It was another late night of baseball, as the Pittsburgh Pirates continued their west coast road trip. On Monday night they began a three-game series with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Los Angeles boasts one of the top records in all of baseball, but that didn’t stop Pittsburgh from taking two out of three games from them earlier this month at PNC Park.
Home runs were plentiful tonight, as both teams would use the long ball to score the first seven runs of the game. The Pirates got things started in the second inning when Tucupita Marcano hit a three-run home run to right center in the second inning. A solo shot by Bryan Reynolds in the third gave Pittsburgh a four-run lead.
The Dodgers started to chisel away at the lead in the fifth, on solo homers by Hanser Alberto and Mookie Betts. A third solo home run by Edwin Rios in the sixth got Los Angeles to within a run. Justin Turner would hit an RBI double in the eighth, and then come around to score on a Chris Taylor single to right center to give the Dodgers a 5-4 lead.
The Pirates would need some late-night magic to regain the lead and earn the victory. Michael Perez singled to right, allowing Diego Castillo to score, and advanced to second on the throw to home. Michael Chavis would then pinch run for Perez and come in to score when Cal Mitchell reached first on a Freddie Freeman fielding error. That would be all Pittsburgh needed for a 6-5 win.
Starter Zach Thompson worked 5.2 innings for the Pirates tonight. He would allow two runs on four hits with four strikeouts and one walk. His mount opponent Walker Buehler pitched six innings, allowing four runs on seven hits with seven strikeouts and one walk. Dillon Peters covered 1.1 innings, giving up one run on two hits with two strikeouts and one walk.
The usually reliable David Bednar had a rough two innings on the mound. Bednar was charged with two runs on four hits, though he was able to strikeout four and walk one during that time and get his second win of the season. Pittsburgh would score their final two runs off of Los Angeles closer Craig Kimbrel and send him home with his first loss of the year.
It was great to see the Pirates battle back against a tough opponent like the Dodgers. It would have been easy to give up after losing the lead late, but this young team kept it together and got the runs they needed late to get the win. These two teams will be back in action again late Tuesday night at 10:10pm in game two of this three game series.
Record vs. Dodgers: 3-1
Record vs. N.L. West: 7-6
Record on the Road: 9-13
Overall Record: 20-27
Let’s Go Bucs!