Game 111: ‘This is just one of those games that got away.’

PITTSBURGH — Sports writers had to dig down deep to find the last time a Dodgers reliever had a worse outing than Jim Johnson (1933) and Johnson might have to do some soul-searching himself after a 13-6 loss to the Pirates. Manager Don Mattingly said it was “just one of those games that got away.” The box score is here.

Adding injury to insult, Howie Kendrick strained his hamstring.

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Howie Kendrick leaves Dodgers game with left hamstring injury.

Howie Kendrick

Howie Kendrick left Sunday’s game against the Pittsburgh Pirates with an injury. (Keith Birmingham/Staff photographer)

PITTSBURGH — Second baseman Howie Kendrick was removed in the fifth inning of the Dodgers’ game against the Pirates with an injury.

Kendrick had just stepped on first base to beat out an infield single against the Pirates’ Charlie Morton when his left hamstring appeared to give out. Kiké Hernandez entered the game as a pinch runner.

Update (10:10 p.m.): Kendrick strained his left hamstring, the Dodgers announced.

Hernandez filled in at second base in June while Kendrick nursed a stiff knee, an injury that didn’t require the disabled list. Alberto Callaspo also has experience at second base this season and throughout his 10-year career.

It’s too soon to know whether this injury will require the DL, too. The Dodgers have a pair of second basemen at Triple-A who have been hitting well, Darnell Sweeney and Jose Peraza, though only Peraza is on the 40-man roster. Neither player has appeared in a major league game.

We’ll know more after the game.

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Game 110: The Dodgers lose, and more about that first-inning double challenge.

Scott Van Slyke

Scott Van Slyke leaps but can’t catch a three-run home run by Francisco Liriano in the first inning Friday. (Getty Images)

PITTSBURGH — The Dodgers dropped their second straight one-run game to the Pirates on Saturday; this one didn’t feel quite the same as the first. The replay system did them no favors. The box score is here.

In case you were wondering (as I was at the time) what happened on the first challenge in the first inning, a short postscript:

Pirates manager Clint Hurdle (legally) challenged two calls on the same play: 1, that Jimmy Rollins was safe at second and 2, that Howie Kendrick was safe at first when the Pirates attempted to turn a double play.

The call at second base was overturned. Rollins was out. The call at first base stood because there wasn’t any clear and convincing evidence to change it. Kendrick stayed at first base.

The Pirates got to keep their challenge because, according to section II.B.1. of the official replay review rules, “If the Replay Official overturns any call challenged by a Club (even if he upholds other challenged calls), the Club retains its Manager Challenge.”

Who could have known the challenge would be used twice more in the game, and the Pirates would win both?

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A brief note on Jung-Ho Kang and how the Dodgers use spray chart data.

Pittsburgh Pirates shortstop Jung-Ho Kang is batting .295 this season and is making noise in the National League Rookie of the Year race. Kang is 28 years old and had been playing professionally in Korea since 2006 before signing with the Pirates prior to this season.

Still, there isn’t a wealth of major league data on him.

Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis said before today’s game that this doesn’t mean the Dodgers will shift Kang more conservatively. The infielders will shift according to the data, even if there isn’t much data to go on.

For what it’s worth, this spray chart shows that Kang is mostly a pull hitter. A right-handed batter, Kang has put four balls in play against the Dodgers this series — three up the middle and one to right field. It looked like the Dodgers had him shaded properly in the third inning, when shortstop Jimmy Rollins gunned him down on a ground ball up the middle.

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