Pirates explode for nine runs in seventh, rock Dodgers ‘pen & sweep LA
Jung Ho Kang hit back after getting hit by pitches in his two previous plate appearances.
Kang’s three-run homer capped a nine-run seventh inning and Andrew McCutchen homered and drove in four runs as the Pittsburgh Pirates rallied for a 13-6 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday night.
Kang, the rookie shortstop, greeted Joel Peralta with his ninth homer of the season, after getting hit earlier in the inning by Jim Johnson (3-4), who was charged with eight runs in two-thirds of an inning. Kang also was plunked by Alex Wood in the fifth.
"Sometimes, you’ve just got to put a foot down and Jung Ho did that with the home run," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said.
Kang said through a translator that he did not feel the Dodgers were intentionally throwing at him.
"Ultimately, getting hit by a pitch helps the team because you get on base," Kang said.
The Pirates swept a three-game series from the Dodgers in Pittsburgh for the first time since May 31-June 2, 1999, at since-demolished Three Rivers Stadium.
The Pirates won for the fifth time in six games and the 15th time in their last 18 games at PNC Park as they drew within five games of the St. Louis Cardinals in the NL Central and maintained a three-game lead over the Chicago Cubs in the NL wild card standings.
The Dodgers stayed three games ahead of the San Francisco Giants, who were swept in a four-game weekend series by the Cubs at Chicago, in the NL West. Los Angeles had won seven of eight before coming to Pittsburgh.
McCutchen’s homer — a shot off the batter’s eye in center field — came with a runner on in the fifth inning to draw the Pirates within 5-3. He added a two-run single during the big seventh inning that put Pittsburgh on top 12-5.
McCutchen is hitting .455 with 13 RBIs and 12 runs scored in his last 10 games and .410 with runners in scoring position this season.
"I don’t know, it’s so hard for me to say," McCutchen said when asked if he could remember a better stretch of hitting. "I still don’t think I’m completely where I want to be."
Francisco Cervelli had three hits, including a solo homer in the eighth, and three RBIs for the Pirates. Aramis Ramirez and Neil Walker both had two of Pittsburgh’s 16 hits.
Cervelli, Starling Marte and Ramirez all had RBI singles in the seventh and Walker hit a sacrifice fly.
Arquimedes Caminero (2-1) pitched two scoreless innings for the win.
"This win shows the type of team we are," Caminero said. "Everyone contributes."
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly left Johnson in the game to face 10 batters.
"It was just one of those fluky things," Johnson said. "I felt like I made a lot of quality pitches, a lot of weak contact. I’d honestly say it’s one of the worst professional outings I’ve had so it can only go better from there."
Adrian Gonzalez and Yasmani Grandal led the Dodgers’ 14-hit attack with two hits and two RBIs each. Andre Ethier, Howie Kendrick and Kike Hernandez all had two hits.
Kendrick left the game with a strained left hamstring after beating out an infield single in the fifth inning. Hernandez, his replacement at second base, hit a solo homer in the eighth, his fifth of the season and second in as many days.
Kendrick had his fifth straight multiple-hit game and is 11 for 23 (.478) during that span.
Both starting pitchers lasted five innings. The Pirates’ Charlie Morton allowed five runs and 10 hits while Wood gave up three runs and five hits.
Dodgers: 3B Justin Turner (right thigh infection) took live batting practice Sunday for the first time since going on the DL on July 27 and is on track to be activated sometime later in the week.
Pirates: SS Jordy Mercer is recovering so well from the sprained left knee that has kept him out since July 20, that he is expected to begin a rehab assignment Tuesday with Triple-A Indianapolis, three days sooner than planned.
PUIG SITS AGAIN
Slumping Dodgers RF Yasiel Puig was not in the lineup for the third time in the last seven games, though he did enter the game in the bottom of the seventh as part of a double switch and singled in his lone at-bat.
Puig was 0 for 9 in the first two games of the series and is 4 for 23 in August after hitting .198 in July.
The series was the first of three straight for the Pirates against a division leader. They open a three-game series on Tuesday night against the NL Central-leading Cardinals at St. Louis then play three games against the NL East-leading Mets over the weekend at New York.
Dodgers: LHP Brett Anderson (6-6, 3.06 ERA) will face visiting Washington for the first time in his career Monday night, opposing LHP Gio Gonzalez (8-4, 3.75 ERA).
Pirates: LHP Jeff Locke (6-6, 4.31 ERA) will start the opener of the series at St. Louis against RHP Carlos Martinez (11-4, 2.57 ERA).
- Adrián González
- Alex Wood
- Andre Ethier
- Andrew McCutchen
- Aramis Ramirez
- Arquimedes Caminero
- Brett Anderson
- Charlie Morton
- Francisco Cervelli
- Howie Kendrick
- Jeff Locke
- Jim Johnson
- Joel Peralta
- Jordy Mercer
- Jung Ho Kang
- Justin Turner
- Kiké Hernández
- Los Angeles Dodgers
- Neil Walker
- Pittsburgh Pirates
- Starling Marte
- Yasiel Puig
- Yasmani Grandal