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Edinson Volquez struggles with breaking ball in 5-2 loss

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Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

After three come-from-behind victories in a row, the Bucs weren't able to muster any late-inning offense and dropped the opener of a three-game series against the Dodgers, 5-2.

Edinson Volquez got roughed up for five runs on 10 hits in the 5 2/3 innings he pitched. The big blow came on a two-out double by Justin Turner, which drove in two runs and put the Dodgers up 4-0. They ended up tacking on one more run in the inning, and held a 5-0 lead heading into the bottom half.

In today's notes, we looked at the success Volquez has had with his curveball this year. Tonight, it was said breaking ball that caused him problems.

"He had two outs in the fourth and back-to-back 0-and-2 counts, and he wasn't able to get them out," Clint Hurdle said. "One of them was a breaking ball that was strike, but it was down-and-in to Turner rather than he wanted to spin him down-and-away. And, then, the breaking ball hung to [Adrian] Gonzalez. It could be due to the layoff, or just not execution of pitches."

"Everything was up today," Volquez said. "I wasn't able to execute my breaking balls."

Volquez added that the 11-day layoff also made it tough to for him to feel comfortable.

"I think too many days between starts," he said. "It is really tough to pitch against a team like that, a very good team, off of my rhythm."

The Pirates' two runs came in the bottom of the fourth, as Jordy Mercer and Russell Martin each hit RBI singles with two outs.

A bright spot for the Bucs on an otherwise steamy and lifeless evening at PNC Park was the backend of the bullpen. Jeanmar Gomez, Ernesto Frieri and Stolmy Pimentel held the Dodgers at bay for the final 3 1/3 innings. Pimentel, in particular, looked good, striking out two in a clean inning of work.

"Jeanmar came in and did a really solid job," Hurdle said. "Frieri was able to throw another solid inning, good finish to his fastball. Breaking ball shaped up better. Then, Pimentel, to get him back in and give him an inning where he was effective as well. So, that was good to see."