LOS ANGELES — Andrew McCutchen and Jordy Mercer homered to lead newcomer Ivan Nova and the Pittsburgh Pirates past the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-1 on Friday night.
Handed a three-run lead before he threw a pitch, Nova (2-0) has won both starts for the Pirates since they acquired him from the New York Yankees at the Aug. 1 trade deadline. The right-hander scattered nine hits over 5 1/3 innings in his first outing against the Dodgers and improved to 9-6 overall this season.
Twice he struck out Dodgers pitcher Ross Stripling to end a rally. Los Angeles remained one game behind the first-place Giants in the NL West. San Francisco lost 5-2 to Baltimore.
Pittsburgh opened a six-game West Coast swing and moved within one game of Miami for the second NL wild card.