Pirates Take Down L.A. Dodgers, 6-1
PITTSBURGH (AP) – 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 on 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.
Brewers 5, Reds 1
MILWAUKEE (AP) – Mark Reynolds homered twice and the Milwaukee Brewers swept the three-game series from the Cincinnati Reds with a 5-1 win on Wednesday.
Kyle Lohse pitched 6 2-3 strong innings to hand the Reds their sixth straight loss since the All-Star break.
Lohse (11-4) walked two, struck out three and allowed four hits, the last to pinch-hitter Donald Lutz who doubled. Reliever Zach Duke retired Billy Hamilton on a chopper back to the mound to end the seventh.
Reynolds connected on a 1-1 pitch from Reds starter Mike Leake (7-9) for his 15th home run of the season. Rickie Weeks was on with a double to start the sixth.
Reynolds’ second home run came off reliever Jumbo Diaz in the eighth.
Rockies 6, Nationals 4
DENVER (AP) – Jorge De La Rosa struck out a season-high 11 as he pitched efficiently into the eighth inning and the wobbly Colorado bullpen held off Washington’s late rally, helping the Rockies snap a seven-game skid with a 6-4 win over the Nationals on Wednesday.
De La Rosa (11-6) was one strikeout away from matching his career high set in 2009. The hard-throwing lefty allowed two runs – one earned – before being lifted for a reliever with one out in the eighth.
Stephen Strasburg (7-8) settled in after a shaky start, giving up four runs – three of which were in the first – and nine hits over 5 1-3 innings.
De La Rosa had his four-seam fastball dancing all day. He struck out Bryce Harper three times.
The Nationals were just 1 of 14 with runners in scoring position off De La Rosa.
Braves 6, Marlins 1
ATLANTA (AP) – Freddie Freeman hit a three-run homer, Ervin Santana won his second straight start and the Atlanta Braves beat the Miami Marlins 6-1 on Wednesday night.
The victory pulled Atlanta within one game of first-place Washington in the NL East.
Third-place Miami snapped a three-game winning streak to stay 8 games back.
Freeman, an All-Star first baseman, broke out of a slump in the season series against the Marlins, ending a 2 for 44 stretch by hitting his 14th homer as the Braves took a 5-0 lead in the four-run third inning.
Santana (9-6) won for third time in four starts, giving up six hits and one run with three walks and 10 strikeouts in 7 1-3 innings.
Giants 3, Phillies 1
PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Hunter Pence drove in all of San Francisco’s runs with a double in the ninth and Madison Bumgarner pitched eight scoreless innings to lead the Giants to a 3-1 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies on Wednesday night.
Bumgarner (12-7) gave up five hits while striking out six and walking none in a pitchers’ duel with A.J. Burnett.
It was the sixth win in seven games for first-place San Francisco, which moved two games ahead of the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL West. The Giants will look to sweep the four-game series on Thursday.
One night after blowing just his third save in 26 chances, closer Jonathan Papelbon (2-2) took the loss.
The Phillies’ offense, which ranks near the bottom of the NL in several categories, managed just seven hits. They lost their fourth straight and seventh of eight.
Pence broke a scoreless tie with a softly hit blooper down the right-field line off Papelbon on a full count with two outs.