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Shane Victorino delivers in Dodgers' 5-4 win over Pirates

Recently acquired outfielder hits a two-run home run and a run-scoring double to back Aaron Harang, who holds Pittsburgh to two runs in six innings.

August 14, 2012|By Jim Peltz

PITTSBURGH — With his first home run as a Dodger and three runs batted in overall, Shane Victorino delivered what the Dodgers sought when they acquired the left fielder two weeks ago.

But a hit by starting pitcher Aaron Harang didn't hurt, either, as the Dodgers withstood a big game by right fielder Garrett Jones and beat Pittsburgh, 5-4, Monday night.

Harang singled and scored in the fifth inning when Victorino slugged his home run into the right-field stands at PNC Park. Harang (8-7) held the Pirates to two runs in six innings.

It was the fourth consecutive game in which the Dodgers' starting pitcher collected a hit to help his cause.

The win, the Dodgers' fourth in their last five games, gave the Dodgers the opening game of a four-game series that could be a preview of a postseason matchup.

But Victorino and the Dodgers said getting an early series jump on the Pirates meant little more than notching another win.

"Definitely nice to get Game 1 to start a series, but tomorrow's another day," said Victorino, who had a run-scoring double in the third inning. "I don't worry about momentum."

Manager Don Mattingly agreed.

"Seriously, they're just all big right now," he said. "It doesn't matter who, where, what game. This one's over; we need to win tomorrow night."

Jones made it tough for the Dodgers with a four-for-four output, including two doubles, and three runs batted in.

"It seemed like everything we were throwing up there, he was hitting it," Harang said of Jones.

The Dodgers took the lead in the third inning when A.J. Ellisdoubled against starter Jeff Karstens (4-3) and scored on Victorino's double down the right-field line. Matt Kemp later singled and Victorino scored to give the Dodgers a 2-0 lead.

Andre Ethier then drove the ball deep to right field, but Jones made a running, leaping catch at the wall to rob Ethier of a two-run, extra-base hit.

Jones doubled in the bottom of the inning to drive in Starling Marte and Andrew McCutchen, tying the score, 2-2.

After Victorino's home run gave the Dodgers a 4-2 lead, the Dodgers scored a run in the eighth inning when pinch-hitter Juan Rivera, who batted with the bases loaded, hit a single to drive in Kemp.

Rivera's run-scoring single turned out to be crucial, because reliever Ronald Belisario nearly allowed the Pirates to tie the score in the eighth inning.

Jones' double against Belisario drove in McCutchen from first base, and after Jones moved to third base, Michael McKenry singled to drive in Jones and cut the Dodgers' lead to 5-4.

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