Another night, another blowout. The Dodgers matched a season high with 15 hits on Wednesday night, continuing their romp through the Eastern time zone with a 9-3 win over the Pirates, their third win in as many nights at PNC Park.
The fourth straight win for the Dodgers, and their ninth straight victory over the Pirates, lifted the Dodgers into sole possession of first place for the first time since July 13.
It was the fourth straight win for Clayton Kershaw, who has a 2.08 ERA during that span, with four walks and 29 strikeouts in 30 1/3 innings
The Dodgers collected hits galore against Wandy Rodriguez early, but with two outs in the fourth inning they held a slim 2-1 lead despite having eight hits, all singles. The first two Dodgers runs were scored on outs.
But in that fourth inning, the Dodgers had two runners on base with two outs, and back-to-back doubles by Matt Kemp and Hanley Ramirez plated three more runs for a 5-1 lead.
Kershaw allowed a solo home run to Andrew McCutchen in the fourth inning, but not much else. Kershaw allowed just six hits, and had his fifth start without a walk this season.
Everyone got involved for the Dodgers on offense, as eight players had at least one hit and one run scored, including Kershaw and James Loney, who did not start. The only two position players without a hit, Juan Rivera and A.J. Ellis, each drove in a run with a sacrifice fly.
Shane Victorino had three of the 15 hits, extending his hitting streak to nine games. He is hitting .375/.432/.550 with 10 runs scored during said streak.
Joe Blanton hopes the third time is the charm as he searches for his first win as a Dodger in Thursday afternoon's series finale. Old friend James McDonald was originally scheduled to start for the Pirates, but manager Clint Hurdle made a change earlier in the week, sending A.J. Burnett to the hill trying to prevent a sweep.
Home Runs: Andrew McCutchen (24)
WP - Clayton Kershaw (11-6): 8 IP, 6 hits, 3 runs, 8 strikeouts
LP - Wandy Rodriguez (7-12): 5 2/3 IP, 10 hits, 5 runs, 1 walk, 1 strikeout