The Los Angeles Dodgers were able to overcome the fact that their bullpen now has a Major League leading 15 blown saves this season as they held on Saturday afternoon in 11 innings to beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 5-3.
Andre Ethier started the top of the eleventh inning with a double to right center and would come home on a Juan Uribe single to put the Dodgers up 4-3. Nick Punto would also come through with a double to score Uribe to give the Dodgers a two-run advantage that Brandon League was able to make stand up. League made it a little tense allowing a couple hits before finally shutting the door.
The Pirates sent Brandon Cumpton to the bump in his Major League debut to face off against Clayton Kershaw. Cumpton struck out the first four Dodgers he faced and retired the first eight batters of the game before walking Kershaw.
The Dodgers would get to the rookie in the fifth and sixth inning sending him out of the game after five plus innings after giving up three runs on seven hits. Skip Schumaker knocked in a run in the fifth while the other two runs came in the sixth on an error and sac fly.
For the first few innings it looked like Kershaw was the rookie in the matchup, mainly in the first inning. Three of the first four Pirates batters reached base on a double and two walks but Kershaw only allowed a run on what should have been ruled an error on a mistake from Hanley Ramirez.
The only other inning that the Pirates challenged Kershaw was the sixth when Russell Martin almost hit one out of the park with two on. Schumaker was able to leap above the short fence in left field to rob Martin of a go-ahead three run homer.
In the bottom of the eighth Don Mattingly decided to turn the ball over to Chris Withrow who had only appeared in one other game in his career. Withrow was able to get a couple outs but not before allowing a pair of base runners that he handed off to Paco Rodriguez. Neil Walker would then single off Rodriguez to pull the Pirates within one.
Newly appointed closer Kenley Jansen had one bad pitch in the bottom of the ninth and Travis Snider didn’t miss it. Snider punched the ball over the center field wall to tie the score and send the game to extra innings.
The blown save ensured Kershaw of another no-decision as the lefty hasn’t won a decision since May 20th. In his last five starts Kershaw is now 0-2 with a 2.91 ERA and has left with a lead in three of the last four.
The Dodgers will try for the series win tomorrow sending Zack Greinke (3-1, 3.68) to the mound against rookie Geritt Cole (1-0, 2.84).
WP: P. Moylan (1-0) LP: Vin Mazzaro (3-1) S: Brandon League (14)