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LA offers no respite for Bucs after rough trip to NYC

LA offers no respite for Bucs after rough trip to NYC

LOS ANGELES -- The Pirates couldn't get out of New York fast enough, after two games "we played as poorly as we had played all season," according to manager Clint Hurdle.

Potential problem is, they couldn't get far enough. The cross-country flight only brought them to Dodger Stadium, where they have won twice since 2007.

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"The farther we got from New York, the better for me. We could have kept going," Hurdle said.

Until Honolulu gets a Major League franchise, this is as far west as you can go. So this is where the Bucs confront their first acid test of 2014 -- four games against the paradoxical yet loaded Dodgers, particularly on the starting-pitching end.

Already six games under .500, the Pirates will try to right themselves after two sloppy efforts at Citi Field, losses by 4-2 and 5-0 to the Mets.

"Walks put us in a hard spot early, defensively we had a couple of plays we didn't even come close to making, bad throws, balls we didn't catch," Hurdle enumerated. "In all facets, as bad as we've played. Now our feet are in L.A."

They're not going anywhere else soon, and Hurdle's message to the players went something like this:

"You can unpack your bags. We're gonna be here a while. Gotta figure some things out."

The Bucs won their first game here under Hurdle on May 9, 2011, but had dropped nine straight since entering the opener of this series. Overall, the Bucs had lost 17 of their last 19 at Dodger Stadium.

Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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