Stop me if you heard this scenario before—Pirates take an early lead in the 1st inning after making the opposing pitcher work hard on 20-30+ pitches, then proceed to go dormant for rest of game as starter and bullpen can’t hold onto lead. That was once again the outcome of this game as the Pirates blew an early 4-0 lead to fall 5-4 to Dodgers to lose the series finale. The 37-40 Pirates still took 3-out-of-4 against the Dodgers this weekend series.
The Pirates made Dodgers starter Scott Kazmir pay for a struggling inning in the first this afternoon as they loaded the bases with one out on a Jordy Mercer leadoff walk, Andrew McCutchen‘s double and Jung Ho Kang walked. Starling Marte reached out and hit a soft liner into right field to score one run. After JHay popped out and Sean Rodriguez walked for the second run of the game for Kazmir’s third walk of the inning, Erik Kratz smacked a two-RBI single up the middle to give the Bucs a 4-0 lead. It looked like it would be a great day for the Bucs. However, it was not to be.
The bats would go cold and only record two hits over the next eight innings. Meanwhile, Francisco Liriano cruised through the first two innings and then gave up a run in the third inning and then ran into major trouble in the 5th inning. Liriano loaded the bases and Yasiel Puig ripped a two-RBI single to make it 4-3. Hurdle finally had seen enough of Liriano and called on Jared Hughes to get out of the jam. Hughes instead gave up a game-tying single to Howie Kendrick and then A.J. Ellis hit an infield single for what ended up being the game-winning run to make it 5-4.
Liriano finished with another sub par outing with five runs allowed (four earned) on four hits, five walks in 4.1 innings. It was another short start for him as he saw his ERA rise to 5.33. Liriano has been a shell of himself from the pitcher that Pittsburgh grew accustomed to seeing.
The Pirates finished 4-4 on the eight-game homestand and will now hit the road to the West Coast to take on the Mariners for a quick weekday tw0-game series and then three games with Oakland before stopping in St. Louis for a four-game series with the Cardinals on their way home. It’s a big nine-game road trip at a crucial time for this team. This roadtrip and a three-game series with the Cubs at home is all that’s left for the Buccos in the first half before the All-Star break.