Dodgers come up short yet again in loss to Pirates

Stephen Dunn

The Dodgers have lost three straight games for a second time this season.

LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers got solid pitching and put constant pressure on the Pirates all night, but came up short in a 2-1 loss, suffering a third straight defeat. The Dodgers put seven runners on base in 5⅔ innings but couldn't score against Francisco Liriano, who picked up his first win of the season.

The Dodgers scored a run after Liriano left, but didn't do much sans Francisco and as a result now trail San Francisco by a season-worst 7½ games in the National League West.

Josh Beckett's quest to tie Johnny Vander Meer with a second no-hitter ended quickly, as Russell Martin singled to cneter with one out in the second inning.

Five days after throwing a career-high 128 pitches - just his third time over the 120-pitch mark in the last five years, Beckett was done after 88 pitches in his five innings. He struck out five and walked one, and gave up a pair of runs, one on a 453-foot shot to center field by Ike Davis in the fourth inning.

The Dodgers put a runner on second base with nobody out in four of the first six innings, even loading the bases in the fifth, but could not score. They had one hit in 13 at-bats with runners in scoring position in the first six innings, but that hit was infield single by Dee Gordon that could not score Andre Ethier from second base.

"We had a lot of opportunities to get guys in, we had guys on early," manager Don Mattingly said after the game. "We just didn't capitalize."

The big blow was Yasiel Puig popping out to second base with the bases loaded to end the fifth inning. The Dodgers are just 4-for-37 with the bases loaded this year, worst in the majors in batting average (.108), on-base percentage (.150), slugging percentage (.162) and OPS (.312).

The Dodgers' lone run came in the eighth inning, when Chone Figgins singled, advanced to second on a ground ball, then scored on a single by Hanley Ramirez. The team finished 2-for-15 with runners in scoring position for the game.

Ramirez was 2-for-4, his first multi-hit game since May 11. He's hitting .225/.301/.402 during the month.

"Hanley has been up and down all year. He'll look good for a few games. He's kind of like us as a team," Mattingly said. "He hasn't been able to sustain a run, like we haven't been able to sustain a run either."

Notes

Gordon stole two bases to pad his major-league-leading total to 34 on the season, setting a new career high. Gordon stole 32 bases in 2012 in 87 games, 35 more games than he has played this year.

Matt Kemp was 0-for-4 on the night, including 0-for-3 against Liriano. Kemp is hitless in his last 16 at-bats against southpaws and just 8-for-55 (.145) against left-handers on the season. Kemp is also hitless in his last 20 at-bats overall, dating back to May 21. Mattingly would not comment when asked after the game if Kemp would start on Saturday.

Drew Butera threw out three Pirates runners at second base on Friday. He threw out Martin and Josh Harrison trying to steal, and picked off Starling Marte after he strayed too far off the bag in the third inning.

Friday particulars

Home run: Ike Davis (4)

Stolen bases: Dee Gordon 2 (34)

Caught stealing: Russell Martin (1), Josh Harrison (3)

WP - Francisco Liriano (1-5): 5⅔ IP, 5 hits, 2 walks, 8 strikeouts

LP - Josh Beckett (3-2): 5 IP, 5 hits, 2 runs, 1 walk, 5 strikeouts

Sv - Jason Grilli (7): 1 IP, 1 strikeout

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