Harrison Sparks Pirates in 7th to Beat Dodgers, 6-3
By JOE RESNICK
LOS ANGELES – Josh Harrison’s second RBI single triggered a three-run seventh inning, Russell Martin and Pedro Alvarez homered and the Pittsburgh Pirates beat Los Angeles 6-3 on Thursday night for only their third victory in their last 20 games at Dodger Stadium.
Former UCLA star Gerrit Cole (5-3) allowed three runs and six hits over 6 1-3 innings in his first career appearance at Chavez Ravine. The right-hander helped set up two runs with sacrifice bunts in the opener of a four-game series against the defending NL West champions.
Cole was lifted after walking pinch-hitter Chone Figgins with his 88th pitch, but Tony Watson retired speedster Dee Gordon on a double-play grounder with his first pitch. Mark Melancon worked a perfect eighth and Jason Grilli got three outs for his sixth save.
Grilli officially got his closer role back on Thursday, seven days after coming off the disabled list and six days after getting a save in his first game back. Melancon converted 10 of 12 save opportunities while Grilli was sidelined 4 1-2 weeks with a left oblique strain.
Starling Marte drew a leadoff walk in the seventh from Brandon League (1-2) and appeared to have stolen second – at least to umpire Eric Cooper, who called him safe. Dodgers manager Don Mattingly challenged the ruling, which was overturned by a video review.
But Clint Barmes followed with his third straight single, advanced on Cole’s bunt and scored on Harrison’s single up the middle. Harrison continued to second on the throw to the plate and came home on Neil Walker’s single. Former Pirates starter Paul Maholm replaced League and gave up an RBI double to pinch-hitter Gabby Sanchez on his second pitch.
The three runs charged to League ended a stretch of 16 appearances and 22 innings in which the right-hander did not allow an earned run.
Dodgers starter Don Haren allowed three runs and eight hits in six innings with two strikeouts and no walks.
Martin’s third homer of the season landed halfway up the left field pavilion, giving the Pirates a 3-2 lead with two outs in the sixth. It also ended a string of nine consecutive games at Dodger Stadium in which Pittsburgh scored no more than two runs.
But Yasiel Puig, who reached base safely for the 30th consecutive game, led off the bottom half with his second double of the game and scored on a single by Hanley Ramirez.
Andre Ethier lined an 0-1 pitch inside first base with one out in the first for his second triple in seven at-bats, after getting only four in his previous 2,180 at-bats since the start of the 2010 season. Puig drove him in with a bloop double to right field.
Alvarez tied it in the second with a two-out drive to right field for his 10th homer, tying Walker for the team lead. Gordon regained the lead for the Dodgers in the bottom half with a two-out RBI single, but Harrison got the Pirates even again in the fifth with a two-out RBI single.
NOTES: LHP Chad Billingsley, who hasn’t pitched for the Dodgers since April 15, 2013, and is recovering from Tommy John surgery, threw 30 pitches in a two-inning simulated game. … In his four starts with Tim Federowicz behind the plate, Haren has a 3.04 ERA and has given up 28 hits in 23 2-3 innings. … Mattingly said that it would be “overly hopeful” to expect 3B Juan Uribe (right hamstring strain) to be reinstated from the 15-day DL when he is eligible to come off on June 5. … Gordon stole second and third in the second inning, increasing his major league-leading total to 32. … Cole’s only other outing against the Dodgers was June 16, 2013, when he won a 6-3 decision over Zack Greinke.