Blue Crew Stands Alone On Top Of NL West As Kershaw, Dodgers Cruise Past Pirates 9-3
PITTSBURGH (AP) –– Clayton Kershaw won his fourth consecutive start, Matt Kemp drove in three runs and the Los Angeles Dodgers moved into first place in the NL West with a 9-3 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Wednesday night.
Kemp had a two-run double and scored during the Dodgers’ three-run fourth against Wandy Rodriguez. Shane Victorino singled and scored in that inning, part of his 3-for-5, two-run game.
Kershaw (11-6) had one of his two singles in the fourth, and he allowed three runs on six hits in eight innings. Kershaw had eight strikeouts and no walks.
The Dodgers have won four straight and six of their last seven games, claiming sole possession of the division lead for the first time since July 13.
The Pirates have lost three in a row and six of seven and might have lost their second baseman. Neil Walker left the game in the first inning with a dislocated finger on his right hand.
Pittsburgh’s Andrew McCutchen hit his career-high 24th home run.
A night after beating the Pirates 11-0, the Dodgers again routed the team they had been chasing for a wild-card spot until Wednesday. Los Angeles, which is 6-0 against the Pirates this season, passed both Pittsburgh and division rival San Francisco in the NL standings.
The Dodgers did not have a home run but tied a season high with 15 hits. Andre Ethier went 3 for 5 with a run and Hanley Ramirez had two hits, a run and an RBI for the Dodgers.
Victorino has a nine-game hitting streak and Kemp has a hit in seven consecutive games.
Gaby Sanchez had two doubles for Pittsburgh, which has lost nine of its past 13 at home and is 3-7 on a season-high 11-game homestand. The Pirates entered the homestand with the best home record in the majors.
Pittsburgh’s players held a team meeting 3 1/2 hours before first pitch, but it failed to help. The Pirates’ combined 17-run margin of defeat the past two games is easily their worst for a two-game stretch this season.
Rodriguez (7-12) remained winless in four starts with the Pirates since being acquired for three prospects in a July 24 trade from Houston. He was charged with five runs on 10 hits in 5 2-3 innings, striking out one.
Rodriguez fell to 0-3 with Pittsburgh, and the Pirates have lost each of his past three starts.
The Dodgers’ first two batters of the game singled against Rodriguez, and Victorino scored on a Kemp fielder’s choice in which Walker was injured.
Walker tumbled over a sliding Mark Ellis as he was forcing him out at second and while he was throwing to first. Walker landed awkwardly on his right hand and lied on the ground writing in pain. The Pirates did not update the severity of the injury.
Los Angeles answered a Garrett Jones sacrifice fly in the second with a Juan Rivera sac fly in the third.
The Dodgers broke the game open with a four-run seventh against Chris Resop. James Loney, Luis Cruz, A.J. Ellis and Kershaw had RBIs in the inning.
Notes: The Dodgers have beaten the Pirates nine consecutive times dating to last season — a record since the team moved to Los Angeles. The Brooklyn Dodgers beat Pittsburgh 13 straight times in 1952. … The Dodgers are 12-4 in road games since the All-star break. … Pirates RHP A.J. Burnett lost a home start for the first time this season in his most recent outing Saturday. He will start the series finale Thursday against RHP Joe Blanton. Blanton is 0-1 with a 4.91 ERA in two starts with Los Angeles since being acquired in a trade from Philadelphia.