PITTSBURGH (AP) - Clint Hurdle thought Dana Eveland pitched well Thursday. He also thought his team helped the journeyman left-hander.
Alex Presley hit a two-run homer in the ninth inning, but the Pittsburgh Pirates' rally fizzled in a 6-4 loss to Eveland and the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Eveland (1-0) allowed one run and six hits over eight innings in his first major league game since he pitched 2 2-3 innings for Pittsburgh at Texas on June 23, 2010. He was promoted from Triple-A Albuquerque earlier Thursday.
Eveland struck out three, walked none and retired 11 in a row after giving up consecutive singles to start the second inning.
The Pirates have lost five straight games, managing just 14 runs in that span, and Hurdle only begrudgingly acknowledged Eveland's performance.
``You give a major league pitcher credit whenever he doesn't let runs cross the plate but we need to take a better approach,' the manager said. ``We couldn't get the big hit when we needed it. We've got to learn how to fight. Guys are cutting us up and we're making it too easy for them.'
Eveland left the Pirates' organization as a free agent after finishing last season at Triple-A Indianapolis and signed a minor league contract with Los Angeles. He was invited to spring training but his chances of making the Dodgers ended when he strained a hamstring during the first workout.
Eveland, who has a 17-22 career record in 96 major league games, was 12-8 with a 4.38 ERA in 25 starts with Albuquerque when he was promoted.
``I took it as a challenge,' Eveland said of going back to Triple-A this season. ``I knew I needed to get it right, get back to where I was a couple of years ago. I won some games early for Toronto last year, so I knew I could still win. In fact, I know I'm better than I was last year.'
The Dodgers became the 27-year-old Eveland's sixth major league team. He debuted with Milwaukee in 2005 and also has pitched for Arizona, Oakland, Toronto and Pittsburgh.
Eveland said spending four months in the organization last season gave him an advantage.
``I know what a lot of those guys can do and that helped,' Eveland said. ``It gave me a bit of a comfort level and then the Dodgers had such great scouting reports that I was able to work with (catcher) A.J. Ellis and execute a really good game plan.'
Ryan Doumit had three hits for the Pirates, who have dropped seven of eight overall. Chase d'Arnaud went 2 for 3.
Andrew McCutchen followed Presley's second homer with a walk and moved to third on Doumit's base hit. Neil Walker hit a sacrifice fly for the first out of the inning, but Kenley Jansen struck out Josh Harrison and Brandon Wood for his third save in four opportunities.
Rookie Dee Gordon hit a two-run double and Aaron Miles had a two-run single for Los Angeles, which has won four straight and nine of 10. Gordon was activated from the disabled list before the game.
James Loney and Matt Kemp each had two of Los Angeles' 11 hits. Loney is 22 for 47 (.468) in his last 11 games and Kemp has a .354 batting average (17 for 47) in his last 12 games.
Brad Lincoln (1-1) allowed three runs - all in the first - and six hits in six innings for Pittsburgh.
Gordon opened the game with a single to left and went to third on Kemp's one-out single. Andre Ethier was walked intentionally, but Miles followed with a two-run single to right field and Tony Gwynn Jr. added a sacrifice fly.
Hurdle didn't think Lincoln pitched as badly in the first inning as it looked.
``He jammed Gordon and Kemp and if the pitches were six inches down then they roll over on them and hit them on the ground,' Hurdle said. ``It could have been a different inning.'
Lincoln was happy with the way he finished but not with how he started.
``I kept us in the game, which is my job, but I also made it tough on the team,' Lincoln said. ``It's tough to climb back from an early hole like that.'
Doumit singled and scored in the second, but he also had a passed ball that allowed Loney to score an unearned run in the seventh. Gordon added his big double in the eighth.
Thursday's game was a makeup of a rainout May 12. It forced the Pirates to interrupt their six-game road trip between stops at Houston and Chicago while the Dodgers opened an 11-game trip that also includes stops in Atlanta, Washington and San Francisco.
The announced attendance was 12,224, which was the number of tickets sold. There appeared about one-third of that total actually in the stands.
NOTES: Pittsburgh recalled C Jason Jaramillo, who grounded out as a pinch hitter in the sixth, and purchased the contract of LHP Brian Burres from Indianapolis. Burres is expected to start in place of RHP Jeff Karstens (shoulder) on Friday in the opener of a three-game series against the Cubs. RHP Ryan Dempster (10-10, 4.76) is scheduled to go for Chicago. Burres was 5-9 with a 4.66 ERA in 25 games, 23 starts, for Indianapolis. ... Lincoln is 1-1 with a 2.63 ERA in four starts since being moved into the rotation from the bullpen last month. He was 1-4 with a 6.57 ERA in nine starts last season as a rookie. . Gordon had been out since Aug. 12 with a bruised right shoulder. ... Los Angeles also announced that 3B Casey Blake will undergo season-ending surgery Tuesday to repair a pinched nerve in his neck and recalled INF Russ Mitchell from Albuquerque.
The Associated Press News Service
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