The Dodgers had lost the previous three games to the suddenly mighty Pirates. Scott Kazmir – or as I call him, “Ol’ Back, Back, Back” – went to the mound, and manager Dave Roberts used his “all righty” lineup in an attempt to avoid the sweep. Your loyal writer wears a thick coat of Dodger blue optimism, but today’s chances did not look good.
Things to watch: Chris Taylor, newly acquired in the trade for Zach Lee, got the start at SS.
Yasiel Puig batting clean up. Normally, I like this move, but Puig has been cold lately. The Dodgers were going to need Puig’s bat to avoid the Pittsburgh brooms.
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Quickly it was bases loaded and one out.
Base hit Starling Marte. 1-0
Kazmir walked in a run. 2-0
Base hit. 4-0
Things were bleak.
3rd inning Bucs 4-0
Chris Taylor hit a triple in his first Dodgers at bat.
Sac fly from Justin Turner brought in Taylor. 4-1
4th inning Bucs 4-1
Kazmir had settled down. Ten in a row retired.
5th inning Bucs 4-1
Enrique Hernandez walked (his third walk of the day). He went to third on The Red Chia Pet’s double.
Trayce Thompson (0 for 17) walked to load the bases with one out.
Yasiel Puig came up and hit a single into right field, scoring two. 4-3
Howie Kendrick followed up with an RBI single to tie the game. 4-4
A.J. Ellis knocked in Puig for the lead. Dodgers 5-4
Kazmir got out of a two on-two out jam to preserve the Dodgers’ lead.
7th inning Dodgers 5-4
Joe Blanton in. Job done.
9th inning Dodgers 5-4
The boys got two on with no out.
Scored none, and Puig was hit on the arm with a pitch.
Kenley Jansen vs Pirates
Sean Rodriguez: PF5
Gregory Polanco: K
John Jaso: 5-pitch walk (shoulda been 4)
Jordy Mercer: F7
Dodgers win! 5-4
Scott Kazmir started out with two pitches – way off the plate, or right over the middle. Most were way off the plate. He eventually settled down and at one point he retired 12 in a row. After that lousy first inning, the Pirates never again scored off him.
Bright sides: The Dodgers offense- with Yasiel Puig at clean up – came up big time today to overcome 4-0 deficit. The bullpen combined to pitch four scoreless innings and preserve the win. Jansen got the four-out save.
Uh-oh File: Puig got hit hard on the elbow in the ninth. We’ll have to watch developments on that. Justin Turner ended the game limping around, so that’s another something. Reports after the game said JT only had a cramp.
Scott Kazmir (W 6-3) went five innings with 4 hits, 4 runs, 4 walks, 4 K,s. ERA 4.67
Team with RISP: 3 for 10