While the Los Angeles Dodgers are returning home from a highly successful road trip, the Pittsburgh Pirates will move up the California coast Monday night to start a three-game series at Dodger Stadium.
The Dodgers went 8-2 on their season-long 10-game trip to Philadelphia, Washington and Arizona. It was a better performance than the last time they hit the road on a six-game trek that ended by losing two of three at Pittsburgh.
“If you can win every series in a three-city trip, that’s huge,” said the Dodgers’ Freddie Freeman, who drove in 10 runs during the 10-game trip. “For us to sweep the last one in a four-game series and go 8-2 with a couple East Coast trips in there, that’s big.”
Los Angeles headed home after Sunday’s 3-1 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks that completed a sweep of the four-game series. Will Smith hit a home run for Los Angeles, which had just four hits on Sunday. Tyler Anderson led the charge of four Dodgers pitchers with six shutout innings.
“This is something we kind of penciled in and knew it was going to be a long stretch for us, and this road trip, specifically,’ Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “I’m not surprised with how we approached each day, but to look back for a second and say we went 8-2, that’s fantastic.”
Right-hander Walker Buehler (6-1, 2.91 ERA) is expected to start for the Dodgers in Monday’s series opener. He did not face the Pirates in Pittsburgh earlier this month, but he’s 2-0 lifetime against them in two starts with an 0.69 ERA.
In an outing against the Pirates last season, Buehler gave up just two hits over seven scoreless innings.
While the Dodgers just improved to 18-9 on the road, they are an even more impressive 15-5 at home in a competitive National League West, which is just one of two divisions with three teams over .500.
The Pirates will enter the series off a 4-2 defeat in 10 innings Sunday at San Diego. Ke’Bryan Hayes and Josh VanMeter each drove in runs in the eighth inning to tie the game.
The Pirates couldn’t finish off a late rally, as they did Saturday when they scored three runs in the ninth inning for their own 4-2 victory. Saturday’s game was Pittsburgh’s only victory of the series after the Pirates dropped a one-run game Friday.
“We played (well) in this series,” Pirates manager Derek Shelton said. “When we play games like this, we have to make sure that we execute fully. We ended up not executing a couple pitches, and we ended up losing two of three (games) because of it. But I thought we played really well.”
Pittsburgh is set to send right-hander Zach Thompson (2-4, 5.50) to the mound Monday. He hasn’t faced the Dodgers in two big league seasons (35 outings).
Thompson last pitched Wednesday, giving up four runs on seven hits over three innings at home in a no-decision against the Colorado Rockies. His 65 pitches were his lowest amount over his last five starts.
–Field Level Media