Dodgers Use The Long Ball To Rout Pirates 6-1

 By Chad Carlson
Photo Credit: AP
During the course of this uniquely up-and-down 2011 season for the Pirates, James McDonald has shown glimpses of pitching brilliance as a starting pitcher, so much so that it made some wonder why the Los Angeles Dodgers could part ways with him.
There have also been games like tonight…when he struggles to record each out, can’t locate his pitches, and when he does, he serves them over the plate and gives up homeruns.
J-Mac pitched made it through only three innings against his former team, being tagged for five runs on seven hits.  Two of those hits were homeruns, a three-run shot by James Loney in the first inning and a two-run blast by Juan Rivera. 
That was more than enough for Dodgers’ starter Ted Lilly, who dazzled and confused Pirates’ hitters through his seven innings of work.  Lilly gave up only four hits and one run, while striking out seven batters. 
The Dodgers won the game easily tonight over our Pirates, 6-1.
Josh Harrison’s RBI double in the second inning was the only productive offense the Bucs could muster all night.
On nights like this, there are always plenty of frustrating moments.  The top of the eighth, though, was the most aggravating of the night for Pirates’ fans.  The Bucs loaded the bases with one out and were in position to at least make the game interesting.  The Dodgers’ Kenley Jansen struck out Ryan Ludwick and Garrett Jones to end the inning and the threat.
The offense really struggled tonight for Pittsburgh.  The top three hitters in the lineup, Alex Presley, Chase d’Arnaud, and Andrew McCutchen, went a combined 3-14.  d’Arnaud’s average is just .195 in his 42-game MLB season, while due to a quite extensive slump, Cutch’s average has fallen to .264.
As always, we at Fans From The Stands try to find a bright note to every game for the Bucs, although some nights are more difficult than others.  Derrek Lee reached base three times tonight (with one hit, a walk, and a HBP), while the latest Pirates’ acquisition, Matt Pagnozzi had a pinch-hit single in the fifth inning.
After a very encouraging start to this series, the Pirates have been totally outplayed in every aspect of the game by the Dodgers.  The Bucs used six pitchers tonight, and while no one was exceptional, Jared Hughes continued his scoreless inning streak.  Daniel Moskos gave up one unearned run in the fifth inning.
The road trip will only get more difficult for Pittsburgh, as they will leave Los Angeles tomorrow and head to Arizona for a three-game set against the N.L. west-division leading Diamondbacks.  The Bucs will look to earn a series-split with the Dodgers tomorrow afternoon.  Brad Lincoln will make the start, looking for his second win of the season.  Lincoln comes in with a 1-2 record and a 3.73 ERA for the season.
Record Vs. Dodgers: 2-5
Record Vs. N.L. West: 12-17
Record On The Road: 34-40
Overall Record: 68-84
As Always…
Let’s Go Bucs!

Chad Carlson

Co-Editor of Fans From The Stands, Pirates' Beat Writer For Armchair Report, Sports writer for AMN, SteelTownRock And Music City Encore Editor

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