LOS ANGELES (AP) — Manager Don Mattingly understandably was in an agitated mood after the Los Angeles Dodgers dropped three of four to the Pittsburgh Pirates. The worst they expected was a split with Zack Greinke on the mound.
But Greinke gave up a two-run single in the first inning to Pedro Alvarez, Andrew McCutchen's solo homer in the third and another run-scoring single by Alvarez in the sixth en route to a 5-3 loss on Sunday night.
Justin Turner did most of the damage for the Dodgers with a homer and an RBI single against Edinson Volquez, but they managed only one hit through the final 5 2-3 innings — an RBI single in the ninth against Jason Grilli after a pair of two-out walks.
"Losses have to bother you. You don't want to sit here and accept anything," Mattingly said after the defending NL West champions slipped 7 1-2 games back in the division behind San Francisco with a 30-28 record.
"You don't want to panic, but you also want your team to play with a sense of urgency — that every game counts, and we can't let a game get away," Mattingly said. "I always talk about turning the page and letting things go, because tomorrow's another day. But in the same sense, it's got to bother you when you lose games and you lose series and you're not playing the way you're supposed to play."
Pittsburgh won its first series at Dodger Stadium September 2006, under then-manager Jim Tracy. McCutchen also doubled twice and scored two runs, helping the Pirates win for the eighth time in 12 games. Leadoff man Josh Harrison also homered and finished the series 7 for 17.
"We've been out here a lot and not done a whole lot. So it was a big thing for us — because we flat-out believe we can play," manager Clint Hurdle said. "We needed to knock this off our 'to-do' list, and we were able to. We knew what we were facing here, and we outpitched them for three of the four days."
The four runs given up by Greinke (8-2) were a season-worst. He gave up five hits and struck out seven over six innings.
"That was a pretty good battle, that last inning, with him trying to get out of all that. But you can tell just by his body language and what he says that he felt like he didn't have his good stuff anymore," Mattingly said. "I mean, he'd go back out there if I said, 'You're going back out.' He'd have taken the ball and went back out and battled for you."