LOS ANGELES -- The Pirates had chances to score. Plenty of them.
But most of those chances evaporated into the Southern California sky, as Pittsburgh left a franchise record-tying 18 men on base and went 1-for-14 with runners in scoring position in an 8-4 loss at Dodger Stadium on Saturday.
"They were out there. We couldn't get them in," manager Clint Hurdle said. "I don't think we were trying to do anything but fight, scratch, claw our way back into the game."
Gerrit Cole allowed a career-high 12 hits, the defense committed three errors -- two of them by Jung Ho Kang on one play -- and their pitching staff didn't put a zero on the scoreboard until Jeff Locke's scoreless seventh.
Still, the Pirates had plenty of chances to win and solidify their standing in the National League Wild Card race.
They totaled 10 hits and 11 walks. They batted with the bases loaded six times, five of them in the first two innings and three of them against a starter, Brandon McCarthy, with wayward command.
John Jaso walked with the bases loaded in the first, and Gregory Polanco did so to drive in another run in the second. But they could have used a hit or two in the middle of one of those rallies.
"A ball in the gap would have been nice. We didn't get it," Hurdle said. "We got a couple walks, plated a couple runs, kept stretching things out. We just weren't able to score."
The Pirates stranded 18 runners for just the third in a nine-inning game. The others were not exactly recent history: June 5, 1951, against the Boston Braves; and Sept. 8, 1905, against the Reds.
Kang recorded their lone hit with men in scoring position, a second-inning RBI single off reliever Josh Fields. The Pirates didn't score again until the eighth, when Kang went deep for the first time since June 24, ending the longest homerless drought of his two-year career.
"He wasn't chasing. He stayed stubborn with his approach," Hurdle said of Kang, who reached base a season-high four times. "That can be the start of something good, something real good."
The Pirates became the fourth team this season to rack up double-digit hits and walks and lose. Still, they had a chance in the ninth.
Josh Harrison walked with one out, and Eric Fryer drew a two-out walk. The save situation led the Dodgers to call on closer Kenley Jansen, who struck out Polanco to strand runners Nos. 17 and 18.
"I spent eight years [coaching and managing] at Coors Field, so this really doesn't wrinkle me too much. We saw a lot of games at Coors Field. There's a lot of baserunners," Hurdle said. "But this is somewhat of an outlier here, there's no doubt. It's a park that's seen a lot of good pitching, a lot of low-scoring games. There was a lot of traffic out there."
Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.