Pirates head west to battle Dodgers

The Pittsburgh Pirates and Los Angeles Dodgers get together on Thursday night to begin a four-game series at Dodger Stadium.

The Pirates were beaten, 5-0, on Wednesday in New York when the Mets' Bartolo Colon (4-5) racked up a season-best nine strikeouts -- including the 2,000th of his career -- while limiting the Pirates to five hits and a walk over 7 1/3 sharp innings.


Meanwhile, hurt by four walks and a pair of Pittsburgh errors, Pirates starter Charlie Morton (1-7) was dealt the loss after being reached for three runs -- two earned -- over 5 1/3 innings.

The Dodgers dropped a 3-2 home decision to Cincinnati after the Reds' Homer Bailey got the best of Clayton Kershaw while allowing two runs on five hits, fanning six and walking one over seven effective innings. Three relievers finished off the victory, including Aroldis Chapman, who struck out two in a perfect ninth to earn his fifth save.

Kershaw (3-2) was charged with seven hits and three runs despite striking out nine over seven full frames for the Dodgers, who had won three straight.

Yasiel Puig launched a solo homer in defeat.


Augmenting the challenges, the Pirates have lost nine in a row at Dodger Stadium and have just a 7-16 record in road games -- in which they've hit just .221 and averaged 3.1 runs per game.

Pittsburgh has been outscored, 47-10, during the nine-game slide in Los Angeles and has hit just .167 there in the stretch. In fact, the Dodgers have won 17 of their last 19 home games with the Pirates.

California-born right-hander Gerrit Cole makes his first LA appearance on the mound while coming off a no-decision in his last start -- in which he allowed two runs in six innings -- on Saturday against Washington.

He surrendered three runs and seven hits in three straight starts before that game, which Pittsburgh won, 3-2.

The Dodgers' Dan Haren is unbeaten at home in 2014, winning a pair of decisions and compiling a 2.39 earned run average across four starts.

He's dropped two straight decisions coming into the game, however, including a six-inning stint Saturday in which he gave up five runs in a 5-3 loss to Philadelphia.

Over his last two outings, Haren has been nicked for 10 runs in 12 innings.

He's 3-2 in eight lifetime meetings with the Pirates.



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