Behind rookie pitcher Gerrit Cole‘s sensational outing, the Pittsburgh Pirates defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers 6-3 on Sunday at PNC Park. The Pirates took 2 out of 3 in the series against the Dodgers.
Dodgers starter Zack Greinke wasn’t so fortunate when he gave up a two run double to Garrett Jones. The Pirates led 2-0 in the first inning.
Tim Federowicz grounded out to shortstop and Yasiel Puig scored the first Dodger run of the afternoon.
The Dodgers fought back in the fourth inning when Andre Ethier singled to left which scored Nick Punto and tied the game at 2-2.
However slugger Pedro Alvarez who’s father was in the stands to watch his son play, delivered a huge three run homer for the 5-2 Pirates lead. Alavrez leads the Pirates with 15 home runs so far this season.
Behind Ethier’s RBI single that scored Adrian Gonzalez, the Dodgers tried to close the gap as they trailed 5-3 in the top of the sixth inning.
All hope became lost for any Dodger comeback, when Alex Presley connected on a home run deep to right for the 6-3 lead in the bottom of the sixth off reliever Matt Guerrier.
Zack Greinke (2-3) had his worse outing since his return from injury this season. Greinke gave up eight hits, and five earned runs in five innings of work.
“It’s been kind of the same story and that’s that we haven’t been able to win a series. We were in a position to win this series and had Greinke on the mound and we didn’t get it done again,” said Don Mattingly.
The Dodgers have lost the last six out of eight games.
Gerrit Cole (2-0) gave up seven hits, and earned a strike out on 5 2/3 innings of work.
“He had to compete. He had to go out and battle. He knows how to pitch. He knew how to get outs when he needed them,” said Pirates manager Clint Hurdle.
Puig had a good outing with a stolen base, and added three hits that raised his batting average to .479.
The Dodgers move on to New York to face the Yankees on Tuesday and Wednesday in New Yankee Stadium.
Wednesday, was the night many waited for including the family of Clayton Kershaw, the presentation of his 2011 Cy Young Award. In attendance were also Clayton Kershaw’s wife Ellen and family, along with former Cy Young winner Fernando Valenzuela. Valenzuela received a much deserved standing ovation from the Dodger fan crowd, as did Kershaw when he raised his award up in celebratory fashion.
The 27 year old right hander Chad Billingsley was lights out the first two innings, Pirates pitcher Erik Bedard also kept the Dodgers scoreless.
In the third inning Billingsley seemed to lose some focus as he gave up a home run to Clint Barmes out in left field for the Pirates to take the early 1-0. Billinsley seem to maintain his composer enough to get out of the inning without any further damage.
Bedard walked M Ellis, allowed Matt Kemp to single to second causing Ellis to move to second base. Juan Rivera steps up and hits a big single causing Ellis to score and tie the game 1-1.
The Dodgers continue to give Billingsley more run support as Kemp singled to left center off Bedard in the sixth inning. Rivera reached on an infield single moving Kemp to second. Andre Either slugged an RBI single, causing Kemp to score and capture the lead 2-1.
In the eight inning Tony Watson came in relieve, but quickly gave a double to Gordon. Watson was replaced by Meek who didn’t couldn’t be worse as he gave up hits to Rivera and Tony Gywnn Jr to extend the Dodger lead 4-1.
Guerra relieved Jensen in the ninth to record the save and secure the victory for the Dodgers. Billingsley struck out five, no walks and one home run to remain perfect at 2-0.
Andre Either spoke about the solid performance of his pitcher, “He really trusts his stuff. He’s pounding the strike zone and making guys miss. And when he gets in a jam, he figures out a way to get out of it — either with a big double-play ball or by forcing contact with a guy and coming out on top. It’s nice to play defense behind him because there’s not too many balls hit to you.”
Bedard gave up two runs and eight hits in five-plus innings and only struck out three in the loss. He has yet to win a game this season, after suffering his first loss at the hands of Roy Halladay.
*50 years ago the Dodgers played their very first night game in Dodger Stadium. Jim Gilliam hit the first home run on April 11, 1962.
Tuesday marked the golden anniversary of historic Dodger Stadium, on April 10, 1962 the Los Angeles Dodgers played their very first game in Chavez Ravine. Now just 50 years later, with new ownership, and a new attitude the Dodgers (3-1) looked to continue upward against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
The Dodgers began the 50th Anniversary celebration of Dodger Stadium with various tributes to the stadium while welcoming back several members of their 1962 roster, including Maury Wills and Tommy Davis. Former Dodger Manager Tommy Lasorda was on hand, however absent for all of the festivities was Hall Of Fame Dodger Broadcaster Vin Scully, who was at home recovering from flu like symptoms. And new Dodgers co-owner Magic Johnson, who had a scheduled engagement in New York, where he promoted the stage play Magic vs. Bird.
With Dee Gordon already on base, MVP hopeful Matt Kemp attacked the plate, as he connected only to ground out, yet allowing Gordon to score that put the Dodgers up 1-0 int he first inning.
Kershaw continued in Cy Young stride as he continued to punish the Pirates inning after inning reminding everyone why he was is the Cy Young award winner. Until the seventh, when things seemed to break open for the Pirates, the Dodger failed to score runs in the previous innings. Pirates slugger Alex Priestly reached on a single, where he stayed at first base. Then outfielder Andrew McCutchen hit a huge single to left advancing Priestly to second. Matt Hague judged Kershaw’s pitch well yet grounded out to short, causing Priestly to score and moving McCutchen to third. Kershaw was able to get out of the inning, with no additional runs allowed.
In the eight inning Kenley Jensen came in to relieve Clayton Kershaw who still had a much better & healthy outing than he did in San Diego battling stomach flu. Kershaw left the eight where he allowed four hits and struck out seven, and one earned run.
For the Pirates, Jason Grilli replaced Juan Cruz, which seemed to be an impressive upgrade as got A.J. Ellis to watch as he struck him out, then cause Kemp to swing and strike out. Next up was the birthday boy Andre Either, who had to do something epic on this with it being the 50th anniversary and his 30th birthday. Either stepped up and hit a huge home run, that caused the Dodger fans to erupt in relieve and joy as the Dodgers took the commanding 2-1 lead.
Javy Guerra came in the ninth and secured the save, for the Dodgers to win in dramatic fashion at their home opener. The Dodger being 4-1 are the hottest team in baseball, and smiles were all around the Dodger locker room. Either spoke about giving us Dodger fans the greatest gift on his birthday “I guess that’s a good birthday present for this stadium, too.”
Former Dodger and current Pirates catcher Rod Barajas discussed the tough loss and facing Kershaw “we’ve had some tough matchups: Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, and then we get Clayton Kershaw, but we’re competing day in and day out. So no matter who’s on the mound, we’re going to battle. It was tough today.”
Jansen gets the win, Kershaw has a no decision, as Jason Grilli gets the loss for the Pirates.