There was a 53-minute rain delay that pushed the start of the Dodgers/Pirates series opener back about an hour. When the game got underway the Dodgers certainly rained on the Pittsburgh faithful with a commanding 5-0 victory. The Dodgers have now won 14 of their last 18 games and more importantly have finally reached the .500 mark. If the Dodgers win tomorrow they will actually be a winning baseball club. Technically speaking of course.
Ross Stripling continued his masterful pitching with five shutout innings. Stripling was in complete control but unfortunately his pitch count was rung up to 89 pitches over his five dominant frames. Chicken strip allowed just four hits and struck out seven to pick up his fourth win of the season. His ERA is now at 1.52. The Dodgers were able to jump all over opposing starter Joe Musgrove. If you remember the Dodgers last saw him in the World Series when he was with the Houston Astros. Joc Pederson slugged two home runs against him in the fall classic and greeted him again with another home run in tonight’s contest. The Dodgers hit three home runs against the Pittsburgh staff, two against Musgrove.
Dodgers 5 7 1
Pirates 0 7 1
The Dodgers scored two runs in the top of the second and one in the third and fourth innings respectively. In the top of the second, Matt Kemp singled and Joc blasted a two-run home run to put the Dodgers ahead 2-0. Some poor Pirate’s defense in the top of the third led to another Dodger run. Chris Taylor and Max Muncy both singled and then advanced to second and third on an errant pick-off throw. Kemp’s sacrifice fly to left scored Taylor to give the Dodgers a 3-0 lead.
In the top of the fourth, Yasiel Puig crushed his seventh home run of the season to put the Dodgers up by a 4-0 score. Cody Bellinger bashed one over the center field wall and into the shrubbery in the top of the sixth. For Bellinger that’s his ninth home run of the season and the Dodgers were up by 5-0. Manager Dave Roberts was super excited about Bellinger’s home run. Anything to get the kid going works for me. Maybe a little good old fashion enthusiasm can help him.
(Injury note– Justin Turner was not in the lineup today after experiencing some soreness in his left wrist. The Dodgers stated that he’s ok and is expected to be back in the lineup on Wednesday. Muncy took over at third base today and Bellinger was back at his natural first base position.)
The Dodger bullpen took things the rest of the way. In case you didn’t know, they’ve been pitching quite well over this recent hot stretch. Dodger relievers Pedro Baez, Scott Alexander, Josh Fields and Daniel Hudson combined to limit the Pirates to just three hits and a walk over the final four frames.
The Dodgers are now 30-30 and currently sit 1.5 games behind in the National League West. If the Giants beat the Dbacks the Dodgers would be one game back. Oddly the Pirates also have the same record as the Dodgers. They remain 6.5 games behind Milwaukee in the NL Central. The Dodgers and Pirates will go at it again on Wednesday evening. Rookie Caleb Ferguson is slated to make his MLB debut for the Dodgers as Pittsburgh will counter with right hander Trevor Williams.