Ethier doubled off Vin Mazzaro (3-1) leading off the 11th then raced home when Uribe's chopper went over the head of third baseman Pedro Alvarez. Nick Punto drove in Uribe with a double to the gap one batter later to provide some insurance.
Peter Moylan (1-0) picked up the win after escaping a bases-loaded jam in the 10th. Brandon League, who lost his job as the closer to Kenley Jansen this week, managed the final three outs for his 14th save.
Jansen surrendered a solo homer to Pittsburgh's Travis Snider in the ninth, but the Dodgers recovered to improve to 13-2 in their last 15 games against the Pirates.
"Right now, every win is good," Los Angeles manager Don Mattingly said. "It's what we've been kind of talking about, staying afloat and treading water until we can put together some semblance of a winning streak."
Though Jansen blew the save, there is no plan to switch back to League.
"Kenley is throwing good," Mattingly said. "I don't want to start that up again."
Kershaw scattered three hits over seven innings while lowering his ERA to a National League-leading 1.84, but failed to pick up his first win in three weeks when the Dodgers' bullpen faltered. Kershaw's record remains stalled at 5-4 even though he's allowed three earned runs or fewer 14 of his 15 starts this season.
"You can control what you can control," Kershaw said. "The main thing is giving your team a chance to win the game and we were able to win today."
"It's a little disappointing that he didn't get the win because he deserved it," Ethier said of Kershaw. "When you see them score a run in ninth, it's a little sickening feeling that one got away from him."
Pittsburgh's Brandon Cumpton allowed three runs on seven hits in five-plus innings during his major-league debut. He struck out five of the first six batters he faced but faded as the game wore on.
The Pirates had a chance to win it in the 10th when Neil Walker smacked a ball down the right-field line with Russell Martin on first. Los Angeles rookie right fielder Yasiel Puig had trouble with the ball, but Martin was held at third even as Puig's throw went well up the third-base line. The Dodgers intentionally walked Pedro Alvarez and Michael McKenry flew out to right to extend the game.
League, who has blown four saves this season, nearly made it five. The Pirates put runners on second and third in the 11th, but Andrew McCutchen grounded out and Gaby Sanchez hit a sinking liner to left that Schumaker tracked down.
Even with the victory, the underachieving Dodgers remain nine games under .500 (29-38) as the season nears its midway point.
"We've dug ourselves such a big hole that we've got to put some winning streaks together," Kershaw said. "We can talk about it all day but we've got to start doing it."
Not this time.
The Pirates went up 1-0 early when Alex Presley doubled leading off and then scored on a fielder's choice. That would be about it. The Pirates put two runners on in the third and sixth innings, but couldn't scratch out a run, giving the Dodgers enough time to figure out Cumpton.
The 24-year-old appeared immune to the nerves early in his big-league debut, striking out the side in the first. He retired the first eight batters he faced before walking Kershaw in the third.
The third trip through the lineup, however, proved problematic.
Schumaker drove in A.J. Ellis in the fifth to tie the game before Cumpton unraveled in the sixth.
Adrian Gonzalez led off with a double and moved to third on Hanley Ramirez's single. Ethier drove home Gonzalez and Mark Ellis hit a sacrifice fly off reliever Justin Wilson to put the Dodgers up 2-0.
Pittsburgh closed within a run in the eighth on an RBI single by Walker, but reliever Paco Rodriguez got Alvarez to ground out meekly to first to end the threat.
Jensen came on in the ninth and blew his first save since inheriting the closer's job from League when Snider took a 2-2 fastball and put it well into the center-field seats for his third homer of the year.
League allowed infield singles to Snider and Jordy Mercer in the 11th but survived.
- Los Angeles reliever J.P. Howell began his two-game suspension for his role in a brawl between the Dodgers and the Arizona Diamondbacks this week. Howell planned to appeal but dropped it on Saturday.
- Puig went 1 for 5 and has hit safely in 10 of 12 games since making his debut last month.
- The series wraps up on Sunday. Pittsburgh rookie Gerrit Cole (1-0, 2.84 ERA) faces Zack Greinke (3-1, 3.68 ERA).