Los Angeles

Pirates Drop Dodgers 5-1, in Ivan Nova's Second Start

Andrew McCutchen and Jordy Mercer both homered and the Pittsburgh Pirates punished the Los Angeles Dodgers, 5-1, on Friday night at Dodger Stadium.

Time to walk the plank.

Andrew McCutchen and Jordy Mercer both homered and the Pittsburgh Pirates punished the Los Angeles Dodgers, 5-1, on Friday night at Dodger Stadium.

"Those were the two worst pitches I made of the night," Stripling said of the solo shots he surrendered. "They definitely punished me for them."

Los Angeles was looking to tie the Giants for first place in the National League West after their rivals lost in San Francisco, but were never able to claw their way back from an early three-run hole. 

The Pirates pelted rookie Ross Stripling with three straight singles to start the game as Pittsburgh staked a 3-0 lead before fans found their seats.

"The first inning is frustrating when only one ball gets to the outfield and you give up three runs," Stripling said of the exasperating first inning. "After an inning like that you just have to keep the team in it the best you can and give your guys a chance to win."

The Dodgers got on the board in the bottom half of the second after back-to-back two-out doubles by Joc Pederson and Howie Kendrick, but McCutcheon got the run right back with a solo shot in the top of the third. 

"Nothing like being able to drive the ball to the opposite side and to do it with authority," said McCutcheon who is batting .419 with six doubles, four homers and 15 RBI at Dodger Stadium. "It's Dodger Stadium, it's LA, It's paradise."

Pederson smacked two doubles and scored the Dodgers only run, and Kendrick finished with three hits and an RBI.

Stripling (3-4) settled in from there, pitching deep into the game before he served up a solo to Mercer to leadoff the seventh inning. 

"After the sixth, Honey [Rick Honeycutt] came up to me and said 'How do you feel?' I said, 'I feel fine, I went to Arizona for a month, for this,' then to give up a leadoff jack, that stinks," Stripling said of the leadoff homer to Mercer. "I'm not gonna lie, I looked over to see if Doc [Roberts] was coming and he wasn't. So i beared down and got the next three outs."

The rookie right-hander allowed five runs on six hits with no walks and four strikeouts in a seven strong innings, the longest start by a Dodger starter since July 19, and Stripling's second longest start since he threw a no-hitter over 7 and 1/3 innings in his MLB debut.

"Ross threw the ball well all night long," said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts. "It was just one of those games where nothing went are way."

The Dodgers had no answer for former Yankees' right-hander Ivan Nova, who was making just his second after he was acquired by the Pirates at the trade deadline. 

"There's not a much familiarity there with Nova, but we squared up a lot of baseballs tonight," continued Roberts. "He didn't walk guys and made us put the ball in play."

Nova (9-6) is now 2-0 as member of the Pirates and he kept the Dodgers in check allowing just one run on nine hits with two strikeouts in 5 and 1/3 innings of work.

"Pitching in the national league, the ballparks are bigger than in the American League," Nova said of his undefeated start with Pittsburgh. "The defense I have behind me has allowed me to be more aggressive."

Los Angeles remains a game-behind the Giants with both teams set to meet in a head-to-head matchup next Monday at Dodger Stadium.

Players of the Game:

Andrew McCutcheon: 2-for-4 with a home run, two RBI and two runs scored.
Jordy Mercer: 1-for-4 with a home run and two RBI.
Howie Kendrick: 3-for-4 with an RBI. 

Three Takeaways:

1. Chase Me: Chase Utley leads the Major Leagues with a total of 412 plate appearances this season without grounding into a double play. According to Stats, LLC, only one Dodger player has ever had more plate appearances without grounding into a double play, and it's manager Dave Roberts who went 440 plate appearances before finally grounding into the twin killing.

2. No More Teenager: Dodgers left-hander Julio Urias celebrated his 20th birthday on Friday as the pitcher nicknamed "The Teenager," will have to think of a new nickname before long.

3. Royalty Reigns the Ravine: Friday night was L.A. Kings night at Dodger Stadium as hockey players Kyle Clifford, Trevor Lewis, Brayden McNabb and Tyler Toffoli all threw out the ceremonial first pitch. Toffoli took batting practice with the Dodgers and hit a home run to left field.

Up Next:

Pirates (58-55): Pittsburgh ace Gerrit Cole starts on Saturday.

Dodgers (64-51): Los Angeles looks to Brandon McCarthy for a bounce-back win at 1:10PM PST.

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