Los Angeles Dodgers' Matt Kemp hits a three-run homer when Pittsburgh Pirates wide receiver Jacob Stallings, left, watches along with local referee Laz Diaz during the sixth inning of a baseball game. Monday, July 2. 2018, in Los Angeles. (Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)
by Beth Harris | AP July 3 at 1:40 a.m.
LOS ANGELES – Matt Kemp tied his personal record with five hits, Joc Pederson and Max Muncy hit consecutive home runs to highlight a fourth inning of six runs, and the Los Angeles Dodgers defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates by 17-1 Monday night in the first game of the series.
Kemp hit a three-run homer in the sixth and pushed four runs for the second consecutive game. It cost him almost three times to hit for the cycle.
Fans sang "MVP! MVP!" As Kemp crossed the plate after his 15th homer of the season. The veteran slugger is the second winner of votes among the National League gardeners in the All-Star Game. Kemp also scored four runs.
Cody Bellinger hit a home run in the third inning, leaving the Dodgers with 116 homers this season after posting a record 55 games in June. They already have five long balls two days until July.
The Dodgers posted season highs in hits (21) and runs. They struck around in the fourth, fifth and sixth possibility, scoring three runs in the fifth and four more in the sixth for a 17-1 lead.
Alex Wood (5-5) allowed one run and six hits in six innings. The southpaw struck out three and did not walk anyone. The Dodgers defense backed him with double games in the first and sixth.
Caleb Ferguson threw three innings to win his first major league save on his 22nd birthday.
Yasiel Puig had three hits and drove in four runs on the field. The second consecutive win for the Dodgers.
The Pirates stumbled from the beginning.
In the first inning alone, David Freese threw a pitch at first base, starter Nick Kingham stopped a runner to third and receiver Elias Diaz missed the target a throw to the mound for a Kingham error that allowed Bellinger score the second Dodgers race.
Pittsburgh's third error – by center fielder Austin Meadows – led the Dodgers to score their 10th run in the fourth.  The Pirates' only race was the Diaz homer in the second.
Kingham (3-3) allowed seven runs, five earned, and eight hits in more than three innings. The right-hander struck out two and walked three times in place of Chad Kuhl, who is on the disabled list with a forearm injury.
The Dodgers were no nicer to reliever Tanner Anderson, who was marked by six runs – five wins – and eight hits in two innings.
Pirates: INF-OF Sean Rodriguez (right quadriceps) started a rehabilitation job at Triple-A Indianapolis. … LHP Enny Romero (puncture in the left shoulder) was reinstated from the injured list and designated for the badignment.
Dodgers: RHP Walker Buehler will pitch in the A-Rancho Cucamonga clbad on Tuesday. If it goes well, it will launch a bullpen session on Friday. … LHP Tony Cingrani (inflammation of the left shoulder) will have a rehabilitation task before he returns. …
Pirates RHP Ivan Nova (4-5, 4.02 ERA) starts on Tuesday. He's 1-0 with a 2.31 ERA in two starts in his career against the Dodgers. LHP Clayton Kershaw (1-4, 2.84) makes his third start for Los Angeles since leaving the disabled list. He is 2-3 with a 3.18 ERA in 11 starts in his career against the Pirates, with 69 strikeouts and 12 walks while keeping his hitters to a .221 average.
More baseball AP: https: // apnews. com / tag / MLBbaseball
Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material can not be published, transmitted, rewritten or redistributed.