The Los Angeles Dodgers entered Sunday’s finale with the Pittsburgh Pirates looking for a win and series split with the Chicago White Sox next on the schedule.
Andre Ethier recorded the first two put outs of the game as Zack Greinke appeared to be on his way to getting out of the first inning on less than 10 pitches. Andrew McCutchen then hit a double high off the wall in left-center and the Pirates worked a two-out rally. Ike Davis and Russell Martin drew back-to-back walks to load the bases and Pedro Alvarez gave them a 2-0 lead with a single into left that got through with the Dodgers playing a shift.
Yasiel Puig hit a two-out double down the left field line in the bottom of the first, but was left stranded as Hanley Ramirez struck out on a ball in the dirt. Greinke pitched a scoreless second inning by retiring the bottom of the Pirates’ lineup in order.
Matt Kemp hit a ground-rule double and scored on a Justin Turner single to center in the bottom of the second. Drew Butera struck out and Greinke grounded out to end the second and the Dodgers trailed 2-1 at the end of the second. Greinke began the third by striking out Neil Walker. Then McCutchen made up for nearly missing a home run in the first by hitting a solo shot in his second at-bat to give the Pirates a 3-1 lead. Greinke finished the inning by collecting two more strikeouts.
Puig remained perfect at the plate in the month of June with a two-out single in the bottom of the third and Ramirez followed with a walk, but Adrian Gonzalez struck out to end the inning. Turner delivered again for the Dodgers, this time hitting a solo home run in the fourth to pull them within one run of the Pirates.
McCutchen hit a leadoff double in the sixth and advanced to third base on a Davis sacrifice fly to deep left field. Greinke then hit Martin with a pitch and Alvarez extended the Pirates lead to 4-2 with his second RBI single of the game. Justin Wilson relieved Volquez in the sixth and issued a walk to Gonzalez, but allowed nothing else.
Chris Perez took over for Greinke in the seventh and allowed an opposite field home run to Josh Harrison after the Pirates right fielder nearly hit one out down the left field line. Perez then retired the next two batters he faced to end the top half of the inning. Tony Watson pitched the bottom of the seventh for the Pirates and benefitted from a nice catch by McCutchen to sit the Dodgers down in order.
J.P. Howell took the mound in the eighth and allowed two walk, but no runs. Mark Melancon pitched the bottom of the inning and retired the heart of the Dodger lineup in order. Brandon League kept the Dodgers with a perfect ninth inning. Jason Grilli walked two batters, then allowed an RBI single to pinch-hitter Scott Van Slyke, then managed to close the game out and earned his third save of the series.
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