Pittsburgh Pirates' Pedro Alvarez hits a three-run home run in the… (Justin K. Aller / Getty Images )
Not even the Pirates could right the Dodgers’ ship.
Pittsburgh was the one team the Dodgers had pretty much had their way with the past three years. The Dodgers had won six consecutive series against the Pirates, including a three-game sweep at home earlier this season.
No more, though. Not after Sunday’s 6-3 loss in Pittsburgh gave the Pirates the rubber game of the three-game series.
Zack Greinke started for the Dodgers and was a few scalpels shy of sharp. He lasted five innings, throwing 104 pitches. He gave up eight hits and a pair of walks.
Still, he was hanging in there through four innings — the game tied 2-2 — when he got into major trouble with two outs in the fifth.
Greinke (3-2) gave up a single to Garrett Jones and walked Neil Walker. After thinking he had struck out Pedro Alvarez on a 2-2 curve, he came back with another that was too far over the plate.
And it was soon over the wall in right-center for a three-run homer.
The beneficiary of all this was rookie Gerrit Cole, the 2011 No. 1 overall draft pick from UCLA who was making just his second major-league start.
Cole was charged with three runs in his 5 2/3 innings, allowing seven hits, not walking a batter and striking out one to raise his record to 2-0.
The loss dropped the last-place Dodgers to 29-39.
Greinke got into trouble right away, giving up a pair of singles and then a two-run double to Jones in the first.
The Dodgers got one back in the second when Yasiel Puig singled, stole his first major-league base and then scored on a couple of groundouts. Singles by Nick Punto, Puig and Andre Ethier scored one more in the fourth.
After the Alvarez homer, the Dodgers got one back in the sixth on a ground-rule double from Adrian Gonzalez, Puig’s third hit and another Ethier basehit. They had a chance for more when they loaded the bases with two outs, but Manager Don Mattingly elected to let struggling Luis Cruz hit. Cruz struck out.
The Dodgers had won 12 of their last 13 games against the Pirates until dropping two out of three on this trip.