LOS ANGELES -- Nick Kingham's return to the Pirates' rotation on Monday could not have begun much worse. In a 33-pitch first inning, the rookie right-hander couldn't catch a ball at first base, balked, allowed one run on a swinging bunt and watched another score when he missed catcher Elias
LOS ANGELES -- Nick Kingham's return to the Pirates' rotation on Monday could not have begun much worse. In a 33-pitch first inning, the rookie right-hander couldn't catch a ball at first base, balked, allowed one run on a swinging bunt and watched another score when he missed catcher Elias Diaz's toss back to the mound between pitches.
The night didn't get any better after that.
The Pirates allowed a season-high 21 hits, including five doubles and four homers, as the Dodgers pounded Pittsburgh's pitchers in a 17-1 rout at Dodger Stadium.
"Every guy went out there with the intent to get outs and make pitches, and it just didn't happen," manager Clint Hurdle said.
The Bucs had not allowed more than 13 runs in a game this season until Monday night. They last allowed 17 runs on Aug. 30, 2017, in a 14-run loss to the Cubs.
By the fourth inning, everyone in the Dodgers lineup had a hit. They sent 10 men to the plate in the fourth, nine in the fifth and nine again in the sixth. By that point, the Dodgers had set season highs for runs and hits, and the Dodger Stadium crowd was showering Matt Kemp with "M-V-P" chants after a three-run homer off Steven Brault, his fifth hit of the night.
"I've been in the game a long time. You never like when these games happen, but they seem to find a way to happen every now and then," Hurdle said. "We get to find a way to flush it really quick and get ready to play tomorrow. We just won our last two series on the road. Tomorrow's a fresh start."
Kingham, who rejoined the rotation on Monday to replace the injured Chad Kuhl, set the tone right away with a pair of mistakes in the field. Josh Harrison stopped Max Muncy's hard-hit grounder in shallow right field and made a perfect throw to Kingham at first base, but Kingham just missed the ball when he reached out to make the catch.
"I think it was what started everything," Kingham said. "I think it just kind of kick-started how the night ended up going."
Kingham then balked, moving Muncy to third, and Cody Bellinger put the Dodgers on the board with a ball chopped back between Kingham and Diaz. Kemp hit a single to put runners on the corners for Yasmani Grandal. But the Dodgers scored again without putting the ball in play. Diaz tossed a ball back to the mound and caught Kingham off-balance. The ball rolled around the infield, giving Bellinger time to score from third.
After a scoreless second, Kingham fell behind too often and paid for it. Bellinger hit a 3-0 fastball out to center field. After Kemp doubled and Kingham issued two walks, the Dodgers brought home another run on a fielder's-choice grounder by Yasiel Puig.
The game spiraled out of control in the Dodgers' six-run fourth inning. Joc Pederson and Muncy led off with back-to-back homers off of Kingham, whose night finally ended after a Justin Turner double.
"They're a dangerous team. They've got a lot of dangerous hitters," Kingham said. "It's easier to hit when you know the ball's got to be in the strike zone. I didn't really do myself any favors tonight by falling behind and having to work back."
Right-hander Tanner Anderson, making his Major League debut, had to pick up innings for a weary bullpen after Kingham's short start. The rookie allowed six runs (five earned) on eight hits and two walks in two innings.
"I'm excited to be here still and happy that that was the first one," Anderson said. "It's all uphill from here."
Brault, pitching for the third time in four days, allowed four runs -- three of them on Kemp's homer -- in two innings. Right-hander Edgar Santana was the only Pirates pitcher to make it through the night unscathed as he struck out the side in the eighth.
"From the beginning of the game, they were just kind of on," Anderson said. "Everything that was over the plate, they were touching."
Diaz drove in the Pirates' only run with a solo homer to center field in the second inning, his sixth of the season. Diaz also homered on Sunday in San Diego, giving him homers in back-to-back games for the first time in his big league career. In 19 games over the last 30 days, Diaz is hitting .310/.344/.586 with four home runs.
The Dodgers became the first team in the Majors this season to record 20 hits in the first six innings of a game, according to ESPN.
HE SAID IT
"I don't know if I'll do too much about it. It's over. I don't like looking at the bad stuff, because I don't need to relive the bad stuff. I like looking at the good stuff and looking in the direction that I'm heading. I think I'll flush it, wash it off in the shower and come back the next day to get prepared for my next start." -- Kingham, on how he'll move on from Monday's start
Right-hander Ivan Nova will look to extend his strong stretch as he starts for the Pirates at Dodger Stadium on Tuesday at 10:10 p.m. ET. Nova is 2-0 with a 1.75 ERA over his last four outings. He will face Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw, who owns a 3.18 ERA in 11 career starts against the Bucs.
Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and read his blog.