Los Angeles seeks its fourth win in five games Sunday when it hosts Pittsburgh in the finale of a four-game set.
Billingsley (10-10, 4.30 ERA) is 0-1 with a 4.78 ERA in seven starts since beating Arizona on Aug. 5. He hasn’t earned a decision in his last four outings after allowing three runs in 6 1-3 innings of the Dodgers’ 5-4, 10-inning loss to the Diamondbacks on Tuesday.
The right-hander lost 4-1 to the Pirates on May 9, allowing three runs in seven innings. It marked his first defeat in nine career appearances - five starts - against Pittsburgh, going 4-1 with a 4.54 ERA in those outings.
The Dodgers (75-76) have a chance Sunday to reach the .500 mark as they near the end of a disappointing season. Despite having an MVP candidate in Matt Kemp(notes) and a Cy Young Award contender in 19-game winner Clayton Kershaw(notes), Los Angeles hasn’t had a winning record since it was 6-5 on April 12.
Kemp scored his 100th run on Juan Rivera’s(notes) third-inning homer, then stole his 40th base in the sixth to become the first in franchise history with at least 30 homers, 40 steals, 100 runs and 100 RBIs in a single season.
“I didn’t even to know I was the first person to do that, so that surprises me to hear that,” Kemp said. “I definitely set personal goals at the start of the season, but I don’t talk about them because my goals wouldn’t come true if I did. I try to come close to reaching them if I can.”
The Pirates (68-84), meanwhile, continue to struggle. Finishing up its record 19th consecutive losing season, Pittsburgh has dropped seven of nine.
Josh Harrison’s(notes) RBI double in the second inning resulted in Saturday’s only run for the Pirates, who have been outscored 13-3 in the last two games after winning the series opener 6-2 on Thursday.
The Pirates were tied for the NL Central lead July 25, but their 186 total runs since then are tied with Florida for the fewest in the majors.
Lincoln is coming off his worst start since being placed permanently into the rotation Aug. 22, allowing four runs - three earned - and a season-high eight hits in 5 1-3 innings Monday, but escaping without a decision after Pittsburgh rallied to beat St. Louis 6-5 win over St. Louis.
It marked the first of six starts in which the right-hander failed to last six innings. He pitched six Sept. 1 at home against the Dodgers, allowing three runs in a 6-4 loss - his only career start versus Los Angeles.
The Dodgers have won 9 of their last 12 meetings with the Pirates.