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Outfielder Polanco driving force for Pirates in victory over Dodgers

Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review - The Pirates Gregory Polanco hits a two-run single against the Dodgers in the sixth inning Tuesday, July 22, 2014, at PNC Park.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review</em></div>The Pirates Gregory Polanco hits a two-run single against the Dodgers in the sixth inning Tuesday, July 22, 2014, at PNC Park.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review - The Pirates' Andrew McCutchen celebrates with Gregory Polanco after Polanco's third-inning home run against the Dodgers on Tuesday, July 22, 2014, at PNC Park.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review</em></div>The Pirates' Andrew McCutchen celebrates with Gregory Polanco after Polanco's third-inning home run against the Dodgers on Tuesday, July 22, 2014, at PNC Park.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review - Pirates manager Clint Hurdle argues with home-plate umpire Toby Basner after Pirates reliever Justin Wilson was thrown out of the game for hitting the Dodgers' Justin Turner in the elbow with a pitch during the seventh inning Tuesday, July 22, 2014, at PNC Park. Hurdle was ejected during the exchange.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review</em></div>Pirates manager Clint Hurdle argues with home-plate umpire Toby Basner after Pirates reliever Justin Wilson was thrown out of the game for hitting the Dodgers' Justin Turner in the elbow with a pitch during the seventh inning Tuesday, July 22, 2014, at PNC Park. Hurdle was ejected during the exchange.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review - The Pirates' Travis Snider celebrates after scoring against the Dodgers in the third inning Tuesday, July 22, 2014, at PNC Park.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review</em></div>The Pirates' Travis Snider celebrates after scoring against the Dodgers in the third inning Tuesday, July 22, 2014, at PNC Park.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review - Pirates second baseman Neil Walker fields a grounder hit by the Dodgers' Carl Crawford in the second inning Tuesday, July 22, 2014, at PNC Park.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review</em></div>Pirates second baseman Neil Walker fields a grounder hit by the Dodgers' Carl Crawford in the second inning Tuesday, July 22, 2014, at PNC Park.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review - PIrates third baseman Perdro Alverez makes a stop on a ball hit by the Dodgers' Justin Turner in the first inning Tuesday, July 22, 2014, at PNC Park.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review</em></div>PIrates third baseman Perdro Alverez makes a stop on a ball hit by the Dodgers' Justin Turner in the first inning Tuesday, July 22, 2014, at PNC Park.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review - PIrates second baseman Neil Walker doubles home Travis Snider in the third inning against the Dodgers on Tuesday, July 22, 2014, at PNC Park.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review</em></div>PIrates second baseman Neil Walker doubles home Travis Snider in the third inning against the Dodgers on Tuesday, July 22, 2014, at PNC Park.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review - Dodgers pitcher Jamie Wright hits the Pirates' Andrew McCutchen in the sixth inning Tuesday, July 22, 2014, at PNC Park.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review</em></div>Dodgers pitcher Jamie Wright hits the Pirates' Andrew McCutchen in the sixth inning Tuesday, July 22, 2014, at PNC Park.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review - The Pprates Gregory Polanco returns to the dugout after scoring on a wild pitch against the Dodgers in the sixth inning Tuesday, July 22, 2014, at PNC Park.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review</em></div>The Pprates Gregory Polanco returns to the dugout after scoring on a wild pitch against the Dodgers in the sixth inning Tuesday, July 22, 2014, at PNC Park.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review - MLB commissioner Bud Selig shares a lighter moment with Pirates chairman of the board Bob Nutting (left), president Frank Coonelly (right) and manager Clint Hurdle during batting practice before the Pirates played the Dodgers on Tuesday, July 22, 2014, at PNC Park.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review</em></div>MLB commissioner Bud Selig shares a lighter moment with Pirates chairman of the board Bob Nutting (left), president Frank Coonelly (right) and manager Clint Hurdle during batting practice before the Pirates played the Dodgers on Tuesday, July 22, 2014, at PNC Park.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review - Pirates manager Clint Hurdle argues with home-plate umpire Toby Basner after Pirates reliever Justin Wilson was thrown out of the game for hitting the Dodgers' Justin Turner in the elbow with a pitch during the seventh inning Tuesday, July 22, 2014, at PNC Park. Hurdle was ejected during the exchange.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review</em></div>Pirates manager Clint Hurdle argues with home-plate umpire Toby Basner after Pirates reliever Justin Wilson was thrown out of the game for hitting the Dodgers' Justin Turner in the elbow with a pitch during the seventh inning Tuesday, July 22, 2014, at PNC Park. Hurdle was ejected during the exchange.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review - Pirates starting pitcher Vance Worley throws against the Dodgers on Tuesday, July 22, 2014, at PNC Park.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review</em></div>Pirates starting pitcher Vance Worley throws against the Dodgers on Tuesday, July 22, 2014, at PNC Park.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review - Pirates second baseman Neil Walker watches his home run go into the stands in the second inning against the Dodgers on Tuesday, July 22, 2014, at PNC Park.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review</em></div>Pirates second baseman Neil Walker watches his home run go into the stands in the second inning against the Dodgers on Tuesday, July 22, 2014, at PNC Park.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review - MLB commissioner Bud Selig shares a lighter moment with Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen during batting practice Tuesday, July 22, 2014, at PNC Park.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review</em></div>MLB commissioner Bud Selig shares a lighter moment with Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen during batting practice Tuesday, July 22, 2014, at PNC Park.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review - The Pirates' Travis Snider beats the tag attempt by Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis in the third inning Tuesday, July 22, 2014, at PNC Park.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review</em></div>The Pirates' Travis Snider beats the tag attempt by Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis in the third inning Tuesday, July 22, 2014, at PNC Park.
Chaz Palla | Trib Total Media - The Pirates' Travis Snider celebrates with Gregory Polanco after Polanco's third-inning home run against the Dodgers on Tuesday, July 22, 2014, at PNC Park.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Chaz Palla  |  Trib Total Media</em></div>The Pirates' Travis Snider celebrates with Gregory Polanco after Polanco's third-inning home run against the Dodgers on Tuesday, July 22, 2014, at PNC Park.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review - MLB commissioner Bud Selig talks with Pirates chairman of the board Bob Nutting (center), president Frank Coonelly (right) during batting practice Tuesday, July 22, 2014, at PNC Park.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review</em></div>MLB commissioner Bud Selig talks with Pirates chairman of the board Bob Nutting (center), president Frank Coonelly (right) during batting practice Tuesday, July 22, 2014, at PNC Park.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review - The Pirates' Pedro Alvarez celebrates with Ike Davis after Davis' home run in the third inning against the Dodgers on Tuesday, July 22, 2014, at PNC Park.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review</em></div>The Pirates' Pedro Alvarez celebrates with Ike Davis after Davis' home run in the third inning against the Dodgers on Tuesday, July 22, 2014, at PNC Park.

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Tuesday, July 22, 2014, 10:57 p.m.
 

Gregory Polanco stood at the plate facing Los Angeles Dodgers reliever Jamey Wright in the sixth inning with the bases loaded, the count full, two outs, the score tied and the PNC Park crowd of 30,629 getting louder by the second Tuesday night.

Unfazed, Polanco drove the ball to left field. Russell Martin and Ike Davis scored, and the Pirates took the lead.

Combined with an earlier home run, it was a big night for the Pirates young right fielder, who has struggled to gain his footing during his second month in the big leagues but was crucial in a 12-7 win that evened the series.

“I was just trying to put the ball in play and just stay with my approach,” Polanco said. “I was trying not to do too much.”

Polanco hit a solo homer to right field in the third inning, adding to solo shots by Neil Walker and Davis off starter Josh Beckett in the second.

The Dodgers right-hander had just come off the disabled list. Pitching with a torn labrum and two cysts in his hip, he gave up four runs and was finished after 3 23 innings.

Vance Worley (3-1) surrendered just one earned run but four total.

Martin and Davis singled off left-hander Paul Maholm (1-5) to lead off the sixth. Wright replaced Maholm, and Josh Harrison moved his teammates into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt.

Jordy Mercer struck out, but Wright walked pinch hitter Gaby Sanchez to load the bases for Polanco, who sat out Monday's game and was hitless in his last 12 at-bats before the home run.

“It was a good night for him and a number of guys in the lineup,” manager Clint Hurdle said. “It was good to see. Some better passes at the ball, some better balance at the plate. It paid off for him.”

After Polanco's single, Travis Snider singled in another run. Wright hit Andrew McCutchen with a pitch, and Polanco scored on a wild pitch to make it 8-4.

The game got heated in the bottom of the seventh after lefty reliever Justin Wilson started the inning by hitting Justin Turner, the first batter he faced.

Turner took several steps toward the mound. Wilson got tossed. Hurdle went on the field to argue and, after an animated discussion, also was ejected.

“I think the umpire's job is to judge intent. There's a mound visit with McCutchen at the plate and a base open and the ball's thrown upper body, hits him in the back shoulder and there was no intent judged on that and he goes to first base,” Hurdle said. “Wilson's trying to pitch hard in. He always pitches hard in. They judged it was intentional and just threw him out.”

Dodgers manager Don Mattingly offered a different take.

“I think we all understand what happened there,” he said. “It was not a big deal. The only guy who didn't handle it was the home plate umpire. He could've let that go and given warnings, and it would've been over.”

Jared Hughes replaced Wilson and gave up a two-run homer to Adrian Gonzalez to make it 8-6.

The Dodgers cut the Pirates' lead to 8-7 in the eighth. Tony Watson gave up a pinch-hit home run to Scott Van Slyke.

Dodgers reliever Chris Perez walked four in a row to start the eighth. He was replaced by Brandon League, who gave up a two-run single to Martin and an RBI single to Davis.

Pedro Alvarez exited the game with left knee discomfort after doubling in the fourth inning. He was replaced at third by Harrison.

Karen Price is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach her at kprice@tribweb.com or via Twitter @KarenPrice_Trib.

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