Pittsburgh, PA – Shane Victorino clubbed his first homer in a Dodgers uniform and knocked in three runs, as Los Angeles downed the Pirates, 5-4, in the opener of a four-game set at PNC Park.
Victorino also scored twice, while Matt Kemp added an RBI and a run scored for Los Angeles, which won for the fourth time in its last five games and moved into a tie for first place in the NL West after the Giants lost on Monday.
"You gotta win every game at this point and that's what you go out there to do," said Victorino. "You take it one day at a time and fortunate enough for us we were able to take game one."
Aaron Harang (8-7) surrendered two runs on five hits and three walks with four strikeouts over six innings to snap a three-start winless skid. Kenley Jansen recorded his 24th save of the season with a perfect ninth.
Garrett Jones registered four hits, three RBI and a run scored for the Pirates, who have lost four of their last five games.
Jeff Karstens (4-3) was tagged with his first loss since June 25 after giving up four runs on seven hits over seven frames. He is now winless in seven career meetings with the Dodgers.
"He still has a couple things to work on but he went out there and gave it everything he had," said Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle of Karstens. "I'm encouraged by the progress he's making, but there's still more to be made."
The visitors struck first in the third inning as A.J. Ellis doubled to start the frame before moving to third on Harang's bunt. Victorino then followed with an RBI double and scored two batters later on a single through the left side from Kemp.
Pittsburgh responded in the bottom half as Starling Marte smacked a one-out single and Andrew McCutchen worked a two-out walk to set the table for Jones, who scorched a double into right field to plate a pair.
LA regained its two-run lead in the fifth when Harang slapped a one-out single before Victorino launched a slider into the right-field seats for his 10th home run of the season and first since being traded from the Phillies.
The Dodgers loaded the bases in the eighth without a hit on a pair of walks and a hit-by-pitch. Pinch-hitter Juan Rivera then singled to center to plate Kemp and provide LA with an insurance run.
The Pirates countered with a pair in the bottom half as McCutchen singled and came all the way around to score on Jones' double into the left-center field gap. Michael McKenry then delivered a two-out single to left to score Jones and bring the home team within a run.
Harang's last win came on July 20 against the Mets. He improved to 15-6 in 25 career starts against the Pirates...The Dodgers are 10-1 when playing in the eastern time zone...McKenry has hit safely in 10 consecutive starts...Pittsburgh went 2-for-7 with runners in scoring position and left seven on base.