While the Kings were busy coming back from behind and winning their series versus the Blackhawks on Sunday evening in Chicago to move on to the Stanley Cup Finals, the Dodgers were none too celebratory after their series defeat by the Pirates. Zack Greinke had a shaky first inning which included two-out hits by Andrew McCutchen and Pedro Alvarez who both knocked in four runs combined (3 RBIs from Alavarez). Josh Harrison also went deep in the seventh inning off of Chris Perez. The Dodgers offense couldn’t really get anything going on the night despite a RBI single and solo homerun from Justin Turner. The third run of the night for the Dodgers came in the bottom of the ninth after Turner and Romak drew walks off Grilli and Scott Van Slyke came up with a clutch RBI single.
It was too little too late, and the Dodgers ended up coming up short offensively against the Bucs. They lost three of four against the Pirates in the series. That is concerning since the Dodgers dominated the Pirates so much last season at home. Adrian Gonzalez went hitless on the night with 3 strikeouts, and Matt Kemp and Dee Gordon struck out twice as well. Yasiel Puig collected another 2 hits on the night.
With this series loss, the Dodgers are 7 1/2 games behind San Francisco and only 1 game ahead of the Rockies. Without a consistent hitting lineup with regular production from Gonzalez, Hanley, and Kemp, this team will not be able to compete with some of the elite teams in the league. The Giants will be hard to catch up to unless the Dodgers begin to string some wins together.
Dodgers 3 6 0
Pirates 5 6 0
WP- Volquez (3-4)
LP- Greinke (8-2)
S- Grilli (8)
HR- McCutchen (5), Turner (3), Harrison (4)
Here’s how things played out at Dodger Stadium tonight…
Andre Ethier makes the first two catches in center field for outs in the top of the first inning at Dodger Stadium. Andrew McCutchen then drives a ball deep off the center field wall for a two-out double against Zack Greinke. McCutchen went right after the high fastball over the plate. Greinke then walks Ike Davis and Russell Martin, and the Bucs have loaded up the bases. Pedro Alvarez comes up with a clutch hit, a single past Hanley Ramirez, and two runs score. Greinke doesn’t have his best command of his pitches this inning. Justin Turner makes a fine play on a sharply hit grounder to third by Starling Marte for the final out of the inning. Greinke made 27 pitches in the inning, and he was visibly aggravated at the strike zone.
Old friend Edinson Volquez strikes out Dee Gordon to begin the home half of the first. Andre Ethier grounds out to second. Yasiel Puig scorches a
stand-up double down the left field line with two outs. Puig has now reached base in 33 straight games. Unfortunately Hanley Ramirez strikes out swinging, and the Dodgers aren’t able to cash in the Puig double.
Zack Greinke settles down in the second, and he retires the Bucs in order.
Volquez strikes out Adrian Gonzalez to start off the bottom of the second inning. Matt Kemp hits a ground-rule double over the right field corner wall with one out. Justin Turner singles in Kemp, and the Dodgers are down by one, 2-1. Butera strikes out. Greinke grounds out, but the Dodgers cut the Bucs’ lead in half with the RBI single from Turner.
Andrew McCutchen gets to Greinke again in the third inning. The M.V.P. sails a solo homerun over the center field wall, and the Pirates now lead 3-1.
Yasiel Puig shows off some beautiful hitting in the bottom of the third with a single to left field off a Edinson curveball. Hanley draws a two-out walk. Gonzo strikes out to end the inning, and the Dodgers waste the single and walk.
Greinke pitches a 1-2-3 inning in the top of the fourth.
Justin Turner goes deep in the bottom of the fourth inning with one out! The homerun to center field pulls the Dodgers within one run of the Bucs.
In the top of the fifth, Greinke retires the Pirates in order again.
Gordon strikes out for the second time of the night versus Volquez to lead-off the bottom of the fifth. Ethier lines out, and Puig flies out. Volquez pitches a good 1-2-3 inning.
For some reason Greinke keeps pitching to Andrew McCutchen, and he promptly doubles off the wall in left field to lead-off the sixth. McCutchen challenges Kemp’s arm in left as he advances to third on a Davis fly ball. Greinke hits Russell Martin in the wrist on a 0-2 count. Mattingly asks to confer with the umpires on whether the ball hit Martin or his bat. The call is upheld after a quick review. Pedro Alvarez comes up with a big hit, and his RBI single puts the Bucs up 4-2 as McCutchen scores. Greinke strikes out Marte looking for the second out, and that’s the seventh strikeout for Greinke tonight. Gordon handles a Clint Barmes grounder to end the inning and contain the damage to one run.
Edinson Volquez is done for the night after pitching 5 innings and allowing 2 runs on 5 hits with 6 strikeouts and only one walk on 77 pitches.
Justin Wilson, a lefty, is in for the bottom of the sixth for Pittsburgh. Gonzalez draws a one-out walk. Matt Kemp strikes out. Turner flies out.
Chris Perez will take over for Greinke in the seventh. Zack Greinke pitched 6 innings and allowed 4 runs off 5 hits with 7 strikeouts and 2 walks on 102 pitches. Perez strikes out Travis Snider. Josh Harrison absolutely hammered Perez. First he hits a long foul just shy of a homerun to left field, and then he hits an actual homerun, this one to right center. Pirates now lead 5-2. McCutchen doesn’t come up with his fourth hit of the night as he strikes out versus Perez to end the inning.
Tony Watson is in for the Pirates out of their bullpen in the bottom of the seventh. McCutchen flashes his glove in center as he makes a sliding catch
on a soft fly ball to shallow center. Snider also makes a nice running catch in right field to retire Chone Figgins. Gordon pops out, and the Dodgers can’t make anything happen.
J.P. Howell is in for the eighth. He gives up the dreaded lead-off walk to Davis. Martin strikes out swinging. With Alvarez at-bat, Drew Butera mows down Davis trying to steal second. Good tag by Hanley as well. Marte strikes out, and we head to the bottom of the eighth.
Mark Melancon is the fourth pitcher of the night for Pittsburgh. Ethier strikes out. Puig grounds out to third. Hanley grounds out to second.
Brandon League will be asked to pitch the ninth. League has a very nice 1-2-3 inning and even strikes out Barmes.
Jason Grilli will take care of the Dodgers in the bottom of the ninth. Adrian Gonzalez strikes out swinging, and that’s his third strikeout of the night. Matt strikes out swinging, and that’s his second whiff of the game. Justin Turner draws a walk, and he’s had a good night with 2 hits and 2 RBIs. Jamie Romak will pinch-hit for Butera. Romak has a very good at-bat as he draws a walk. Scott Van Slyke comes up to bat representing the tying run. Scott slaps a single to left field after going 2-2 against Grilli. Turner scores, and it’s 5-3. Dee Gordon then promptly lines out to Clint Barmes on the first pitch he sees.
The Dodgers fall to 30-28 on the season after the series loss to the Pirates. The Dodgers will wrap-up the homestand as the Chicago White Sox come into town on Monday for a three-game set.