PITTSBURGH — Mike Piazza of the Dodgers hit his 28th home run Tuesday night, tying Matt Nokes' major league record for rookie catchers set with the Detroit Tigers in 1987.
But it wasn't enough to prevent the Dodgers from losing to the Pittsburgh Pirates, 6-2, on a night when Dave Clark of the Pirates had three hits, including a home run, and Joel Johnston earned the victory with 4 1/3 innings of emergency relief.
Clark led off the second inning against Kevin Gross (9-12) with his sixth home run of the season. Clark and Jeff King had run-scoring singles in the third after Johnston and Orlando Merced hit consecutive doubles to produce the first run.
The double was the first major league hit for Johnston (2-2), who relieved starter Paul Wagner in the third. After a 1-hour 51-minute rain delay in the third, Wagner experienced tightness in his back while striking out Jody Reed.
Johnston gave up two hits and one run, striking out one and walking none.
The game was delayed twice by rain for a total of 2 hours 20 minutes.
Piazza's third-inning home run cut the Pirates' lead to 4-2. After the home run, Johnston retired 11 consecutive hitters before he was relieved by Denny Neagle with two outs in the seventh.
Tim Wallach doubled to open the second and scored on Wagner's wild pitch to give the Dodgers a 1-0 lead.
The Pirates scored twice in the fifth, aided by shortstop Jose Offerman's 30th error of the season.
Don Slaught's run-scoring groundout gave the Pirates a 5-2 lead, and Al Martin scored from second when Offerman made a wide throw on Kevin Young's grounder.
Tuesday's game was the last managed by Pirate hitting coach Milt May. He was 2-3 while filling in for Jim Leyland, who was suspended for five games by the National League for an incident on Aug. 24 at Dodger Stadium when he charged Gross.