Dodgers 9 15 0
Pirates 3 6 1
WP- Kershaw (11-6)
LP- Rodriguez (7-12)
HR- McCutchen (24)
What a strange day in baseball. Earlier this afternoon some shocking news broke that San Francisco Giant Melky Cabrera tested positive for testosterone and will be suspended for 50 games. This means that he will not be eligible to play again until the second round of the postseason if the Giants get that far. Cabrera was second in the league in batting average and San Francisco’s biggest bat. His huge season thus far had seemed a bit fishy to me anyways. It’s too bad that there are still players who think they can get away with taking performance enhancing drugs. It tarnishes the game. For the Dodgers, it definitely will give them an extra edge in the division against their arch rivals.
On a brighter note, the Seattle Mariners finally garnered their first franchise perfect
game. Felix Hernandez was utterly dominating as he blanked the Tampa Bay Rays in the 23rd perfecto in MLB history. It was also the third perfect game of the 2012 season (Humber, Cain, Felix). Congratulations to King Felix!
The Giants had already lost to the Nationals before the Dodger game commenced, so as long as the Dodgers led by their ace could win tonight’s game, they would recapture sole possession of first place in the NL West. That is just what they did.
Clayton Kershaw continued his dominance over eight innings of work as he picked up his eleventh victory of the season. The Dodgers continue their own dominance of the hard-luck Bucs, and with tonight’s win they have now beat them nine games in a row dating back to last season. The offense exploded once again at PNC Park, and every Dodger in the starting lineup had at least one hit except for A.J. Ellis and Juan Rivera. The Dodgers’ bats sung tonight, and they had 15 hits collectively. The Dodgers would blow the game wide open in the seventh after plating four runs.
Shane Victorino ends up in scoring position at second base on an infield base hit and a throwing error by Josh Harrison to begin the first inning. Mark Ellis follows suit with a single to right field, and Victorino advances to third. Matt Kemp collects an RBI on a fielder’s choice. Mark Ellis is out at second as Victorino comes into score. 1-0 Dodgers. Neil Walker has to leave the game with a dislocated finger on his right hand on the play when he fell over the sliding Mark Ellis. Hanley Ramirez grounds into a force out, but he barely beats out the throw at first to extend the inning. Andre Ethier singles to right, and Hanley makes it to third. Juan Rivera grounds out to third to end the inning.
Clayton Kershaw strikes out Starling Marte looking to start off the home half of the first. He then strikes out Pedro Alvarez swinging who is in the game in place of the injured Walker. Andrew McCutchen grounds out, and Kersh only needed 11 pitches to retire the side in order.
Gaby Sanchez leads off with a ground-rule double for the Bucs in the bottom of the second. Michael McKenry flies out to the center field warning track. Sanchez tags up and goes to third. Garrett Jones hits another deep fly ball to the warning track, but Dre is there to catch it. Sanchez tags up and scores to tie the game up 1-1. Josh Harrison hits another long fly out, but this time it ends the inning.
Mark Ellis singles to lead-off the third. Hanley draws a one-out walk. Dre singles to load the bases up. The Dodgers retake the lead as MEllis scores on a sacrifice fly by Juan Rivera, 2-1.
Kershaw sends the Pirates down 1-2-3 in the bottom of the third.
Clayton Kershaw singles in the top of the fourth for his second hit of the game! Victorino singles to right. The Dodgers have eight hits, and all of
them have been singles. The runners advance to second and third on a slow grounder hit by Mark Ellis. The Pirates choose to pitch to The Bison, and he proceeds to double down the right field line! Two runs score, and the Dodgers take a 4-1 lead. Matty now has 51 RBIs for the year. Hanley follows suit with a double of his own down the left field line, and Matt Kemp walks home for the Dodgers’ fifth run!
Andrew McCutchen hits his 24th homerun of the season with one out in the bottom of the fourth off Kershaw. He hit it to straight away center field right into the Pirates logo shrubs.
Wandy Rodriguez retires the Dodgers 1-2-3 for the first time of the evening in the fifth.
Kersh counters with his own 1-2-3 inning in the bottom half of the fifth.
In the sixth, Mark Ellis is hit by a pitch with two outs. Clint Hurdle will go to the bullpen, and right-hander Chris Resop comes into pitch to Matt Kemp. He induces a groundout out of Kemp to end the inning.
Wandy Rodriguez pitched 5 2/3 innings, allowing 10 hits, 5 runs, 1 walk, and 1 strikeout on 105 pitches.
Clint Barmes leads off the bottom of the sixth with a single up the middle. Marte grounds into a double play, and Alvarez strikes out to end the scoreless frame.
In the seventh, Ramirez, Ethier, and Loney hit consecutive singles which adds another run to the scoreboard for the Dodgers. Luis Cruz bounces a double over the right field fence, and Ethier scores as the Dodgers take a 7-2 lead. That’s four consecutive hits for the Dodgers and 14 hits on the night for the Blue. A.J. Ellis and Clayton Kershaw hit back-to-back sacrifice flies which net another two runs! The Dodgers score 4 in the inning, and it’s now 9-2. The Bucs try to stop the bleeding by bringing in Chad Qualls, but he promptly serves up a double to Victorino. Mark Ellis flies out to finally end the inning and onslaught.
In the bottom of the eighth, Gaby Sanchez doubles with one out. McKenry strikes out, and Hanley makes a nice play to throw out Jones to end the inning.
Juan Cruz will pitch the eighth for Pittsburgh, and he retires the Dodgers in order.
In the bottom of the eighth, Travis Snider doubles with one out versus a tiring Kersh. Clint Barmes singles, and the Pirates score their third run of the game. Marte whiffs for the second out. Alvarez strikes out for the fourth time of the night, and Kershaw walks back to the dugout with 8 Ks!
Tony Watson, a lefty, will pitch the ninth. The Dodgers go down in order.
Brandon League comes into pitch the bottom of the ninth for the Dodgers. Luckily we have a 6 run lead here. He promptly walks Andrew McCutchen. Gaby Sanchez gives us a gift by grounding into a double play. McKenry grounds out, and the Dodgers win!
The Dodgers improve to 65-53, and they retake sole possession of first place as San Francisco drops back to one game back and second place. Clayton Kershaw finally wins against the Pirates for the first time in his career. The Boys in Blue are now 5-1 so far on this road trip.