Bucs have a night to forget

The Associated Press

LOS ANGELES — Already in line to start his third career All-Star Game and first since 2012, Matt Kemp is keeping up a torrid pace.

Kemp tied a career high with five hits, Joc Pederson and Max Muncy hit back-to-back homers to highlight a six-run fourth inning, and the Los Angeles Dodgers routed the Pittsburgh Pirates, 17-1, on Monday night in the series opener.

It was the Pirates’ worst loss since falling 20-0 to the Brewers on April 22, 2010, at home. The Bucs allowed season highs in runs and hits, while the Dodgers’ four homers tied a season high.

Kemp hit a three-run homer in the sixth and drove in four runs for the second straight game. He came up a triple shy of hitting for the cycle.

He’s notched eight straight hits since Sunday against Colorado; the franchise record is 10.

The Dodgers recorded season highs in hits (21) and runs. They batted around in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings, tacking on three runs in the fifth and four more in the sixth for a 17-1 lead.

“You never like when these games happen, but they seem to find a way to happen every now and then,” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said.

The Pirates stumbled from the start.

In the first inning alone, David Freese dropped a throw at first base, starter Nick Kingham balked a runner to third and catcher Elias Diaz missed the target on a throw to the mound for an error by Kingham that allowed Bellinger to score the Dodgers’ second run of the inning.

“It just missed my glove and bounced away,” Kingham said. “No one else was expecting it but the runner on third saw it and he went home.”

Pittsburgh’s third error — by center fielder Austin Meadows — led to the Dodgers scoring their 10th run in the fourth.

The Pirates’ lone run came on Diaz’s homer in the second.

Kingham (3-3) gave up seven runs — five earned — and eight hits in three-plus innings, the rookie’s shortest outing of the season. The right-hander struck out two and walked three making a spot start in place of Chad Kuhl, who is on the disabled list with a forearm strain.

The Dodgers were no kinder to reliever Tanner Anderson, who got tagged for six runs — five earned — and eight hits in two innings of his major league debut.

“First pitch, I was really nervous,” the 2015 Harvard graduate said.

NOTES: RHP Dovydas Neverauskas has been recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis and RHP Tanner Anderson has been optioned to Indianapolis. Neverauskas, who began the 2018 season with the Pirates, is in his third stint with the big league club this season. He has pitched in a total of 11 games with the Pirates in 2018, appearing in his last game on June 17. The native of Lithuania has posted a 1.61 ERA and two saves in 21 appearances with Indianapolis this season; he has been charged with just three earned runs in his last 19-plus innings at the Triple-A level. … The Pirates are off Thursday and open a 3-game homestand with the Phillies on Friday.

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