The inability of their pitchers to get the third out in innings led to the Dodgers demise in a 6-3 loss Thursday night to the Pirates.
All six runs Pittsburgh scored came with two outs.
Starter Dan Haren surrendered the first three. In the second inning he gave up a two out home run to Pedro Alvarez (10th) that tied the game, 1-1. With two out in the fifth, Josh Harrison tied the game at 2-2, with an RBI single and in the sixth with two out Haren threw a split-finger fastball he said popped out of his hand and Russell Martin bashed it for a home run, his third of the season, to put the Pirates up for good, 3-2.
“Right when I let it go I knew it just wasn’t going to be good. It’s just one of those you hope they foul off,” Haren said of the pitch he threw Martin.
The right-hander allowed a total of eight hits and struck out three in a no decision.
The wheels came off in the seventh when the Pirates scored three more runs with two outs against Dodger relievers Brandon League and Paul Maholm. League gave up two, two-run singles and was pulled after only going 2/3 of an inning. Maholm came in and the first batter he faced, Gaby Sanchez, greeted him with an RBI double to give the Pirates a 6-3 lead. He would eventually get the third out on an Alvarez ground out.
League (1-2) was charged with three earned runs and took the loss.
Removing Thursday night’s outing from the equation, League’s been one of Mattingly’s more reliable pitchers out of the bullpen. He had not allowed an earned run in his previous 16 appearances. It’s for that reason his manager cut the eccentric reliever some slack while talking with reporters afterward.
“I think we have to look at the body of work,” Mattingly said. “He’s been really good. Tonight, obviously they squared some balls up but I think we have to allow him a hiccup now and them when you pitch this well.”
The Harrison, Clint Barmes combo was deadly for the Pirates. Harrison twice drove in Barmes with run scoring singles and the second baseman himself collected three hits of Pittsburgh’s 12 hits.
Gerrit Cole (5-3) gave the Pirates 6 1/3 solid innings allowing three runs on six hits while picking up the win.
The bullpen tossed 2 2/3 scoreless innings with Jason Grilli taking home his sixth save.
L.A. had the lead twice early on. In the first, they took a 1-0 lead when Andre Ethier lugged himself to third for a triple and strolled home on a bloop double by Yasiel Puig.
Dee Gordon gave them a 2-1 lead in the second inning when he singled home Justin Turner. Gordon also stole two more bases giving him a Major League leading 32.
Puig continued to make a case for his all-star bid. He went 2 for 4 with two doubles and he’s now reached base safely in 30 straight games, the longest current streak in the Majors. The 23-year-old also made a SportsCenter quality snow cone catch while slamming into the wall in foul territory in right field.