PITTSBURGH — Maybe it's because Chad Billingsley's parents were in the seats on a muggy night at PNC Park to watch him pitch.
Maybe it was because Billingsley just felt more comfortable here; he lives in Pennsylvania in the off-season.
Or maybe the right-hander finally has figured out — for now, at least — how to put away hitters, as he did with prejudice Tuesday night.
Whatever the reason, a dominant Billingsley threw eight scoreless innings and Luis Cruz knocked in three runs as the Dodgers routed the Pittsburgh Pirates, 11-0, in a rain-delayed game.
Cruz, playing second base, had three of the Dodgers' 13 hits and knocked in three of their runs.
The Dodgers have won the first two games of a four-game set with Pittsburgh and have won five of their last six games as they try to at least stay even with the San Francisco Giants atop the National League West.
Billingsley (9-9) earned his fifth consecutive win as he continued to bounce back from losing five straight games leading up to the All-Star Game on July 10.
"I've been throwing fastballs pretty well lately and just mixing in off-speed" pitches, Billingsley said.
"I didn't throw a whole lot of secondary pitches," he said. "We got on them in the middle innings [with runs] and I was just trying to throw quality fastballs and took advantage of their aggressiveness and got some quick innings and quick outs."
Billingsley twice struck out Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen, who entered the game as the National League batting leader with a .362 average, and had five strikeouts overall.
As for Cruz, the only other time he had three hits in one big-league game also was at PNC Park in 2008, when he played with Pittsburgh. He has spent most of his professional career in the minor leagues, with only brief stints with the Pirates and Milwaukee Brewers before this season.
His hits Tuesday included a two-run single that scored Andre Ethier and Hanley Ramirez in the fourth inning against Pirates starter Kevin Correia, and another single that drove in Ramirez in the sixth inning.
Cruz, who has now driven in 22 runs in 33 games since he was called up July 2, said he's been working on his swing since the Dodgers' recent homestand, when he batted only .136 and "was popping up a lot of balls."
"Whenever I get in those situations" with men on base, "I just take a deep breath and try to concentrate and get a good pitch to hit," Cruz said.
The Dodgers ran away with the game in the ninth inning, when they scored five runs.
The big hits in the inning were a two-run single by Ethier off Pittsburgh reliever Chad Qualls and a two-run double by Ramirez, who also had three hits on the night.
The start of the game was delayed nearly one hour by rain after a fast-moving storm hit downtown Pittsburgh about 15 minutes before the game's scheduled start.