The great road trip of mid-August hit a little bump in the road for Dodgers as they fell to the Pittsburgh Pirates, 10-6 in a Thursday afternoon contest at PNC Park. Garrett Jones hit two three-run home runs and drove in six runs leading the Pirates. A.J. Burnett (15-4) pitched 6 2/3 innings, earning the victory for the Pirates, while recently acquired pitcher, Joe Blanton (8-11), took it on the chin for the Dodgers, dropping his second game in three starts since joining the boys in blue on August 5th.
Jones got the party started in the bottom of the first inning with by crushing a 3-2 pitch into the right field seats pacing the Pirates to a three run lead. The fireworks continued in the top of the second inning with the ejections of Dodger slugger Matt Kemp and manager Don Mattingly. Kemp, unhappy with home plate umpire Angel Campos strike zone, let his voice be heard from the dugout, leading to his ejection. Mattingly was tossed shortly after arguing with Campos. Both Kemp and Mattingly had to be held back by teammates as they vehemently protested their ejections.
The Dodgers clawed back in the game with a second inning home run by first baseman James Loney, only his third of the year. They followed that up with 3 in the top half of the fourth inning. Mark Ellis led off the inning with a double to left. Recently recalled Elian Herrera, replacing the ejected Kemp in center field, followed with a bunt up the third base line that Pedro Alvarez promptly fielded and threw wide of first base, allowing Ellis to score from second. Andre Ethier reached first on a fielders choice which was followed by a mammoth home run to right center by Hanley Ramirez.
Blanton wasted no time relinquishing the lead in the bottom half of the fourth. After retiring Alvarez on a ground ball to second, he walked Rod Barajas and then gave up a triple to Clint Barmes, scoring Barajas and tying the game, 4-4. In the bottom half of the fifth, the Pirates regained the lead and gave themselves a bit of a cushion. Following a single and a walk, Jones came up and absolutely crushed an 0-2 pitch deep into the seats in right-center, giving the Pirates a 7-4 lead.
The Dodgers would make a game of it in the seventh inning on a bases-loaded infield single by Ellis cut the lead to 8-5. That was immediately followed by Juan Rivera being hit by a pitch, cutting the lead to 8-6. But relief pitcher, Tony Watson got Ethier on a weak ground ball to second baseman, Jordy Mercer to end the threat an the Dodgers didn’t threaten again.
The Dodgers now travel to Atlanta to face the Braves for the final three games of their current 10-day trip, which they are 5-2 on and they still lead the second-place San Francisco Giants by 1/2 games, heading into the weekend.
About the Author
Written by Simran Reyatt
Growing up in the suburbs of Los Angeles I became passionate about sports around 1988, watching the showtime Lakers and the miracle Dodgers. I have been hooked ever since! Lakers, Raider and Dodgers are my main passions, but really, I'm a huge sports lover as a whole.