Pirates hang on to defeat Dodgers

AP Pittsburgh starter Chad Kuhl delivers a pitch during Sunday's 4-3 victory over the Dodgers.

PITTSBURGH (AP) – Chad Kuhl ended Clayton Kershaw’s nine-game winning streak in his major league debut, and David Freese hit a three-run double that sent the Pittsburgh Pirates past the Los Angeles Dodgers 4-3 on Sunday night.

Kuhl (1-0) allowed three runs and four hits in five innings after getting called up from Triple-A Indianapolis before the game. The 23-year-old righty struck out five and walked four after going 6-2 with a 2.58 ERA in 14 minor league starts.

Kershaw (11-2) took his second loss of the season exactly two months after he was beaten by Miami on April 26. He gave up four runs and nine hits in six innings, striking out four and walking two.

Freese’s big hit capped a four-run second. Pittsburgh rookie Adam Frazier drove in the first run with a single after entering in top of the inning when shortstop Jordy Mercer was injured.

The Pirates have won three in a row against the Dodgers after losing 13 of 15 overall and can sweep the four-game series Monday. Los Angeles arrived on a six-game winning streak.

Mark Melancon pitched a perfect ninth for his 22nd save in 23 opportunities, combining with Juan Nicasio and A.J. Schugel for four scoreless innings of relief.

Justin Turner drove in all three Dodgers runs and had two of their four hits. He hit a two-run homer, his 11th, off Kuhl in the third and pulled Los Angeles to 4-3 with a double in the fifth.

Turner attempted to score the tying run on an errant pitch by Kuhl. However, the ball caromed back to catcher Chris Stewart and he threw to Kuhl, who tagged out Turner at home plate to end the inning.

Frazier and Stewart both had two hits for the Pirates. Mercer extended his hitting streak to 11 games with a single before getting injured.


Pirates: Mercer left with head and right ear discomfort. He was injured when he slid into second base and got tangled with Dodgers 2B Chase Utley while successfully breaking up an attempted double play on Freese’s grounder to shortstop. . RHP Gerrit Cole (strained triceps) threw off a mound for the first time since leaving his June 10 start against St. Louis, but there is no timetable for his return. . RF Gregory Polanco (left leg discomfort) did not start for a third straight game. He struck out as a pinch-hitter in the sixth inning.


Pirates LHP Kyle Lobstein was optioned to Indianapolis to open a roster spot for Kuhl. RHP Curtis Partch, who was pitching at Indianapolis, was designated for assignment to clear a spot on the 40-man roster.