“Both teams were playing hard and playing for a lot,” manager Clint Hurdle said.
Clayton Kershaw allowed a home run to Gregory Polanco on the first pitch of the bottom of the first inning ending his 37-inning scoreless streak. Despite allowing the second most hits and runs of the season to the Pirates, Kershaw received a no-decision.
“It was a tough one and I struggled all the way through pretty much,” Kershaw said. “I didn’t have good stuff. It was a battle [Friday night].”
Each team had several mistakes in the game, however the Dodgers allowing the Pirates to load the bases in the 10th inning proved to be their final undoing.
“This is baseball and anything can happen,” said Francisco Cervelli. “[If] you make mistakes, you pay. That’s it. We just happened to score one more run.”
Antonio Bastardo picked up the victory his fourth of the season. He has won back-to-back contests for the second time this season.
In this afternoon’s game, Francisco Liriano takes on Mat Latos.
Liriano is 3-0 with a 1.37 ERA in three career starts against the Dodgers. Liriano’s last start was rained out against the Chicago Cubs. Prior to that, he allowed three runs (two earned) on 10 hits in a win against the Minnesota Twins. Liriano is among the National League leaders in strikeouts , batting average against [.201], day ERA [2.05] and strikeouts-per-nine [10.0].
Latos is 5-1 with a 3.13 ERA over 12 career starts [eight of which were quality starts] against the Pirates. He last faced them in 2014 as a member of the Reds. Latos is 3-0 with a 2.87 ERA in six career starts at PNC Park. Latos made his Dodgers debut against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in his last start and allowed one run on four hits in six innings. This was a no-decision. Latos ranks second in the NL with nine wild pitches.
Happ working to improve: It has been a tough stretch for J.A. Happ. Before being traded to the Pirates, his ERA jumped from 3.78 to 4.64. He went 0-4 in five starts in June and with the Pirates allowed four runs on eight hits in 4.1 innings of work against the Chicago Cubs, good for an 8.31 ERA.
Friday, Hurdle announced that Happ will miss his next scheduled start and named his rotation through the St. Louis Cardinals series early next week.
“I want to be out there,” Happ said. “It’s their call to do what they want to do but I want to be out there.”
Hurdle said that Happ is in discussions with Ray Searage not necessarily on tinkering but rather on becoming more efficient with his pitches.
“I’m just trying to keep that consistency and hit that spot 8 out of 10 times instead of 6 out of 10 or whatever it may be,” said Happ.
Seventh inning stretch: Though he did not appear until the bottom of the eighth inning, the 39,404 in attendance were quick to give Cervelli the loudest ovation of any player all night.
Quickly in his first season with the Pirates, Cervelli has become a fan favorite.
“This is special,” Cervelli said. “I came here with no expectations, but other people, they appreciate what we do. It’s not only me, it’s everybody.”
In his past nine games, Cervelli is 11-for-28; good for a .392 average. His 2-for-2 performance last night raised his batting average to .304. He has now reached base safely in 14 of his last 15 games.
Bottom of the ninth: The Pirates have won seven of their first eight Saturday home games this season… Last night the Pirates recorded their 32nd comeback win of the season which ties the St. Louis Cardinals for most in the major leagues… Polanco’s leadoff homer last night makes him the first to accomplish the feat in back-to-back games since Nate McLouth April 27, and 29 2008.
He said it: “I just like the fact that he’s hunting pitches and when he sees something he likes he goes after it aggressively. He lives with the consequences.” – Hurdle on Polanco.
Photo credit: Keith Srakocic/AP Photo