The Pittsburgh Pirates tied a club record in Saturday afternoon’s game against the Los Angeles Dodgers (65-51). Unfortunately for Pittsburgh, it was the record for most men left on base (18), and the Pirates (58-56) lost 8-4 to a team that’s where they want to be, in the Wild Card race.
Additionally, the Pirates were 1-14 with men in scoring position.
It was a night to forget for starting pitcher Gerrit Cole (7-8, 3.25 ERA, 1.33 WHIP), who gave up a season-high 12 hits in 4.1 innings of work. Cole allowed six runs, four of which were earned, while throwing 89 pitches. He had a game score of 27.
The Pirates struck first, loading the bases with two walks and one hit by a pitch in the first inning. John Jaso walked, scoring a run, but the inning ended there when Francisco Cervelli was called out on strikes.
It was a similar story for the Dodgers, who also scored one first-inning run — despite threatening to do more. After a double and single from Los Angeles, Corey Seager grounded into a double play to score the Dodgers’ first run. After two more singles, Howie Kendrick hit an inning-ending ground out.
Innings one through six had one thing in common: the Dodgers scored.
Initially, it seemed the Pirates would weather the storm, scoring two runs on a Gregory Polanco walk and a Jung Ho Kang single in the second inning to retake the lead. Pittsburgh led, 3-0.
But a Chase Utley double in the second inning brought the Dodgers to within a run.
And the score was tied an inning later on a Kang fielding error on a Kendrick ground ball play.
In the bottom of the fourth inning, Seager singled, giving the Dodgers a lead for the first time in the game. They wouldn’t lose that lead for the rest of the game.
A two-run fifth inning only added to Los Angeles’ lead. Kendrick reached base again on an RBI double, and Dodgers reliever Julio Urias hit a sacrifice bunt that successfully scored Kendrick after the play was challenged and overturned.
With Jared Hughes on the mound for Pittsburgh in the sixth inning, Joc Pederson hit a solo home run, his 17th of the season to conclude the Dodgers’ scoring in the game.
Kang hit his 12th home run of the season, a solo home run off Pedro Baez in the eighth inning, but the Pirates couldn’t cash in on the several opportunities they had.
Both teams have won a game in this series and will look for the decisive victory in Sunday’s Game 3. Pittsburgh’s Chad Kuhl (2-0, 3.91 ERA) will face Los Angeles’ Brett Anderson, who is making his 2016 debut.
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