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Dodgers can't dig out of early hole in loss to Pirates

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Dodgers found themselves in a hole early and couldn't dig out of it, falling to the Pirates 8-6 in the opener of a four-game series at PNC Park in Pittsburgh.

The loss snapped the Dodgers' six-game winning streak, but extended their losing streak in Pittsburgh to six games, dating back to 2014. LA has allowed 50 runs in those six losses.

The Dodgers offense was up to the task in the series opener, scoring two runs in the third, fifth and sixth innings, but they were playing from behind all night. After falling behind in the second inning they pulled to within two runs once and one run twice, but were never able to plate the tying run.

Tepesch nicked

The spot start by Nick Tepesch on Friday was, well, spotty at best. The second inning began with a double and two singles for two quick runs. After he struck out the next two batters, looking like might turn the tide, Tepesch allowed another single and a double for two more runs.

Then Jung Ho Kang hit a fly ball in the fifth inning that was just long enough and just fair enough to wrap itself inside the foul pole in left field for a solo home run.

That gave the Pirates a 5-2 lead, and it helped end Tepesch's night after just four innings and 66 pitches, allowing five runs on seven hits, with three strikeouts. He didn't walk anybody, the likely result of 48 strikes in his 66 pitches.

But it wasn't just Tepesch allowing runs on Friday for the Dodgers, and that was the problem. Louis Coleman allowed two runs in the fifth inning, the first of which scored on a bloop fly ball single that was barely fair. Sure, that was unfortunate, but the situation wasn't helped by Coleman hitting Kang with a 1-2 pitch, then later walking Jordy Mercer after getting ahead 0-2.

Matt Joyce homered in the seventh inning against Chris Hatcher to provide the final margin, one of three hits on the night for Joyce, who also doubled. It was the sixth home run of the season allowed by Hatcher, second only to Pedro Baez against Dodgers relievers.

The offense

The Dodgers got production from the top of their lineup, with Chase Utley, Corey Seager and Justin Turner combining for 10 hits, each with a multi-hit contest and each with a double. For Seager, he was 4-for-5, tying a career high for hits, set also on Sept. 12, 2015.

Yasiel Puig also was productive, hitting his first home run since returning from the disabled list, and was 2-for-4 on the night. He is 5-for-11 in three games since his return.

Friday particulars

Home runs: Yasiel Puig (6); Jung Ho Kang (11), Matt Joyce (8)

WP - Neftali Feliz (2-0): 1⅔ IP, 2 strikeouts

LP - Nick Tepesch (0-1): 4 IP, 7 hits, 5 runs, 3 strikeouts

Sv - Mark Melancon (21): 1 IP, 1 hit, 1 strikeout