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Pirates Hit Two Homers, Earn Rare Win In L.A.

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[May 30, 2014]  LOS ANGELES -- With third baseman Pedro Alvarez and catcher Russell Martin leading the way, the Pittsburgh Pirates won at Dodger Stadium for the first time in 10 attempts.

Alvarez and Martin homered, and the Pirates beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 6-3 Thursday night.

Right fielder Josh Harrison drove in two runs and sparked a three-run surge in the seventh inning as the Pirates (24-29) snapped a two-game skid and dealt the Dodgers (29-26) their second straight setback. Pittsburgh won on the road against the Dodgers for the first time since Sept. 15, 2011.

"I thought we played a great game," said Pirates starter Gerrit Cole, who allowed three runs on six hits with three strikeouts and two walks in 6 1/3 innings. "I thought we played Pirate baseball to a 'T.'"

RBI singles by Harrison and second baseman Neil Walker and a run-scoring double by pinch hitter Gabby Sanchez in the seventh allowed Pittsburgh to break away from a 3-3 tie. Walker extended his hitting streak to 10 games.

However, Cole (5-3) played as big a role as any Pirate in the victory.
 


"You feel with every starting pitcher you have a chance to win, but this guy has done some special things," manager Clint Hurdle said. "The energy that he does bring, the focus and the stuff. When you can throw that fastball and you can stripe it (at) 96 and 97 ... everybody feeds off it."

Martin, the Pirates' catcher and a former Dodger, homered in the sixth to give Pittsburgh a brief 3-2 lead. However, an RBI single by shortstop Hanley Ramirez in the bottom of the inning tied the score.

Cole settled down after giving up a run in each of the first two innings. The UCLA product said he began to get in a grove -- retiring nine in a row from the third through the fifth inning -- by getting ahead of hitters.

"Just made quality pitches early (in the count)," said Cole, who threw 88 pitches, 57 for strikes. "It was interesting, some at-bats they were patient and some at-bats they were really aggressive. But we stuck with our approach and just made quality pitches. That's Russ calling a great game and letting me know where he wanted the ball."

Jason Grilli picked up his sixth save with a scoreless ninth.

Dodgers reliever Brandon League (1-2) was tagged with three runs on three hits in two-thirds of an inning. He replaced starter Dan Haren, who allowed three runs on eight hits in six innings.

"I couldn't really buy myself a groundout tonight," said League, who hadn't allowed a run in 22 1/3 innings before Thursday. "They were lifting everything. I'll have to look at the video tomorrow and see exactly what the problem was. I don't know if the sinker wasn't sinking or location or what. Maybe I could have done a better job of mixing pitches."

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Right fielder Yasiel Puig gave the Dodgers a 1-0 lead with one out in the first, blooping a double to shallow right between Walker and Harrison to score center fielder Andre Ethier, who tripled. Puig, who went 2-for-4 with a pair of doubles, reached base for the 30th consecutive game, the longest active streak in the majors.

Alvarez, the Pittsburgh third baseman, drove a Haren pitch deep into the Pirates' bullpen in right for a solo home run to tie the score at 1 with two outs in the second.

In the bottom of the inning, second baseman Dee Gordon's RBI single brought home third baseman Justin Turner for a 2-1 Los Angeles lead.

Pittsburgh tied the score again in the fifth, when Harrison ripped a single to right, scoring shortstop Clint Barmes.

"We'll have to put this behind us," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said.

NOTES: Dodgers RHP Chris Withrow, optioned to the minors last weekend, was diagnosed with a torn right ulnar collateral ligament. Tommy John surgery was recommended. Withrow, though, will seek a second opinion before deciding his next course. The Dodgers placed him on the major league disabled list. ... Los Angeles RHP Chad Billingsley, out since April 2013 when he underwent Tommy John surgery on his right elbow, pitched a simulated game Thursday. He threw 30 pitches. There is no timetable for his return. ... Pirates 2B Neil Walker has started all 53 games this season. That is the most by a Pittsburgh player since Jason Bay started 79 in a row to open the 2007 season. ... The game drew a crowd of 39,643.

[ 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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