Dodgers can’t solve Francisco Liriano, fall 2-1 to Pirates
Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Los Angeles has now lost three in a row after having won six of their previous eight. Manager Don Mattingly was disappointed, to be sure.“I think we’re all kind of frustrated that we can’t sustain anything,” he said. “But we can’t get caught up in that thing of feeling sorry for ourselves. We pitched well, but we didn’t get key hits. We do know we’re capable.”As for Beckett’s performance, Mattlingly didn’t see much difference between his stuff Friday and his stuff five days earlier when he no-hit the Phillies.“It looked the same,” Mattingly said. “It didn’t look a lot different.”Becket bemoaned the pitch he made to Davis in the fourth inning that went for very long home run.“Like I said, if I don’t make the pitch to Ike Davis it’s a 1-1 game,” he said. “That’s really what it boils down to, making pitches when you have to. Even though nobody was on base, I had to make a better pitch than that.”On the bright side, Butera had a fine game defensively. He threw out two runners trying to steal, and picked another off second base.There were some immediate fireworks on fireworks night. Dee Gordon led off the Dodgers’ half of the first with a walk off Liriano. He stole second. Chone Figgins then hit a ball into the dirt that came back up and hit him as he was beginning his sprint to first base. Replays appeared to show Figgins was still in the batter’s box, but umpires ruled he was out of the box and out, period.Mattingly argued, to no avail.Liriano then struck out Puig and Ramirez, stranding Gordon at second.The Pirates got to Beckett in the top of the third. Beckett hit Starling Marte with a pitch, then walked Clint Barmes. Butera, who in the second inning threw out Russell Martin attempting to steal second to end the inning, picked off Marte at second base for the first out.Liriano struck out when he fouled off a bunt attempt with two strikes, but Josh Harrison singled to right to keep the inning alive. Neil Walker then singled to right to bring home Barmes for a 1-0 lead.By the end of that inning, Beckett had already thrown 61 pitches.On Beckett’s 65th pitch, Davis belted a 453-foot home run over the center field fence to lead off the Pittsburgh fourth inning for a 2-0 lead.Liriano, meanwhile, was Mr. Clutch when he had to be.Puig led off the bottom of the fourth with an infield single that saw him end up at second base when Liriano threw the ball away at first. No problem. He struck out Ramirez and Kemp swinging and induced Van Slyke to tap out meekly to catcher Martin.Liriano again showed trememdous mettle when he got out of a bases-loaded jam in the fifth when he got Puig to pop out to second base, bringing groans from a frustrated Dodgers crowd.It was more of the same in the sixth. Ramirez led off with a double, got to third on a groundout by Kemp on a nice play by Pirates second baseman Neil Walker. Liriano then struck out Van Slyke, who broke his bat over his knee, for the second out.Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle, perhaps remembering that Ethier had doubled off the lefty Liriano in his previous at bat, went with another lefty in Justin Wilson. He got Ethier to strike out swinging. Pitchers Josh Beckett of the Dodgers and Francisco Liriano of the Pittsburgh Pirates had a couple of things in common when they took the mound for their respective teams Friday at Dodger Stadium.Both had pitched no-hitters — Liriano in 2011 as a member of the Minnesota Twins, Beckett just this past Sunday. They both had the same catcher, too — Drew Butera, who started behind the plate for the boys in blue.There would be no back-to-back no-hitters for Beckett, who gave up a single to Russell Martin in the second inning. Beckett was gone after five innings, but Liriano came through with a gritty performance by pitching out of several jams to lead the Pirates to a 2-1 victory over the Dodgers before 47,503. Beckett (3-2), who took the loss, was not bad. But he did struggle some. In five innings he gave up five hits, two earned runs — one of them a mammoth home run by Ike Davis in the fourth inning — while striking out five on 88 pitches. He also hit a batter and walked one. Liriano pitched 5 2/3 innings and allowed five hits while striking out eight and walking two. Liriano (1-5) entered with an ERA of 5.06 and picked up his first victory of the season for Pittsburgh (25-29).The Dodgers (29-27) left five men in scoring position through the first six innings, and another in the eighth when they scored their only run on an RBI single to right by Hanley Ramirez. The heart of their order — Yasiel Puig, Ramirez (2-for-4) and Matt Kemp — went a combined 3-for-12. Kemp is hitless in his past 20 at-bats.Adrian Gonzalez, who has been struggling of late, did not start, but pinch-hit for Scott Van Slyke and grounded out off Pirates reliever Mark Melancon to end the eighth with Ramirez at second. Jason Grilli pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning for his seventh save.The Pirates had just six hits, the Dodgers seven.