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LOS ANGELES — The Pittsburgh Pirates headed north by bus Sunday evening to see if the roller-coaster ride will continue.

Fresh off a series victory at San Diego http://www.broncosauthorizedshops.com/authentic-courtland-sutton-jersey , capped by a 7-5 victory Sunday, the Pirates are now in Los Angeles for the first of three games Monday, having won four of their last six games.

That winning run came after a five-game losing streak. The five games before that? The Pirates won four of them.

The Dodgers have been a bit steadier of late, going 17-9 in June to keep pace with the first-place Arizona Diamondbacks in the National League West. But the end of June was a bit of a struggle as the Dodgers lost four of their last five before the calendar flipped. They opened July with a 6-4 win over the Colorado Rockies on Sunday.

Not only did the Dodgers’ offense take off in June, to the tune of 55 home runs to set a franchise record for a month, the pitching staff got healthy again … literally.

Alex Wood (4-5, 4.00 ERA) will take the mound Monday, looking and feeling much better after nagging leg cramps early in the year.

Wood went seven innings against the Chicago Cubs in his last outing Wednesday, his longest start since his season debut on March 30 when he worked eight innings against the San Francisco Giants.

An All-Star for the first time last season, Wood is once again starting to look like the pitcher who can rise to the occasion on a nightly basis.

“I’m still looking for consistency out of my sinker http://www.broncosauthorizedshops.com/authentic-isaac-yiadom-jersey , but the breaking ball was a lot better,” Wood told reporters after his most recent start. “Overall, it was pretty good.”

The Dodgers also have Clayton Kershaw back recently from a lower back injury and Rich Hill returned from a blister on his left middle finger. Both left-handers will face the Pirates this week.

Pittsburgh announced Sunday that Nick Kingham (2-3, 3.82) will start the series opener at Dodger Stadium. He will take the spot of Chad Kuhl, who is on the DL with a forearm strain.

The Pirates (40-43) know that getting some length on their current winning ways can get them to .500 soon, possibly by the All-Star break that starts in two weeks.

“We’re starting to show a little bit of resiliency here the last week or so,” Pirates infielder Josh Harrison said, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “A team that (is) not making any excuses, which is refreshing because at the end of the day we know what we have to do and that’s come to show up every day.

“It’s been some ups and downs, but every team goes through ups and downs http://www.broncosauthorizedshops.com/authentic-josey-jewell-jersey , and a lot of guys here are riding that wave of knowing that any day can be that day that we turn it around.”

Wood is 2-2 with a 2.86 ERA in eight career games (seven starts) against the Pirates. He has not faced Pittsburgh since last season. Kingham, a rookie, has not pitched against the Dodgers in any of his first six appearances.

It was ”Turn Ahead the Clock” night at Safeco Field, including back-to-the future sleeveless uniforms with shirt tails out and some shiny silver shoes and helmets.

The Seattle Mariners feel like their future is now, earning a season-best sixth consecutive victory by beating the Kansas City Royals 6-4 on Saturday night.

Ryon Healy had four hits, including a home run and three RBIs. Felix Hernandez (8-6) earned the win despite back stiffness so severe that it was difficult for him to bend over.

”It was real bad,” Hernandez said. ”I put a heat pad on it between innings and I couldn’t sit (in the dugout). I was standing up the whole game.”

The stiffness showed in the first inning when Hernandez gave up four consecutive hits, including a three-run homer to Mike Moustakas. But Hernandez managed to pitch four scoreless innings afterward.

Did he consider skipping his start?

”Come on, man,” he said. ”I had to go out there. But the ump wouldn’t let me wear my hat backwards (on the uniform night). ”He said it was too much of a distraction with my jersey out and the earrings. I said. `Look http://www.broncosauthorizedshops.com/authentic-daesean-hamilton-jersey , this is the future.’ `’

Edwin Diaz pitched a perfect ninth inning for his 31st save of the season.

Jason Hammels (2-10) lost his fifth straight, allowing all six runs on 13 hits in six innings.

”Mechanically, the first few innings I was a mess,” Hammels said. ”That’s a tough lineup. I felt like I was throwing batting practice today.”

So did Hernandez in the first inning, but Seattle manager Scott Servais said they were just hoping to get five innings out of him.

”The ball was up in the first because he wasn’t extending due to the tightness in his back,” Servais said. ”He wasn’t finishing his pitches, but he got through it. The key was keeping us in the game, which he did, and we took advantage of it.”

The Mariners (53-31) are 22 games over .500 for the first time since the end of the 2003 season. They have gone 16 consecutive seasons without a playoff appearance, the longest dry spell in professional sports.

”We’re just living the dream now http://www.lionsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-sylvester-williams-jersey ,” Hernandez said. ”I love these guys. It’s the best team we’ve had in my 14 years. It’s fun.”

Kansas City manager Ned Yost said he knew Hernandez would get better as the game progressed.

”Good pitchers, if you’re going to get them, you better get them early because they’re going to settle in,” Yost said. ”Hernandez settled in in the second.”

The Mariners quickly got back in it. Mitch Haniger made it 3-1 in the bottom of the first when he doubled to the gap in left-center to score Jean Segura, who singled.

The Mariners took the lead with three runs in the bottom of the second. Healy homered to left-center to tie it at 3 and Mike Zunino hit a sacrifice fly.

The Mariners added two more runs on five hits in the third inning to take a 6-3 lead.

It was another impressive win for the Mariners on a night of uniforms that were supposed to represent the year 2027. Dee Gordon wore his hat backward and Nelson Cruz showed off his giant biceps in the sleeveless attire.

”Dee put so much effort into it, so it was his night,”’ Healy said. ”But Nelson and those arms. My goodness. That’s shear intimidation when he doesn’t wear sleeves.”

TRAINER’S ROOM

Royals: Yost said RHP Ian Kennedy was feeling better Saturday after experiencing tightness on his left side when he left the game Friday after five innings. Yost didn’t day whether Kennedy would make his next scheduled start . INF Chester Cuthbert (lower back strain) went 0 for 2 with a walk and a run scored in his first rehab assignment game at Triple-A Omaha on Friday night. Cuthbert appeared in 30 games and was hitting .194 before the injury on May 16.

UP NEXT

Royals: RHP Brad Keller (2-2, 2.25) will make his sixth start of the year Sunday. Keller is coming off the best start of his rookie season when he pitched seven scoreless innings and allowed only two hits in a 2-0 victory over the Angels Monday.

Mariners: LHP James Paxton (7-2, 3.65) will make his 18th start of the season Sunday. Paxton leads the team in strikeouts this season with 134 in 103 2/3 innings. He has six double-digit strikeout games in 2018 and his 11.6 strikeouts per nine innings are fourth-best in the AL.


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