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Dodgers can't catch up to Pirates in 5-3 loss

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Zack Greinke gives up four runs in the Dodgers' 5-3 loss to the Pirates

KEY MOMENT: The Pirates had the bases loaded with two out in the first inning, and Pedro Alvarez hit a ground ball to shortstop — or, at least, to where the shortstop usually plays. However, with the Dodgers' infield shifted to play the left-handed-hitting Alvarez to pull, the ball hopped into left field, and the Pirates had a 2-0 lead. They kept the lead all night, and Zack Greinke needed 27 pitches to complete the first inning. He was done after six innings, and 102 pitches.

AT THE PLATE: Yasiel Puig doubled and singled. He has reached base in 33 consecutive games, the longest active streak in the major leagues. He is batting .347, second in the majors to Colorado's Troy Tulowitzki (.350). Justin Turner, solidifying his hold on third base in place of the injured Juan Uribe, reached base three times, on a walk, single and home run. Turner has three home runs this season, one more than $240-million man Robinson Cano.

ON THE MOUND: Greinke gave up four earned runs, ending a streak of 23 consecutive starts in which he had given up three or fewer. Chris Perez, who gave up four home runs in 63 innings as the Cleveland Indians' closer, gave up his fourth home run in 22 innings this season. Pittsburgh starter Edinson Volquez, who did not win at Dodger Stadium while pitching for the Dodgers last season, got the win Sunday by giving up two runs in five innings.

PITCHING COMEBACK: Chad Billingsley could rejoin the Dodgers in early July, but the Dodgers are not holding a spot in their starting rotation just for him. "If everything is going well, and everybody is pitching really well, you just can't turn the apple cart over," Manager Don Mattingly said. Billingsley, coming back from Tommy John surgery, hopes to start a minor league rehabilitation assignment next weekend.

SHORT HOPS: Outfielder Carl Crawford (ankle) might be ready to be activated when eligible next week, Mattingly said, but Uribe (hamstring) could sit out several more weeks. . . . Outfielder Scott Schebler, the Dodgers' minor league player of the year in 2013, hit for the cycle Sunday at double-A Chattanooga.

SCHOOL DAYS: About 650 players and coaches from the 24 Southern California high schools that competed in the Dennis Gilbert Spring Baseball Classic attended Sunday's game at Dodger Stadium. Gilbert, the former agent and current Chicago White Sox executive, is the driving force behind a tournament that gives city ballplayers a chance to play at first-class facilities.

UP NEXT: The Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw (3-2, 3.57) faces the White Sox and Jose Quintana (3-4, 3.61) on Monday at 7:10 p.m. at Dodger Stadium. TV: SportsNet LA; Radio: 570, 1020.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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