The Bucs used a bunch of solo homers and a terrible performance by Chris Perez to earn what turned out to be a reasonably comfortable 12-7 win.
The Pirates struck first, with solo shots by Neil Walker and Ike Davis in the bottom of the second. They quickly gave those runs back, however. Pedro Alvarez made yet another throwing error against leadoff batter Josh Beckett in the third. After a sacrifice, Justin Turner walked, and Adrian Gonzalez brought Beckett home with a sacrifice fly. Matt Kemp and then Andre Ethier singled, bringing home Turner and tying the score at two.
In the bottom of the inning, the Bucs grabbed the lead again with yet another solo homer, this time by Gregory Polanco for the fourth jack of his career. Travis Snider singled later in the inning and came home on Walker's line drive to left.
After the fourth inning, Alvarez left the game with a sore knee, and Josh Harrison took his place at third, only to help the Dodgers tie the game again in the sixth with an Alvarez-esque throw -- with one out, Carl Crawford singled, and Juan Uribe hit a grounder to third. Harrison airmailed the throw badly, putting runners at second and third. A.J. Ellis brought them both home with a single up the middle (with Andrew McCutchen's throw home going way past its intended target).
In the bottom of the sixth, the Pirates put men on first and second, and Clint Hurdle had Harrison sacrifice. Fine, I guess, but a decision I wondered if Hurdle might have regretted after Jordy Mercer struck out. Gaby Sanchez walked to load the bases, though, and Polanco followed with a fantastic at-bat, waiting on his pitch until he found a cutter he could knock to left. That brought home two runs, and the Pirates weren't done. nider brought home Sanchez with a single, and Polanco came home on Jamey Wright's wild pitch. When the smoke had cleared, the Pirates had an 8-4 lead.
In the midst of the Pirates' four-run sixth, Wright hit McCutchen in the shoulder with a fastball, and Justin Wilson entered in the seventh and hit Justin Turner. That led to both Wilson and Hurdle being ejected. Wilson ended up paying for the HBP, as Jared Hughes entered and gave up a two-run homer to Gonzalez. (Wright then hit Russell Martin in the bottom of the inning.)
The Dodgers cut the lead to one with a solo homer by Scott Van Slyke off Tony Watson in the eighth, and it looked like the game might be heading toward a photo finish, but then on came Chris Perez, who got one out and then walked four straight batters in the bottom of the inning. He left with the bases juiced and a score of 9-7, and Russell Martin followed with a two-run single off Brandon League. Ike Davis' RBI single then made it 12-7. Ernesto Frieri (who has quietly been okay recently) pitched a clean ninth to finish out the win.