Pirates 6, Dodgers 2
LOS ANGELES (AP)
Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle was blunt in his sitdown with Ross Ohlendorf: throw the ball lower, throw strikes and do it now.
Knowing his tendency to overthink things, Ohlendorf appreciated the simplicity.
He got his first win of the season in seven starts and hit a three-run homer to help the Pirates beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 6-2 Thursday night, a loss that mathematically eliminated the bankrupt franchise from the NL West race.
''His fastball and slider were very efficient and the ball was down in the zone,'' Hurdle said. ''Ross hasn't had a lot to feel good about.''
In his previous start, Ohlendorf lasted just two innings and allowed six hits against Florida.
Ohlendorf (1-2) allowed two runs and four hits in seven innings, struck out six and walked none. It was the right-hander's fifth start since rejoining the team on Aug. 23 after a stint on the disabled list with right shoulder discomfort.
''It's been a while since I've pitched like that,'' Ohlendorf said. ''It's by far the best I've felt since I got hurt the first time. I feel like I'm finally getting back to what I'm capable of doing.''
Ohlendorf won for the first time on the road since Aug. 11, 2009, at Colorado. He tweaked his delivery, using a bigger motion that kept his mind focused.
''Hurdle and I had a talk earlier in the week about wiping the slate clean and starting over. Hearing that come from him really helped,'' he said. ''A big thing too was forcing myself not to overthink about the hitters in terms of which pitches to throw.''
Dana Eveland (2-1) gave up four runs and eight hits in five innings, struck out four and walked one. The left-hander made 35 pitches in the second when the Pirates batted around while scoring four runs.
''Unfortunately, I got outdueled,'' Eveland said. ''Ohlendorf threw the ball really well. He hadn't won in a long time, but he broke that streak, so congratulations to him.''
Brandon Wood's RBI single tied the game at 1-1 and Ohlendorf followed with his first career homer and first career RBIs on the first pitch from Eveland to make it 4-1. Ohlendorf hit to the opposite field with two outs on a cool, damp evening at Dodger Stadium and got mobbed by his teammates back in the dugout.
''The guy does have lumberjack power. He is lumberjack strong,'' Andrew McCutchen said. ''It was just a matter of him running into one. I'm not surprised by his power, I've seen his batting practice. He hits balls as far as anyone.''
In the bottom of the second, Ohlendorf needed just nine pitches to get out of the inning.
The Pirates added two runs in the eighth on a RBI double by Ryan Doumit and a RBI single by Ryan Ludwick.
The Dodgers' runs came on Justin Sellers' ground-rule double in the first and Russell Mitchell's homer in the fifth.
The Dodgers lost for the fourth time in five games since briefly reaching the .500 mark last Saturday. They were eliminated with 12 games remaining in a troubled season that has included the beating of a San Francisco Giants fan on opening day, the franchise filing for bankruptcy and the ongoing battle between Frank McCourt and his ex-wife over ownership of the team.
NOTES: Dodgers RF Andre Ethier was at the ballpark a day after having arthroscopic surgery on his right knee. ... Ohlendorf became the first Pirates pitcher to homer since Paul Maholm on May 9, 2009, against the Mets. ... The Pirates' 34th road win equaled their most away from home since 2002. Last season, they won just 17 on the road. ... Dodgers C Tim Federowicz made his first major league start and singled in the fifth for his first major league hit. ... The Pirates ended a three-game skid against the Dodgers. ... Eveland made his first start at Chavez Ravine.