The Dodgers flew into Pittsburgh to begin a three game set energized after their brutal 4-3 victory over the ruthless Cardinals. Adrian Gonzalez’s clutch RBI single sealed the deal for the Dodgers. On Monday evening the Dodgers were without their two best hitters, Yasiel Puig, and Hanley Ramirez. Both sluggers had to receive secondary x-rays after getting hit by pitches in that dreadful St. Louis series. Hanley was hit twice. fortunately both x-rays came back negative and both sluggers should be back soon.
So the Dodgers really had to shuffle their lineup tonight. For the first time since 2007 Kemp was playing in right field. I don’t think he’s played in right field since Kenny Lofton was the center fielder. Kemp responded by going 1 for 4 with an RBI double and making a couple of nice plays in the field.Dodgers 5 12 0 Pirates 2 6 0 WP-Ryu-11-5 LP-Volquez-8-7 SV-Jansen-29
The Dodgers who had 11 hits last night, pounded out five runs on 12 hits in Steel town. The boys in Blue scored twice in the third, and three more in the fourth. We know the Dodgers score early, so this was a recipe for success. Scoring early and the pitching staff was able to hold it the rest of the way. The old guys must have taken their Metamucil after leaving St.Louis. The Dodgers were in much friendlier territory. Well friendlier than St. Louis.
Justin Turner had two hits including a two-run double that bounced off of Harrison, and Adrian Gonzalez had a three hit night with an RBI bloop single, another single, and a double. Dee Gordon, and Juan Uribe also had multi-hit nights.
The Dodgers were able to tee-off of former teammate and sideways hat wearer Edinson Volquez. He started out strong whiffing the first two batters, but tapered off. He allowed five earned runs on ten hits over 5.2 innings. He walked three and whiffed three. The Dodgers were able to stop him from drawing power from his sideways hat. Apparently the sidewaysier his hat, the more easier he is to hit. The club did have a few lucky hops go their way. A Gordon single that hit the second base bag, and a Turner two-run scorcher that third baseman Josh Harrison couldn’t handle. No matter we’ll take it.
Dodger starter Hyn-jin Ryu had little trouble keeping the Buc’s bats at bay. Ryu tossed seven innings, allowing two earned runs on five hits. He walked one and whiffed five. His only shaky inning came in the bottom of the fourth. In that frame McCutchen singled, walker walked. Then consecutive opposite field singles from former Dodger Russell Martin, and shortstop Jordy Mercer plated the Pirate’s only runs.
This was a great all around team effort. Here’s how it played out at PNC Park……
Edinson Volquez starts out strong in the top of the first, whiffing Dee Gordon, and Justin Turner consecutively. Then Gonzo strokes a line drive off the top of the right field scoreboard. But since he’s so slow the relay throw to second might have gotten him. The second base umpire rules him safe, and the Pirates challenge. The New York office upholds the call and Gonzo is safe with a double. Then Matt Kemp works a walk. But Ethier’s grounder to first ends the frame.
Volquez throws a scoreless second inning, although A.J. Ellis is hit in the batting helmet with a pitch. Ryu’s force out ends the inning without scoring.
Ryu gets through the bottom of the second without allowing anything. He whiffed Gabby Sanchez swinging, but Niel Walker singled through right. Former Dodger Russell Martin whiffed, and Jordy Mercer’s long drive to right sent Kemp to the scoreboard wall but he’s there to make the play.
The Dodgers take the lead in the top of the third. Gordon leads off with an infield single to second. Turner’s force out erases Gordon at second. Then Gonzalez walks. Kemp lashes a double down the left field line to score Turner and the Dodgers lead 1-0! Then Ethier’s grounder scores Gonzo to put the Dodgers up 2-0!
Ryu breezes through the bottom of the third, and adds to his strikeout total. Uribe leads off the top of the fourth with a single to left, and then A.J. Ellis’s hopper up the middle hits the second base bag and bounces into the outfield. Uribe races around to third. Uribe goes on contact on Grdon’s dribbler to second, and Uribe is tagged out in a rundown. That does allow Ellis and Gordon to advance, so the Dodgers still have second and third. But now there are two outs.
Then Turner rips a line drive to third that deflects off of Harrison and bounces into shallow left field. Ellis and Gordon score, and the Dodgers are up 4-0! Turner takes second on the play. Then Gonzo’s bloop single scored Turner. Dodgers lead 5-0! Kemp’s grounder ends the frame, but the Dodgers score three.
The Bucs get to Ryu in the bottom of the fourth. Marte’s grounder opens the frame. McCutchen’s bloop single goes in and out of Gordon’s glove. Sanchez flies out to deep center for the second out. Then a walk to walker puts runners at first and second. Martin and Mercer’s consecutive opposite field singles plate two runs to cut the score to 5-2. The Dodgers have to calm Ryu down with a mound visit, but whatever they said works as he gets Martinez to ground into a force out.
Ryu stops the Buc’s momentum by tossing a 123 inning in the bottom of the fifth. He retires Volquez, Harrison, and Marte. 5-2 Dodgers after five frames.
The Dodgers threaten in the sixth, knocking Volquez out of the game but can’t score. With one out, Gordon singles and steals second. But is immediately picked off with Turner at the plate. Turner singles, and then advances to second on a wild pitch. Gonzo is intentionally walked. Volquez is hooked and Jeanmar Gomez is called in to retire Kemp. He does by getting him to fly to right.
Ryu tosses another 123 frame in the bottom of the sixth. McCutchen flies out to shallow right. Sanchez flies to center, and Walker grounds to third.
In the bottom of the seventh, Ryu still pitching, gets Martin to whiff. Crawford makes a great catch on Martinez’s sinking liner. McCutchen singles to right. Pinch-hitter Travis Snider grounds into a force out to end the inning. Dodgers lead 5-2 after seven.
Ernesto Frieri throws a scoreless eighth frame, and we go to the bottom of the eighth. Brian Wilson gets Harrison to fly to left. Marte whiffs for the second out. But McCutchen again singles. Mattingly does not want Wilson facing the lefty Ike Davis, and brings in J.P. Howell. J.P. gets him to weakly ground to second, and that’s it. 5-2 Dodgers after eight frames.
Shattered bat grounder from Walker for the first out. Martin flies to right for out number two. Mercer grounds out for the final out. Dodgers win 5-2!
Ryu picks up his eleventh win to go 11-5 and Jansen his 29 save. The Dodgers improve to 56-45 with the win. But they remain tied with the Giants since they won at Philadelphia.
The Dodgers continue their series in Steel town Tuesday evening. Josh Beckett is scheduled to come of off the disabled list. That will sadly mean the optioning of Paco Rodriguez. The Bucs will counter with Vance Worley in game two.