The Los Angeles Dodgers have grown accustomed to strong outing from their starting pitchers in the last handful of games and Dan Haren, riding a personal two-game losing streak, was next up as the Dodgers began a four-game series with the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Pirates second baseman Neil Walker hit a one-out single in the first inning, but after a fly out, he was gun down for the third out on a stolen base attempt. Batting second in the lineup again starting in center field, Andre Ethier hit a triple in the bottom of the first and came around to score on a Yasiel Puig bloop double into right field.
Haren recorded two outs in the second inning, then allowed a solo home run to Pedro Alvarez. Starling Marte and Clint Barmes followed with back-to-back singles, but Haren caught a break with Pirates pitcher Gerrit Cole due up, who grounded out.
Justin Turner led off the bottom of the second with a single to center and in an interesting decision, was sacrificed to second by Tim Federowicz. Haren went down swinging for the second out, then the Dodgers were bailed out by Dee Gordon, who hit an RBI single to center to give them a 2-1 lead. Gordon quickly stole second and third base, where he was stranded as Andre Ethier struck out to end the inning.
The Dodgers would hold onto their one-run lead until the fifth inning when Josh Harrison scored Barmes on a single to right field. The Pirates took the lead the following inning as Haren allowed his second solo home run of the game, this time to former Dodger, Russell Martin.
Puig sparked a Dodger rally with a leadoff double in the bottom of the sixth and Hanley Ramirez drove in the game-tying run with a single to right. With Brandon League on to pitch the seventh inning, the scoring continued. League allowed two runs on a bevy of singles, which put the Pirates ahead 5-3 and brought his 22 scoreless innings streak to an end.
League’s night came to an end after he walked Andrew McCutchen with two outs in the seventh. Paul Maholm was the next Dodger reliever to enter the game and he allowed an RBI double before managing to get out of the inning.
Trailing 6-3, Chone Figgins pinch-hit for Maholm in the bottom of the seventh and drew a walk. Cole was relieved by Tony Watson after issuing the walk and he got Gordon to hit into an inning-ending double play. Chris Perez pitched a scoreless eighth inning, aided by Puig making a catch as he crashed into the wall in foul territory down the right field line.
Mark Melancon came on in the eighth for the Pirates and retired Ethier, Puig and Ramirez in order. Jamey Wright took over for the Dodgers in the ninth and kept them within three runs by pitching a scoreless inning. Jason Grilli allowed a two-out double to Turner in the bottom of the ninth and earned the save by getting pinch-hitter Scott Van Slyke to fly out.
Dodgers Update: Matt Kemp Benched, Carl Crawford Injured