With the Los Angeles Dodgers and Pittsburgh Pirates beginning a three-game series Friday night at Dodger Stadium, it not only was a potential postseason preview, but also an opportunity for Zack Greinke to continue stating his case for the National League Cy Young award.
Andrew McCutchen ripped a two-out double by a diving Justin Turner in the first inning, which was followed by Aramis Ramirez working a walk. Greinke got out of the inning unscathed however, as Neil Walker grounded out.
Justin Ruggiano continued his torrid hitting against left-handers, leading off the bottom of the first with a base hit. Jeff Locke then hit Chase Utley with a pitch to put two on with no outs. After Turner was caught looking on called-strike three, the Dodgers executed a double steal.
A strong throw from Pirates catcher Chris Stewart would’ve nailed Ruggiano at third base, but it was errant, allowing a run to score and Utley to advance to third. A.J. Ellis drew a two-out walk, though it didn’t amount to anything as Corey Seager hit back to the box for the third out.
The Pirates again had a man reach with two outs, as Stewart singled up the middle. Greinke retired Locke, and the Dodgers’ lead remained 1-0. Joc Pederson beat the shift by going to left field for a one-out base hit in the bottom of the second. Greinke’s sacrifice bunt advanced Pederson to second base, and Ruggiano cashed it in with an RBI single.
Greinke worked his way through the top of the Pirates’ order in the third for his first 1-2-3 inning of the night. Locke matched Greinke’s effort in the bottom half of the inning, keeping the Dodgers off the bases.