Pirates jump on Haren early, top Dodgers 6-1
PITTSBURGH – Josh Harrison had two hits with two RBIs and the Pittsburgh Pirates jumped on Dan Haren early in a 6-1 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers Wednesday night.
Harrison’s two-run double down the left field line capped a four-run outburst in the first against Haren (8-8). Pittsburgh has won five of six since the All-Star break to move a season-high seven games over .500 (54-47).
Travis Snider added two hits, including his fifth homer, for the Pirates. Francisco Liriano (2-7) allowed one run on four hits over seven innings to pick up his first victory since May 30.
Pittsburgh batted around in the first against Haren, who has lost four consecutive starts. The right-hander settled down to get through five innings but the Dodgers could do little against Liriano.
Los Angeles didn’t collect a hit until Miguel Rojas doubled with one out in the fifth and never threatened as Liriano put together his best start of the year.
It didn’t start out that way.
The left-hander has struggled with his command all season and it looked like more of the same in the first after consecutive one-out walks to Matt Kemp and Adrian Gonzalez. Liriano escaped after striking out Scott Van Slyke and getting Juan Uribe to fly out to right.
Haren wasn’t so fortunate when he took to the mound in the bottom of the first. Two singles and a walk loaded the bases before Haren walked Russell Martin on a full count to hand the Pirates the lead. Ike Davis followed with a sacrifice fly before Harrison’s stinging double to left pushed the advantage to 4-0.
Snider made it 5-0 when he hit the fifth pitch of the second inning to the last row of seats in right field. Haren retired the last 10 batters he faced but fell to 0-4 with a 9.47 ERA in July.
Liriano didn’t let the cushion go to waste. Showing flashes of the form that allowed him to win 16 games in 2013, Liriano kept the Dodgers’ patched-together offense off balance. Rojas finally broke through with a sinking line drive to left with one out in the fifth glanced off the glove of Snider.
Los Angeles pulled to 5-1 in the sixth on a sacrifice fly by Kemp, but the Dodgers would get no closer as Pittsburgh improved to 34-21 at PNC Park, the best home record in the National League.
Notes: Dodgers RF Yasiel Puig walked while pinch hitting in the eighth inning, his first appearance since injuring his left wrist against St. Louis on Saturday. ... Los Angeles SS Hanley Ramirez missed his third straight game with a left wrist injury but Mattingly maintains Ramirez is not a candidate to go on the disabled list. ... Pirates 3B Pedro Alvarez was held out of the lineup after experiencing left knee discomfort while legging out a double in a 12-7 win Tuesday. ... The Pirates are off Thursday. They begin a three-game series in Colorado on Friday night when Charlie Morton (5-9, 3.28) faces Brett Anderson (0-3, 4.00).