PITTSBURGH — Gregory Polanco broke out of a slump with a solo home run and a tiebreaking two-run single, lifting the Pirates to a 12-7 victory over the Dodgers on Tuesday night.
Polanco, hitting .133 in his previous 11 games, hit a bases-loaded single with two outs in the sixth to put Pittsburgh in front for good.
Neil Walker homered and had three RBIs, and Ike Davis also homered among his three hits. Vance Worley overcame some shaky defense to win for the first time in nearly a month.
Adrian Gonzalez homered and had three RBIs for the Dodgers, but starter Josh Beckett struggled in his return from a hip injury.
Polanco took the majors by storm upon his highly anticipated arrival on June 10. He hit .299 over his first 24 games before cooling off considerably after July 4. Manager Clint Hurdle gave the 22-year-old the night off Monday, hoping to hit the reset button.
The downtime provided immediate dividends.
The lanky rightfielder hit a rainbow home run to the rightfield seats off Beckett in the second, the fourth of his career. He provided an even bigger boost in the sixth after the Dodgers had rallied from a three-run deficit to tie the score at 4.
Stepping to the plate with the bases loaded and two outs, Polanco laced a single to leftfield off former Rays reliever Jamey Wright to score Russell Martin and Davis to put the Pirates up 6-4. Travis Snider followed with an RBI single, and Polanco scampered home on a wild pitch by Wright to give Pittsburgh a seemingly comfortable 8-4 lead.
The comfort didn't last long. Pittsburgh reliever Justin Wilson was ejected in the seventh after hitting Justin Turner with a pitch after Wright plunked Andrew McCutchen minutes earlier. Hurdle then got tossed by third-base umpire Jeff Nelson.
Gonzalez followed with a lined shot to the seats in right-center to draw the Dodgers to 8-6. Scott Van Slyke pulled Los Angeles within a run in the eighth with the Dodgers' first pinch-hit homer of the year.