Shane Victorino continued his hot hitting with a home run and a double on Monday, leading the Dodgers to a 5-4 win over the Pirates at PNC Park. The third win in four games on the road trip for the Dodgers was also their seventh straight win over the Pirates, as well as the 10th win in their last 11 meetings.
The Dodgers were able to withstand Garrett Jones, who had four hits and three runs batted in for Pittsburgh, invoking memories of his three home runs in two games against the Dodgers at PNC Park to start the 2010 season.
Deuces were wild in the second inning, thanks in part to a game of give and take by both Matt Kemp and Jones. Kemp blistered a single into left field to score Victorino, who had doubled home A.J. Ellis earlier in the inning. But Kemp was overly aggressive when Andre Ethier drove a ball to the wall in right field, and when Jones somehow made a leaping catch he was able to easily double off Kemp at first base.
For Jones, that catch marked a departure from both his defensive reputation and his play earlier in the inning, when his circuitous route helped the drive by A.J. Ellis land safely for a double. But on offense in the bottom of the inning, Jones erased the 2-0 Dodgers lead with a double of his own to score two and tie the game.
Aaron Harang, who earlier this season snapped an 0-for-42 skid at the plate that wasn't even the longest of his career, took a relatively modest 0-for-12 skid into Monday's game. But that ended with a fifth inning single, his third hit in 41 at-bats this season (.073).
Victorino followed with a line drive into the seats in right field, immediately accompanied by a loud "Get up" yell from the Dodgers dugout right after the ball hit the bat. Victorino's first home run as a Dodger, and his 10th of the season, gave the Dodgers a 4-2 lead.
Pittsburgh threatened against Javy Guerra in the seventh inning thanks to a two-out walk and an error by Mark Ellis, his second of the game (Ellis had just one error on the season coming into Monday's game). Randy Choate came in to face the red-hot Neil Walker, who scorched a ball back up the middle. But Choate stuck his glove out in an act of self preservation and not only did the reliever survive, but he got out of the inning as the line drive was caught.
The Dodgers cashed in an insurance run in the eighth inning after reliever Juan Cruz walked two and hit one to load the bases. That run proved important, as the Pirates scored twice in the eighth, including one run on the fourth hit of the game for Jones, his second double of the night.
- Victorino extended his hitting streak to seven games on Monday, and during the streak he is hitting .367/.441/.567 with seven runs scored.
- Kemp went 2-for-4 with a walk, his fourth multi-hit game of the last five contests, during which he is hitting .500/.542/.773 (11-for-22)
- Juan Uribe was manager Don Mattingly's first option of the bench on Monday, pinch hitting for Harang in the seventh. Uribe, playing in his second game in three days, struck out to drop his batting average as a Dodger from .1995 (which displays as .200) to .1991 (84-for-422).
- James Loney went 0-for-3 which saw his on-base percentage, on August 13, drop to .297 on the season, meaning both halves of the Dodgers' first base platoon have sub-.300 OBPs this season. But Juan Rivera did have a pinch hit RBI single in the eighth inning, which raised his OBP to 0.283.
- The Dodgers are 29-13 all-time at PNC Park.
Pitcher Injury Rehab Updates
Scott Elbert, who turned 27 on Monday, will begin a minor league rehab assignment this week with Double A Chattanooga, per Jim Peltz of the Los Angeles Times. He has been sidelined since July 27 with left elbow inflammation.
Rubby De La Rosa, who had his rehab assignment interrupted by a groin injury suffered on August 4, has moved his rehab to the Dodgers' training facility at Camelback Ranch in Arizona. De La Rosa will make another start for Class A Rancho Cucamonga "at some point this week," per J.P. Hoornstra of the Los Angeles Daily News.
Chad Billingsley goes for his fifth straight win on Tuesday night, facing off with Kevin Correia for Pittsburgh. Correia started for the Pirates in Los Angeles on April 10, the Dodgers' home opener and the 50th anniversary of the first game at Dodger Stadium. Correia allowed one run in six innings in a no-decision.
Home Runs: Shane Victorino (10)
WP - Aaron Harang (8-7): 6 IP, 5 hits, 2 runs, 3 walks, 4 strikeouts
LP - Jeff Karstens (4-3): 7 IP, 7 hits, 4 runs, 1 walk, 4 strikeouts
Sv - Kenley Jansen (24): 1 IP, 1 strikeout