PITTSBURGH -- One good thing happened. Yasiel Puig got on the field for the first time in four days. He drew a pinch-hit walk against Pittsburgh Pirates reliever Justin Wilson in the eighth inning, leading to the promise of him starting this weekend's games in San Francisco.
Otherwise, it was fairly ugly for the Los Angeles Dodgers at PNC Park, a 6-1 loss Wednesday night that dropped them to 2-4 on this trip.
How it happened: Dan Haren's trudge through the middle of the season continued. He gave up four first-inning runs and, in the second, served up a Travis Snider home run that was one row from leaving PNC Park (and possibly bouncing into the Allegheny River). After that, Haren got in a groove and saved the bullpen a few innings, but the pattern has been a fairly destructive one for the Dodgers lately. Haren hasn't won this month.
The Dodgers had some patient at-bats early against Francisco Liriano, who came into the game with a 4.43 ERA, but they couldn't gain much traction the rest of the night. They managed only four hits.
Hits: At times, people have lamented the losses of Nick Punto and Skip Schumaker from the Dodgers' bench, but the Dodgers seem to have found a capable replacement. Justin Turner, who signed a minor league deal shortly before spring training, has given them coverage at three positions and is batting exactly .300. He had a pinch-hit single in the sixth, later scoring the Dodgers' only run.
Misses: Haren had a very good April, going 3-0 with a 2.03 ERA. Since then, it has been a gradual descent, raising the question of whether the Dodgers can afford to keep putting him on the mound every five games. No doubt they'll look to skip some of his starts taking advantage of off days. He is 5-8 with a 5.32 ERA since the end of April. Another thing to think about: If Haren pitches 58 more innings this season, an incentive in his contract will trigger a 2015 option at $10 million. That could also influence the Dodgers' decision on whether to keep him in the rotation if he continues to struggle.
Stat of the game: It's almost always the same pattern. Haren has a 7.29 ERA in the first inning and good numbers in every other inning. The Dodgers were in a 4-0 hole before they got their second turn at bat.
Up next: The Dodgers have a day off in San Francisco on Thursday before beginning a crucial three-game series at AT&T Park on Friday night.