to 5-3. Travis Snider flies out. Alvarez grounds out. McKenry singles to left, and another Pirate run comes in. It’s now a one-run game at 5-4. Barmes grounds out to finally end the frame.

Luis Cruz doubles to start off the top of the ninth. Victorino sacrifices Cruz to third. The Pirates make another pitching change. They bring in right-hander Jason Grilli. Mark Ellis strikes out swinging, and then he also sends down Matt Kemp on strikes. The Dodgers strand Cruz at third.

 

Kenley Jansen comes into close the bottom of the ninth out for the Dodgers. Rod Barajas, former Dodger, will lead-off. Kenley whiffs Big Rod on three pitches. Marte flies out to Victorino who makes a nice running catch. Neil Walker pops out, and Kenley only needs 7 pitches to retire the side. That’s Jansen’s 24th save of the season.

The Dodgers are now 63-53, 10 games over .500. They will await the score of the Giants and Nationals game, but as of right now the Nats are

leading.

Tomorrow Chad Billingsley will take the mound against Kevin Correia at 4:05 pm in game 2. The Dodgers just edged out the Bucs tonight in the first of what is surely to be an exciting four game series.

Tags: Aaron Harang Andrew McCutchen Jeff Karstens Los Angeles Dodgers Pittsburgh Pirates Shane Victorino

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