The dog days a bummer: Pirates lose again to Dodgers
Neil Walker injured a finger on his right hand attempting to turn a double play in the first inning Wednesday at PNC Park. Walker left the game.
Wandy Rodriguez is 0-3 in four starts since the Pirates acquired him from Houston.
The Pirates' Neil Walker fell to the ground in pain after getting an injury to his right hand after a double play attempt on the Dodgers' Mark Ellis in the first inning at PNC Park Wednesday night.
Pirates' Neil Walker writhes in pain after getting an injury to his right hand after a double play attempt on Dodgers' Mark Ellis.
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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. Walker braced his fall with his right arm and stayed on the ground in obvious pain, shaking his right hand as he rolled.
"I knew immediately when I hit the ground that it was dislocated," said Walker, who had the same injury on the other hand in 2009.
Walker is as durable a player as they come. He played in 159 games last season and appeared in 114 of the Pirates' 117 games this year. Walker said the training staff numbed his hand in the clubhouse and popped the finger back into place, and that X-rays showed no breaks. He said he will see a hand specialist today and hopes to avoid the disabled list.
Walker also represented a large part of the Pirates' offense in the past month. He is hitting .290 with 14 home runs, and since July 1 was hitting .333 with 10 home runs.
Harrison moved to second base and Pedro Alvarez took over at third. The Pirates are operating short one bench player due to the temporary six-man rotation.
The play allowed Victorino to score and the Dodgers took a 1-0 lead.
The Pirates tied the score in the second on Garrett Jones' sacrifice fly. Gaby Sanchez doubled, went to third on Michael McKenry's fly ball and scored when Andre Ethier caught Jones' sac fly at the warning track in right-center field.
After singles from Kershaw and Victorino in the fourth, Matt Kemp and Hanley Ramirez hit back-to-back doubles to score three runs and take a 5-1 lead.
Andrew McCutchen hit his 24th home run, a career high for him, to make the score 5-2.
Chris Resop took over in the sixth and allowed four runs on four hits in the seventh. Resop was the second Pirate reliever in as many nights to allow at least four runs in an inning after Chad Qualls did so Tuesday.
First Published August 16, 2012 12:00 am