The Dodgers’ 8-run sixth inning was more than enough for Walker Buehler, who nearly fired a complete game in their 9-2 win on Saturday over the Pirates.
It was a pitchers’ duel through 5 1/2 frames, as Chris Archer matched Buehler pitch for pitch. But the wheels fell off for Archer in the bottom of the sixth. He allowed six of the eight runs LA scored in the inning and his season ERA climbed to an ugly 10.13.
Corey Seager was the offensive star of the day. The shortstop went 3-for-5 with two doubles and two RBIs. Both his doubles came in that fateful sixth inning. Mookie Betts went 2-for-3 with a walk and RBI. Joc Pederson had a 2-run single on his way to a 2-for-4 day. Justin Turner, still hitting lead off, was 2-for-5 with a double and two RBI.
“We came out aggressive,” said Dodgers’ manager Dave Roberts. “We came out swinging the bats.“
I’m glad they came out swinging the bats instead of literally anything else. Strong strategy, virtual Doc.
Buehler came within one out of a complete game. Still, he was quite good on Saturday: 8 2/3 IP, 5 H, 2 R/ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 103 pitches, 68 strikes. He owns a 2.29 ERA on the season, and he is clearly establishing himself as the team’s ace.
The Dodgers move to 12-9 on the season. They’re 1 1/2 games ahead of the Padres. Their magic number is 140.