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Dodgers overcome injury to Brandon McCarthy in 8-4 victory over Pirates

Dodgers center fielder Joc Pederson is congratulated by teammate Corey Seager after hitting a two-run home run against the Pirates in the sixth inning last Saturday.
Dodgers center fielder Joc Pederson is congratulated by teammate Corey Seager after hitting a two-run home run against the Pirates in the sixth inning last Saturday.
(Danny Moloshok / Associated Press )

The baseball gods clearly are mocking the prevailing talking point of the Dodgers’ front office. The executives amassed what they hoped would be unrivaled depth in starting pitching, only to lose enough pitchers to populate two starting rotations.

On that front, Saturday offered a microcosm of the season. It was a little after 11 a.m. when Manager Dave Roberts talked about how the Dodgers planned to activate Brett Anderson, Bud Norris and Rich Hill this week, and how they might manage a rotation with one too many starters.

And it was a little after 1 p.m. when Brandon McCarthy left the game because of a hip injury. McCarthy said he expects to be put on the disabled list, meaning the problem of what starter would move to the bullpen has been replaced by the problem of when McCarthy might be able to return this season and what the Dodgers might expect of him.

“I need some time off,” McCarthy said. “I need to have the body where I need it — mentally, physically, everything needs to be in line.”

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The Dodgers overcame their latest injury by scoring in each of the first six innings and getting 22 outs from their bullpen in an 8-4 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Joc Pederson, who hit his 17th home run, had three hits and finished a triple shy of the cycle. Corey Seager had three hits too, and the first seven batters in the Dodgers lineup all had at least two hits.

The victory was not the most artistic of the year for the Dodgers. They needed seven pitchers to navigate the nine innings. Closer Kenley Jansen got the final out for his 35th save.

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The Dodgers issued 11 walks, gave up 10 hits and still won. The Pirates left 18 men on base and went one for 14 with runners in scoring position.

“There was a lot of traffic today,” Roberts said. “We certainly limited the damage.”

Gerrit Cole, the Pirates’ starter, gave up six runs and 12 hits in 41/3 innings. He was betrayed by three Pittsburgh errors and a passed ball.

Seager put the Dodgers ahead to stay with an RBI single in the fourth inning.

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McCarthy left the game in the second inning, with what the team called stiffness in his right hip.

His fastball command was erratic in his previous two starts and almost nonexistent in this one.

Before the game, Roberts said that he hoped that two bullpen sessions between starts — rather than the usual one — had resolved a mechanical issue. After the game, Roberts said McCarthy had been fighting the hip issue in each of his last three starts — since he fielded a bunt in Colorado on Aug. 2 — and that the injury had affected his mechanics.

“There’s something in there that I really can’t work through right now,” McCarthy said.

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He walked home a run in the first inning, when he walked three of the Pirates’ first six batters and hit another. He walked home a run in the second inning, after which Roberts and an athletic trainer visited the mound.

McCarthy was removed from the game. He went 12/3 innings, giving up five walks and two hits, and hitting one batter.

He had walked five in each of his previous two starts — the first was that start in Colorado — without surviving the fourth inning in either one. In his last three starts, including Saturday, he has thrown 201 pitches, 100 of them balls.

“The No. 1 thing is, we’ve got to get him right and get him back with us,” Roberts said.

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A stint on the disabled list would be the 14th of McCarthy’s career.

bill.shaikin@latimes.com

Twitter: @BillShaikin


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