Gregory Polanco stepped to the plate in the sixth with the bases loaded and the game tied.
Polanco sat out Monday’s game but made the most of his start Tuesday hitting a full-count offering from Jamey Wright to the opposite field to score two runs and give the Pittsburgh Pirates a lead once again.
This kick started a four-run inning that proved to be the difference in the Pirates’ 12-7 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The Pirates got off to a fast start against Josh Beckett who made his return from the disabled list. Beckett had a scoreless streak of 28 innings snapped when Neil Walker hit a 1-0 pitch over the Clemente Wall for his 15th home run of the season.
Two batters later, Ike Davis matched Walker by hitting a homer, his first since June 9 and his sixth of the season. Beckett would not make it out of the fourth inning.
Pedro Alvarez got the start at third base, and in the third inning he committed his league leading 22nd error of the season, allowing Beckett to reach base. The Dodgers would make him and starter Vance Worley pay, tying the game as Adrian Gonzalez and Matt Kemp each brought runners home.
In the bottom of the inning, Polanco delivered with his first home run since June 2, a third solo shot that allowed the Pirates to retake the lead. Later in the inning, Walker would bring home Travis Snider with a double down the left field line.
The score would remain 4-2 in the Pirates favor until the sixth. Alvarez had been removed from the game after the fourth inning after experiencing left knee discomfort and was replaced by Josh Harrison. Harrison made a throwing error which resulted in a second two-run inning for the Dodgers. A.J. Ellis had a single which brought home Carl Crawford and Juan Uribe.
Pirates manager Clint Hurdle ended Worley’s night after six innings and brought in Justin Wilson. Seeking retribution for Andrew McCutchen being hit by a pitch, Wilson plunked Justin Turner with his second pitch of the night and was ejected. Both benches then were warned after the ejection and Hurdle would end up getting tossed as well.
Jared Hughes came for Wilson and the first batter he faced, Gonzalez, hit a home run to cut the Pirates lead to 8-6. Russell Martin started off the bottom of the seventh inning and was hit in the back with a Wright pitch. Fans booed the umpires after Wright was not ejected from the game and this continued for the rest of the inning.
Tony Watson made an eighth inning appearance and with one out Scott Van Slyke hit a home run to left field 397 feet deep to cut the Pirates lead to one. Watson avoided further damage keeping the lead.
Chris Perez quickly got the first out in the Pirates portion of the eighth inning, however he walked Polanco, Snider, McCutchen and Walker in succession to bring home a run. Manager Don Mattingly then removed Perez after this in favor of Brandon League. Perez threw 25 pitches and 17 were balls.
League was greeted with singles from Martin and Davis that scored two runs and gave the Pirates the five-run margin they would win by after Ernesto Frieri kept the Dodgers off of the scoreboard.