PITTSBURGH — Pirates starter Paul Maholm pitched well but Dodgers starter Hiroki Kuroda was better, as the sixth inning came up and bit the Pirates for a second straight night in a 2-0 loss.
In just a few pitches on Tuesday, Kevin Correia went from spotless to the losing pitcher, giving up and RBI single and three-run home run in back-to-back pitches. Maholm had a similar fate.
Maholm (1-5, 3.60 ERA) loaded the bases on two walks and an infield single in the sixth inning, leading to a double play that scored Ivan De Jesus for a 1-0 lead and left Andre Ethier at third.
“My job is to get outs, to get deeper in the game,” Maholm said. “In the sixth I didn’t do the job.”
After an intentional walk, Jerry Sands doubled to right field for a 2-0 lead. It was all the run support Los Angeles (18-20, 9-11 away) needed to put the Pirates away.
Kuroda (4-3, 3.21 ERA) allowed just three hits in seven innings while striking out eight, compared to Maholm’s six innings of five-hit baseball and two earned runs.
“He had a real good fastball tonight, and then he mixed in a slider,”Dodgers catcher Rod Barajas said of Kuroda. “Once we knew that was working, we threw a lot of them. And when he has those going for him, he’s going to win a lot of ballgames.”
The Pirates (18-19, 7-11 home) had a chance to respond in the bottom of the sixth with Xavier Paul on second and Lyle Overbay on first with two outs. Chris Snyder stepped to the plate and struck out swinging, though, ending the threat.
It was the first and last significant chance to score for the Pirates. Paul was the only man to reach scoring position all night.
“(Kuroda’s) been great. The staff has been great,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. “They’ve given us a chance to win, pretty much, every night.”
Chris Gates | Bucs Blog