The Dodgers lost their third game in a row, the second in a row to the Pirates, on Friday night in Los Angeles. It wasn’t the bullpen which caused them to lose this time around, and in fact the bullpen pitched 4 scoreless innings. Josh Beckett, fresh off his no-hitter five days ago, allowed a hit in the first inning which quickly evaporated any no-hitter repeat rumblings. Beckett was not as dominate this start, and perhaps fatigue from the no-hitter slightly affected him. Even so, Beckett pitched well. The Bucs only needed to score twice tonight to beat out the Dodgers.
A shaky third inning by Beckett which included a hit batter, a walk, and back-to-back singles netted the Bucs a run in the third, and then they tacked on their second run in the fourth off a solo jack by Ike Davis. The rest of the game the Pittsburgh offense was shut down, but the Dodger offense fell even flatter on the night.
The Dodgers only mustered one measly run off seven hits, and they wasted numerous opportunities when they got their lead-off man on base. The pivotal point in the game came in the fifth inning when Yasiel Puig popped out with the bases loaded and two outs. The Dodgers were 2-for-15 with runners in scoring position. The team continues to struggle to obtain those clutch hits with runners in scoring position, a weakness they have had this season.
The only Blue run came in the eighth when Figgins scored on a RBI single from Hanley. HanRam had two hits on the night, so hopefully that shows that his bat may be perking up. Matt Kemp went hitless again, and Adrian Gonzalez failed to get a hit in his pinch-hitting opportunity.
Dodgers 1 7 1
Pirates 2 6 1
WP- Liriano (1-5)
LP- Beckett (3-2)
S- Grilli (7)
HR- Davis (4)
Josh Beckett goes out to the mound at Dodger Stadium for the first time since pitching his beautiful no-hitter five days ago in Philadelphia. Josh Harrison lines out, Neil Walker grounds out, and Andrew McCutchen pops out to Scott Van Slyke who is playing first base tonight. Beckett now has 10 no-hit innings in a row.
Beckett for the Bucs. Liriano walks Dee Gordon to lead-off the home half of the first. Gordon promptly steals second (33rd stolen base) with Chone Figgins at bat. Figgins is called out on interference after he runs into his bunted ball. Don Mattingly briefly comes out to argue. Yasiel Puig chases a ball out of the zone and goes down on strikes. Hanley Ramirez strikes out, and Dee is stranded at second.
Beckett strikes out Ike Davis to start off the second, but Russell Martin singles to center to break up the no-hitter talk. Andre Ethier catches up to a ball hit to center by Pedro Alvarez, but the throw is too late to double up Martin at first. With Starling Marte at the plate, Martin is mowed down by Butera trying to steal second. Martin’s slide is not exactly smooth.
Matt Kemp flies out. Scotty Van Slyke strikes out and has a couple of words for the home plate umpire Paul Nauert. Ethier pops out in foul territory as the Dodgers go down in order in the bottom of the second.
The Bucs get on the board in the third inning. Beckett hits Marte with a pitch to start things off bad. Then Clint Barmes walks. With Liriano at the plate, Butera throws out Marte at second for his second caught stealing of the game! Liriano ends up striking out. Then back-to-back singles from Harrison and Walker gives the Bucs a 1-0 lead when Barmes scores on the RBI single from Neil Walker. The third out comes from a called strike three on a caught foul tip. McCutchen argues that it grazed him and not the bat, but the inning ends with the damage contained to one run.
Drew Butera finally gets a hit for the Dodgers, a lead-off single to center in the bottom of the third. Beckett, who made 27 pitches in the prior inning, is asked to bunt. Beckett pulls away the bat on strike three, and that is now the second failed bunt of the game. Gordon grounds into a force out. Figgins lines out to short, and the lead-off hit is wasted.
Ike Davis leads off the fourth inning with a solo homerun to center field, and the Pirates now leas 2-0. Martin grounds out to third, and Alvarez and Marte both strike out.
Yasiel Puig sparks excitement to start the fourth with a lead-off squibber single on a grounder to the mound which is thrown away by Liriano as Puig flusters him. Puig advances to second on the error. Hanley continues to struggle up to this point in the game, and he strikes out swinging. Kemp strikes out. Scott Van
Slyke grounds out weakly to end the inning and waste the lead-off Puig hit.
Josh Harrison hits a two-out single in the top of the fifth. Butera throws out Harrison at second to end the inning, and that’s Butera’s THIRD caught stealing of the night!
Andre Ethier scorches a double off the right center field wall to lead-off the bottom of the fifth. That’s Dre’s ninth double of the season, and a double off a LEFTY. Butera lines out. Jamie Romak will get his second Major League at-bat as a pinch-hitter for Beckett who comes out of the game. Romak strikes out swinging. Gordon extends the inning by singling and advancing Dre to third. With Figgins at the plate, Gordon steals second again. Then with runners at second and third and two outs, Chone Figgins has the best at-bat of the night. He works 11 pitches out of Liriano and wins the battle with a walk to load the bases up for Yasiel Puig. Puig is patient at first and gets ahead 2-0 on the count, but Liriano makes him chase some pitches and he ends up popping out to second. Once again the Dodgers fail with the bases loaded, a recurring theme of this game and season.
Paul Maholm is in the for the sixth in relief of Josh Beckett who comes out of the game losing after pitching 5 innings and allowing 2 runs on 5 hits with 5 strikeouts and a walk on 88 pitches. Ike Davis manages a single to short, and Martin draws a walk all with two out. Alvarez flies out to end the frame.
Hanley Ramirez opens up the bottom of the sixth with a long double to left field. Hanley moves to third on a Matt Kemp groundout. Kemp is now 0-for-19, and he has yet to collect a hit since moving to left field. SVS strikes out again, and he angrily snaps his bat over his knee before going back to the clubhouse. He went 0-for-3 with 2 Ks. The Bucs will go to their bullpen to relieve Liriano. Justin Wilson, a lefty, will come in to pitch to Ethier who strikes out. The Dodgers waste another lead-off double.
The Dodgers have had their lead-off runner reach base in each inning except one, but they haven’t been able to come up with the clutch hit. Francisco Liriano pitched 5 2/3 shutout innings and only allowed 5 hits while striking out 8 and walking 2 on 100 pitches.
Chris Perez will begin the seventh inning on the mound for the Dodgers, and he actually pitches a nice 1-2-3 inning.
Tony Watson, another lefty out of the Pittsburgh bullpen, will pitch the bottom of the seventh. Watson strikes out Butera. Justin Turner also strikes out as a pinch-hitter. Gordon grounds out to second, and the Dodgers go down in order.
Brian Wilson is in for the top of the eighth inning. Jose Tabata reaches on an error by Scott Van Slyke who lets the ball bounce out of his glove on the catch attempt. Neil Walker grounds into a double play as Dee Gordon makes an amazing dive and scoop to Hanley to start the DP! Gordon has been fantastic at second base this season. Davis grounds out, and Wilson pitches a scoreless frame as well.
Mark Melancon, a righty this time, comes in to pitch the bottom of the eighth. The Dodgers once again get their lead-off man on. Chone Figgins flares a single to left. Puig hits a little roller which advances Figgins to second base. Hanley Ramirez comes up with the clutch hit finally. His single to right field easily allows Figgins to score, and it is now 2-1. Kemp hits back to the box, is now 0-for-20, and the crowd gets loud as Adrian Gonzalez will come in to pinch-hit for SVS. Gonzo grounds out to short to end the inning.
We head to the ninth, and J.P. Howell will come in to pitch with Gonzo staying in the game at first base. J.P. Howell pitches a slow methodical scoreless inning, and he only allows a walk to Marte.
The Dodgers are still looking for their 30th win, and they fall to 29-27. Saturday afternoon the Dodgers will try to fend the Bucs off from winning the series with a game 3 victory. Hyun-jin Ryu will face Brandon Cumpton.