Making his first start since throwing a no-hitter against the Philadelphia Phillies on May 25, Josh Beckett didn’t allow a hit in the first inning of Friday’s game. Dee Gordon led off the bottom of the first with a walk and as he’s done many times this season, stole second base. Gordon was stranded as Chone Figgins was called for batter’s interference, and Yasiel Puig and Hanley Ramirez both went down swinging.
Beckett’s early bid for another no-hitter was brought to an end in the second inning as Russell Martin singled to center. After a Pedro Alvarez line-out, Martin was caught stealing to end the inning. In search of his first win this season, Francisco Liriano kept the game scoreless as he retired the Dodgers in order in the bottom of the second.
Starling Marte opened the third inning and reached safely on a hit by pitch. Beckett then followed with a walk to Clint Barmes to put two runners on with no outs. The Dodger starter nearly got out of the jam after picking off Marte from second base and getting Liriano to strikeout on a bunt attempt. A pair of back-to-back singles with two outs scored Barmes and the Pirates took a 1-0 lead.
The Pirates added to their lead in the fourth inning on an Ike Davis solo home run. Puig reached on an infield single in the bottom of the inning and took second on a throwing error. Again, the Dodgers were unable to produce with a runner in scoring position and they trailed 2-0 at the end of five.
Beckett got through a scoreless fifth inning and the Dodgers were on the doorstep of scoring and likely tying the game as they loaded the bases with two outs and Puig up to bat. The right fielder popped up to end the inning and the Dodgers continued to stare at a 2-0 deficit.
Paul Maholm relieved Beckett in the sixth and allowed an infield single and issued a walk, both with two outs. Alvarez put a charge into one but Andre Ethier was able to track in center and ended the threat. Ramirez hit a leadoff double in bottom of the sixth and reached third with one away on a Matt Kemp ground out. Liriano struck out Scott Van Slyke, then gave way to lefty Justin Wilson, who got Ethier swinging to end the sixth.
Chris Perez took over for Maholm in the seventh and sat the Pirates down in order. Tony Watson pitched the bottom of the seventh and the Dodgers were unable to generate any offense against the reliever. Trailing 2-0 in the eighth, the Dodgers had the leadoff man reach for the sixth time in the game as Figgins singled. Ramirez followed with an RBI single to right and the Dodgers cut their deficit in half.
Adrian Gonzalez pinch-hit with Ramirez standing on second base, but he grounded out to Barmes to end the inning. J.P. Howell pitched the ninth inning for the Dodgers, issued a two-out walk but otherwise got out of the inning unscathed. Jason Grilli closed the game out for the Pirates and earned his second consecutive save over the Dodgers. The win was the Pirates second in 11 games at Dodger Stadium.
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