It was almost a game. Pirates had two solo shots in the second; Dodgers return with two runs in the top of the third (Adrian Gonzalez and Andre Ethier RBI). Pirates get two more runs in the bottom of the third; A.J. Ellis knocks in two in the top of the sixth.
but with A.J. Ellis on second and one out, the Dodgers keep Paul Maholm (who took over for Josh Beckett in the fourth) to bat. Maholm Ks, and Dee Gordon flies out. And then immediately afterward, Maholm gives up two leadoff singles, is replaced by Jamey Wright, but the floodgates are open and the Pirates score four runs.
The Dodgers come back to make it 8-6, in the top of the seventh, with a two-run A-Gon shot. And we get one more back on a solo Scott Van Slyke shot in the eighth to make it 8-7.
And then Don Mattingly gets his second ill-fated idea of the night, to go to Chris Perez in the bottom of the eighth. Perez gets one out and then delivers four straight walks; Brandon League tries to relieve Perez and gives up two straight singles. 12-7 is the score through eight, and that's all she wrote.
Mattingly tried very, very hard to go with the freezing cold hand tonight, depending on Maholm and Perez to...screw things up. What a missed opportunity.