Hyun-Jin Ryu (1-0) gave up a two-run homer in the first inning to Andrew McCutchen but regrouped and earned his first career Major League win pitching the Los Angeles Dodgers (4-2) past the Pittsburgh Pirates (1-5) 6-2 on Sunday afternoon for a three-game sweep over the struggling Pirates who fall to 1-5 on the season.
For the Dodgers they got big games from Adrian Gonzalez who drove in four runs with three hits and Justin Sellers homered in the win. Ryu allowed three hits in 6 1/3 innings, striking out six and walking two.
Jeff Locke (0-1) who won the Pirates No. 5 starters spot by default due to injuries to Francisco Liriano and Jeff Karstens, lost in his season debut, giving up four runs and eight hits over six innings. Locke was okay in the outing but gave up a lot of hard contact and is now 1-7 with a 6.32 ERA and nine home runs allowed in 11 starts over a three-year span.
Locke is unlikely to be the answer at the No. 5 spot but the Pirates hope he can tread water until the team gets healthy. The team expects Liriano to return in May and Karstens returning is anyone’s guess at this point as the veteran is dealing with a shoulder injury. Management is optimistic of Karstens being fully ready in the mid-May-June 1 timeframe.
The storyline for the Pirates continues to be their lack of hitting. Starling Marte was the only Pirate with multiple hits going 2-4 with a run scored. The Pirates managed 4 hits in the game, the most they had in the three game series.
Overall in the three game series, Pirate hitters struck out 29 times and managed just 8 hits and 6 walks.
The Pirates are 1-5 because of numbers like this: Russell Martin (0-14), Gaby Sanchez (1-16), Pedro Alvarez (2-22), Neal Walker (2-20), and Garrett Jones (2-14) are a combined 7 for 86.
Walker and Alvarez are a combined 0-29 in their last four games.