James Loney, Matt Kemp, and Juan Rivera provided a formidable middle of the order for the Dodgers on Saturday night.
For the second straight night, the Dodgers forced an exit by the Pirates' starting pitcher after just three innings, and cruised to a 6-1 win over Pittsburgh in the third game of a four-game series. It was the second straight win for the Dodgers. James McDonald was chased after allowing five runs in three innings, on a pair of home runs.
James Loney hit a three-run home run in the first inning, his second three-run shot in as many games. In fact, Loney is the first Dodger to hit a three-run home run (or a grand slam) in consecutive plate appearances since Jeff Kent did so on May 9-10, 2006. Loney also added a double and a walk to continue his hot hitting.
Juan Rivera lined a single to left field before Loney's blast in the first inning, then blasted a two-run home run of his own in the third inning to score Matt Kemp.
Kemp fouled a ball off his left shin in the sixth inning, which resulted in a slight game delay to replace the damaged baseball. Kemp singled then, sore shin and all, stole second base to reach 40 stolen bases on the season. Kemp is the 25th different Dodger to steal 40 bases in a season, and the first since Juan Pierre in 2008.
Kemp also scored his 100th run of the season, to go along with his 111 RBI. His is just the 10th season by a Los Angeles Dodger with both 100 runs and 100 RBI, and the first since Jeff Kent in 2005.
Jerry Sands extended his hitting streak to six games with two singles and a double in four at-bats. He has 11 hits, including three doubles, in his last 21 at-bats.
Catcher Tim Federowicz joined in the fun, singling to left in the bottom of the fifth inning to drive in Aaron Miles. For Federowicz, it was his first major league RBI.
All that offense came in support of Ted Lilly, who didn't need much of it. He allowed a single run in seven innings, giving up four hits and two walks while striking out seven. Since the beginning of August, Lilly has a 2.59 ERA in nine starts, with 20 walks and 52 strikeouts in 56 innings.
Lilly has now gone four straight starts and 29 consecutive innings without allowing a home run.
The Pirates staged a rally in the top of the eighth inning down 6-1, loading the bases off Nathan Eovaldi. With one out in the inning, Kenley Jansen came in to preserve order and, though he fell behind 3-0 to Ryan Ludwick, proceeded to strike out both Ludwick and Garrett Jones to end the threat.
WP - Ted Lilly (10-13): 7 IP, 4 hits, 1 run, 2 walks, 7 strikeouts
LP - James McDonald (9-9): 3 IP, 7 hits, 5 runs, 2 walks, 3 strikeouts