Zack Greinke got two hits -- half the number he allowed to the Pirates -- and he racked up outs with efficiency as the Bucs fell to the Dodgers, 6-2.
Neil Walker's home run easily cleared the deep center-field wall in Dodger Stadium, briefly cutting the Pirates' deficit to 2-1 in the fourth inning, but Greinke set down the next 11 Pirates in order, including a seventh inning he got through with just six pitches. Greinke pitched into the eighth, when a Chris Stewart single ended his streak and a Michael Morse walk chased him. He allowed two runs on four hits, with three strikeouts and two walks.
Greinke worked with a lead most of the game. A double steal and an errant Stewart throw gave the Dodgers a run in the first inning and Justin Ruggiano's two-out single plated another in the second. After Walker's homer, Corey Seager put the Dodgers up 4-1 in the bottom of the fourth with a two-run homer, the kind that looked really impressive off the bat, then landed, like, two rows deep and you remember Dodger Stadium is big.
Jeff Locke settled in a little after that, lasting until the seventh, when he was lifted after Greinke doubled over Andrew McCutchen's head. Greinke's first hit was a grounder about a step to Walker's left, but, puzzled, Walker took his first step to the right.
Locke allowed eight hits and had four strikeouts and two walks in 6 1-3 innings. He was replaced by Arquimedes Caminero, who issued two walks, then allowed a two-run double to Adrian Gonzalez, upping the Dodgers' lead to 6-1.
We did, however, get this:
Vin Scully on Arquimedes Caminero + Math + Geometry + Euclid pic.twitter.com/L0ptJf8XGn— Vin Scully (@VinScullyTweet) September 19, 2015
A Starling Marte single plated the Pirates' second run, but they couldn't do much else against the Dodgers' bullpen.
The Cubs crushed the Cardinals, 8-3, earlier in the day. The Pirates did remain five games back of St. Louis while the Cubs inch uncomfortably close.