Clayton Kershaw pitched his way to freedom while earning his first win in 2 1/2 months.
The three-time NL Cy Young Award winner won’t be facing any further restrictions in his next start after a solid outing in the Los Angeles Dodgers‘ 8-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday night.
Five Dodgers homered including Max Muncy with a pair Bryan Bulaga Jersey , and the team’s six homers were the most they’ve hit at home since also launching six on Sept. 9, 2013, against Arizona.
”You want to get guys back in the dugout as fast as possible the way they’re swinging the bats,” said Kershaw, who was limited by a pitch count in his last three outings.
Ivan Nova (4-6) became the first pitcher in Pirates history to give up five homers in a game. Pittsburgh has been outscored 25-4 in the first two games of the series.
”They’re horses over there. It’s a stacked team,” Pirates third baseman David Freese said. ”They’ve just got really good approaches right now and they’re on time, all of them are on time.”
The Dodgers have 11 homers three days into July and 122 so far this season after slugging a major league-leading and franchise-record 55 in June.
”It’s pretty remarkable what we’re doing,” manager Dave Roberts said. ”When I look at what we’ve accomplished offensively, we’re in some uncharted territory.”
Kershaw (2-4) allowed two runs and four hits in six innings of his third start since coming off the disabled list. The left-handed ace’s two strikeouts were against Nova and Kershaw didn’t walk anyone to earn his first victory since April 15 at Arizona. He had two losses and four straight no-decisions since.
”His velo is down a little bit but he’s still got that cutter and he works it. He’s just a guy that locates,” Freese said. ”You can sense when he’s out there that he trusts every pitch he’s about to throw. That’s that makes him really good.”
Kershaw had not gone as late as July 3 with just one win since his rookie year in 2008 when he didn’t earn his second victory until Aug. 7.
”It’s kind of what we wanted,” Roberts said of Kershaw. ”The fifth and sixth innings were probably the best for me. The ball came out well. We can feel confident going forward the reins are off.”
Joc Pederson and Muncy homered back-to-back for the second straight game.
Pederson sent Nova’s first pitch of the game over the right-field wall and Muncy followed with a shot to center field for a 2-0 lead.
”They have a really good lineup but we’ve got to be able to do a better job than that Kemal Ishmael Jersey ,” Nova said.
Muncy led off the third with his team-high 20th homer for a 3-1 lead.
”I never thought I could hit this many home runs in such a short amount of time,” said Muncy, who has played in just 63 games this season.
Freese provided the lone bright spot for the Pirates, going 3 for 3 with a pair of RBI singles that twice cut the Dodgers’ lead to one run, and a solo homer off reliever Yimi Garcia.
Chris Taylor kept the slugfest going in the fourth with a two-run shot that made it 5-2. He went 3 for 4 with a strikeout and finished a single shy of hitting for the cycle.
”It seems to be contagious up and down the lineup, which makes it fun in the dugout,” Taylor said.
Yasmani Grandal led off the sixth with a homer and Taylor doubled to deep center field to chase Nova.
Nova gave up a season-high seven earned runs and nine hits, struck out three and walked two in five innings.
”It’s not fun to give up that many homers,” Nova said. ”Sometimes you give up that many runs and you don’t feel that bad, but giving up five homers is too much.”
Nova’s replacement didn’t fare any better. Enrique Hernandez blasted a two-run homer on the first pitch from Dovydas Neverauskas, extending the Dodgers’ lead to 8-2.
Dodgers slugger Matt Kemp’s run of eight hits in eight consecutive at-bats ended when he struck out to end the first. One night after tying a career high with five hits Xavier Rhodes Jersey , including a three-run homer, Kemp was hitless in four at-bats with two other strikeouts.
Pirates: RHP Joe Musgrove (right index finger infection) went on the DL retroactive to June 30. He was scheduled to start Wednesday’s series finale.
Dodgers: RHP Walker Buehler was moved to the DL retroactive to June 29. He began a rehab assignment for Single-A Rancho Cucamonga.
RHP Clay Holmes (0-0, 2.25 ERA) will replace Musgrove in the series finale on Wednesday. Dodgers LHP Rich Hill (1-3, 4.68) took a no-hitter into extra innings in Pittsburgh last August before allowing a walk-off solo homer in the 10th.
After winning just six games a year ago as one of the NFL's big disappointments, the Oakland Raiders had plenty of needs in their first draft since bringing Jon Gruden back for a second stint as coach.
They opted to bypass some of the most highly regarded defensive players to take UCLA tackle Kolton Miller after trading down five spots to No. 15, hoping to bolster the offensive line in front of quarterback Derek Carr.
"He's a big man that can move his feet," general manager Reggie McKenzie said. "He's played left tackle and right tackle. He's been an offensive lineman pretty much his whole life. He understands the game. He's an excellent athlete who has great potential. We feel really good about adding him to the Raiders roster."
After the San Francisco 49ers took the top-rated tackle in the draft, Mike McGlinchey, with the ninth overall pick, the Raiders opted to move down from 10 even with talented defensive players Minkah Fitzpatrick, Derwin James and Tremaine Edmunds on the board. They traded down five spots with Arizona Julio Jones Jersey , adding a third- and fifth-round pick in the deal.
Oakland still went with an offensive lineman at No. 15, taking Miller, with James and Edmunds still available.
The Raiders weren't done getting help for Carr on the first day of the draft, trading the third-round pick they got from the Cardinals to Pittsburgh for talented but troubled receiver Martavis Bryant.
Bryant caught 17 touchdowns in 36 games for the Steelers, but was suspended twice for drug violations. He missed four games in 2015 and all of the 2016 season.
Bryant returned last spring but was quickly surpassed by JuJu Smith-Schuster on the depth chart. He asked for a trade in late September and was deactivated for a game after calling out Smith-Schuster in a post on social media.
The 6-foot-4 Bryant has the size and speed to give Carr a serious downfield threat and Oakland a better option at third receiver to go along with Amari Cooper and Jordy Nelson. Bryant averaged 15.3 yards per reception with the Steelers.
"He's what you're looking for as a receiver," McKenzie said. "He can play big, play fast and he makes plays. We think he can be a dominating receiver for Derek."
This is the Raiders' first draft since bringing back Gruden for a second stint in Oakland. Gruden replaced the fired Jack Del Rio after last season and was given a 10-year contract to become the head of the organization.
While McKenzie remained as general manager and was involved heavily in draft preparation, Gruden is the man who now has the final word on picks for Oakland. Offensive line coach Tom Cable was high on Miller.
Gruden has said the Raiders needed better play at right tackle to protect Carr, especially in a division that features elite pass rushers like Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram on the Chargers, Von Miller and first-round pick Bradley Chubb in Denver, and Justin Houston in Kansas City.
The Raiders signed Breno Giacomini to a one-year deal to play right tackle but Miller could take that spot while being groomed to move to the left side. Donald Penn turns 35 on Friday and is coming off a season-ending foot injury.
"I'm stoked Y.A. Tittle Jersey ," Miller said. "I'm ready to get going there and compete and learn from the older guys. There's a lot of experience surrounding me. I'm ready to embrace it."
Miller allowed two sacks and 16 total quarterback pressures in 579 pass blocking snaps last season, according to Pro Football Focus, ranking 17th in efficiency.
"When you're talking about pass protection and staying in front of your guy, that's what he does," McKenzie said. "He's got the length, he's got the great feet. You talk about getting to the second level and pulling. This guy has a lot of talent. We think in our scheme and coach Cabes working with him, he'll flourish."
The Raiders still have one pick in the second, third and fourth rounds, three in the fifth, four in the sixth and one in the seventh.
Oakland also waived defensive tackle Darius Latham.
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