PITTSBURGH -- The odds were against Pedro Alvarez when he stepped into the batter's box, as he was 1-for-14 against Zack Greinke to that point.
However, the third baseman turned the odds in his favor and broke a tie with a three-run home run that pushed the Pittsburgh Pirates to a 6-3 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday.
Alvarez's team-leading 15th home run put the Pirates in front to stay 5-2 and enabled them to take two games in the three-game series. The two-out shot came after Garrett Jones singled and Neil Walker walked.
Gerrit Cole (2-0) stayed perfect through his two major-league starts as he beat the Dodgers five days after defeating the Giants in his debut. The top pick in the 2011 amateur draft from Stanford allowed three runs and seven hits in 5 2/3 innings with no walks and one strikeout.
Alex Presley also had a home run among his three hits for the Pirates. Jones had two hits, including a two-run single to open the scoring in the first inning, and Jordy Mercer also had two hits.
Dodgers rookie right fielder Yasiel Puig went 3-for-4 to lift hit batting average to .479 through 13 games. Andre Ethier had two hits and two RBIs.
Greinke (3-2) was tagged for five runs and eight hits in five innings while walking two and striking out three. He had given up just two runs and six hits over 14 innings in his previous two starts, while going 1-0.
After Alvarez's homer, the Dodgers got within 5-3 in top of the sixth on an RBI single by Ethier.
However, Presley got the run back for the Pirates in the bottom half by hitting a solo shot off Matt Guerrier.
Jones gave the Pirates a 2-0 lead but the Dodgers answered with single runs in the second and fourth. Puig scored the first run on Tim Federowicz's ground out, and Ethier tied it with a run-scoring single.
NOTES: Puig is likely to stay in the majors even when outfielders Matt Kemp and Carl Crawford are activated from the disabled list, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said before the game. ... Los Angeles third baseman Juan Uribe was a late scratch from the starting lineup because of tightness in his back but was available to pinch-hit. ... Pittsburgh catcher Russell Martin was in the original starting lineup then removed because of lower body soreness. ... Pirates left fielder Starling Marte did not start for the fourth straight day because of a strained left oblique muscle but entered the game in the sixth inning as part of a double switch. ... Pittsburgh opens a four-game series at Cincinnati on Monday night with LHP Francisco Liriano (5-2, 2.36) facing Reds RHP Mike Leake (6-3, 2.76). ... The Dodgers are off Monday, then open a two-game series Tuesday night against the Yankees in New York. It will be Mattingly's first trip in a Dodgers uniform to the Bronx since the Yankees passed him over and hired Joe Girardi as manager following the 2007 season.