The Pittsburgh Pirates appear to have cracked the code when it comes to beating the Los Angeles Dodgers and will look for another victory when the teams meet Tuesday night at Los Angeles.
After winning two of three against the Dodgers at Pittsburgh earlier this month, the Pirates blew an early lead Monday, then rallied late for a 6-5 victory in the opener of a three-game series. The victory ended Pittsburgh’s 12-game road losing streak at Dodger Stadium.
When the Pirates won the opener of a three-game series at home on May 9, it ended their 16-game overall losing streak against the Dodgers.
Tucupita Marcano’s three-run home run in the second inning Monday was the first of his career in 30 games. Pittsburgh then got a solo home run from Bryan Reynolds in the third inning. After the Dodgers took a 5-4 lead in the eighth, the Pirates won the game due in part to a rare error by Dodgers first baseman Freddie Freeman on a Cal Mitchell ground ball.
Closer David Bednar had a blown save in the eighth but also pitched the ninth to earn the victory. He threw a career-high 50 pitches in the outing and isn’t expected to pitch Tuesday.
“They asked me and I always want the ball,” Bednar said on AT&T SportsNet Pittsburgh about going back out for the ninth inning. “To get the win there was awesome. … This meant a bunch. It’s a lot of fun to play with these guys. They come to compete every day, and I think you saw that for sure (Monday).”
The Pirates are likely to send right-hander Mitch Keller (1-5, 6.05 ERA) to the mound on Tuesday. In Keller’s only appearance against the Dodgers, last June, he gave up four runs in just 2 2/3 innings and took the loss.
After going 8-2 on their longest road trip of the season, the Dodgers were feeling good about themselves Monday entering the opener of a seven-game homestand.
Nearly at the end of a grueling stretch of 31 games in 30 days, the Dodgers still are satisfied with their recent play. Even with Monday’s defeat, they are 17-8 in the stretch.
“I don’t think it’s exceeded our expectations; you just never know what you’re going to get,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “It’s the gauntlet of our schedule. I think we’re playing good baseball, we’re managing some injuries on the pitching side, and I think we are doing a good job of managing the playing time on the position-player side.”
While Clayton Kershaw (pelvic joint inflammation) and Andrew Heaney (shoulder) are getting closer to a return from the injured list, fellow lefty Julio Urias has worked through a few speed bumps to be effective.
Urias (3-4, 2.49), who will start Tuesday, has corrected course after his worst outing of the season May 14, when he gave up eight runs (five earned) over six innings of a loss to the Philadelphia Phillies. He gave up just one total run over his next two outings (11 innings).
Before the loss to the Phillies, Urias gave up a season-high 11 hits in the 5-1 loss at Pittsburgh on May 9. In six career appearances against the Pirates (three starts), Urias is 3-1 with a 2.52 ERA.
–Field Level Media