Kershaw shines, Dodgers top Pirates for ninth straight time
Pittsburgh, PA – Clayton Kershaw tossed eight strong innings while adding two hits, an RBI and a run scored as the Los Angeles Dodgers defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates, 9-3, in the third portion of a four-game set at PNC Park.
Kershaw (11-6) allowed three runs on six hits with eighth strikeouts to win his fourth straight start.
"Any time you get that many runs you just try to attack the strike zone and make them beat you," Kershaw said.
Matt Kemp knocked in three runs for the NL West-leading Dodgers, who earned their fourth consecutive victory.
Wandy Rodriguez (7-12) surrendered five runs on 10 hits and a walk over 5 2/3 innings to remain winless as a member of the Pirates. He is 0-3 over four starts with Pittsburgh since joining the team in a four-player deal with Houston on July 24.
"There was an assortment of different hits, but the overall command was what probably was challenging for him," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said about Rodriguez.
Andrew McCutchen homered for the Pirates, who have lost to the Dodgers nine straight times.
The Dodgers jumped out to a quick lead. Shane Victorino opened the game with a dribbler toward third base that Josh Harrison threw well over the head of Gaby Sanchez at first base, allowing Victorino to move to second on the error.
Following a Mark Ellis single which placed runners on the corners, Kemp beat out a potential double-play grounder to second, plating Victorino.
On the play, Pirates second baseman Neil Walker was forced to leave the game with a dislocated finger in his right hand suffered while bracing his fall after he was slid into by Ellis. Pedro Alvarez replaced him in the field.
Pittsburgh answered with a run in the second when Sanchez hit a ground-rule double to left-center field and came home on a pair of fly balls by Michael McKenry and Garrett Jones.
But the Dodgers regained the lead in the third after loading the bases with one out on singles by Ellis and Andre Ethier around Hanley Ramirez's walk. They would only get one run on a Juan Rivera sacrifice fly to right field, though, as Luis Cruz followed with a grounder to third to keep it a 2-1 game.
LA added to its lead in the fourth inning. Kershaw and Victorino hit back-to- back singles and advanced to second and third on Ellis' groundout before both came home when Kemp slapped a double to right. Ramirez then pulled a double down the third-base line.
McCutchen's solo shot to center field in the home fourth brought the Pirates within 5-2, but the Dodgers countered with a four-run seventh to put the game out of reach.
Ramirez, Ethier and pinch-hitter James Loney started the rally with three straight singles to produce a run. Cruz's ground-rule double to right brought home Ethier before consecutive sacrifice flies by Ellis and Kershaw gave Los Angeles a 9-2 lead.
Clint Barmes' RBI single in the eighth inning accounted for the final margin.
Victorino extended his hit streak to nine games ... Kemp has a seven-game hit streak ... McCutchen's homer was his 24th of the season, setting a new career high ... Pittsburgh has not beaten the Dodgers since Sept. 15, 2011 ... Kershaw improved to 1-1 in six career starts against Pittsburgh ... Rodriguez fell to 5-5 in 13 career appearances (12 starts) against the Dodgers. He has lost his last six decisions overall.