The Los Angeles Dodgers took the field Sunday night in Pittsburgh hoping to avoid a three-game sweep by the Pirates. Los Angeles sent left-hander Alex Wood to the mound, who was making his second start with his new ballclub since being traded before the July 31 deadline. The Pirates countered with righty Charlie Morton, who was facing the Dodgers for the first time since 2010.
The Dodgers were able to jump on Morton, who struggles in the first inning as he sports a 10.66 first inning ERA on the season, early. Jimmy Rollins led off the game by knocking a double to right on the first pitch he saw. Adrian Gonzalez then drove him in with a one-out single to left. He later scored on a groundout by Yasmani Grandal, giving Wood an early 2-0 lead to work with.
Wood responded well, as he retired the Pirates on just nine pitches despite walking Starling Marte on four pitches. He threw a scoreless second as well, despite giving up a two-out triple to Francisco Cervelli.
Howie Kendrick ignited some offense in the third inning, singling and stealing second base to put himself in scoring position where he was able to score on a single by Gonzalez. Andre Ethier and Grandal followed with back-to-back singles of their own. Ethier tried to take third on Grandal’s hit, but what he didn’t see is that Gonzalez was standing on third, so Ethier was tagged out. The Kendrick run scored gave the Dodgers a 3-0 lead though.
Aramis Ramirez hit a double to left-center to lead off the bottom of the fourth. After advancing to third on a single by Michael Morse he scored on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Cervelli, cutting the Dodgers lead to 3-1 through four.
Kendrick led off the fifth with an infield single, but had to leave the game with a strained left hamstring. After Ethier walked, Grandal singled to right scoring pinch runner Kike Hernandez. Then with two outs Alberto Callaspo hit a bloop single to left that brought home another run putting the Dodgers lead at 5-1.
In the bottom half of the fifth Wood walked Marte with one out and former National League MVP Andrew McCutchen followed with a two-run homer to straight away center to cut the deficit to 5-3 through five.
CONTINUE READING: Pirates Explode For Nine Runs In The Seventh