Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

The Dog Days a Bummer Poor Pitching Adding to Team's August Woes; Walker Injured Dodgers 9, Pirates 3

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

The Dog Days a Bummer Poor Pitching Adding to Team's August Woes; Walker Injured Dodgers 9, Pirates 3

Article excerpt

The hits came in bunches. At first, they did little harm, partly because they were singles, but they still made an impact. When the Los Angeles Dodgers finally broke out the extra-base hits, they extended their lead in a close game and extended the Pirates' stretch of trouble.

The Pirates lost, 9-3, to the Dodgers at PNC Park Wednesday night after a so-so outing from Wandy Rodriguez and a dominating one from Clayton Kershaw. They have lost six of seven games and seven of their past nine.

The Pirates entered the game with a 4.49 second-half ERA, a run above their ERA in the first half of the season. Their ERA in August, in which they had a 5-8 record entering the game, was 4.93, their highest of any month of the season and a run higher than their July mark. They have allowed at least five runs in each of their past nine games.

" ... I threw a lot of good pitches," Rodriguez said. "They just hit the ball soft."

Kershaw (11-6) allowed three runs on six hits in eight innings, striking out eight.

Rodriguez (7-12) allowed five runs on 10 hits in 52/3 innings. The first eight hits he allowed were singles, but consecutive doubles in the fourth allowed three runs to score.

"Fastballs are just up more than they have been in the past, the curveball didn't have the bite at times," manager Clint Hurdle said. "It's come and go. There was an assortment of different hits, but the overall command was probably what was challenging for him tonight."

Neil Walker left the game in the first inning because of a dislocated pinkie finger on his right hand. Walker had been one of the Pirates' best offensive performers since the beginning of July as well as a mainstay at second base.

Walker was injured in a busy first inning. Shane Victorino poked a ball down the third-base line that Josh Harrison bare-handed. His throw on the run went over Gaby Sanchez at first base and allowed Victorino to reach second. Mark Ellis singled, putting men on first and third.

Matt Kemp hit a broken-bat grounder up the middle that Walker fielded. He sprinted to second base in an attempt to tag the bag and turn a double play, and Walker tumbled forward over Ellis after throwing to first. …

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