The Dodgers entered today winners of their last three and 10 of their last 13, and they added another game to both of those statistics after completing a 7-6 comeback this afternoon to sweep the Pirates.
The big story of today’s game was the return of Rich Hill, though things didn’t go exactly as planned. Melky Cabrera got the scoring started in the 1st by drilling a fastball over the wall in left to make it 1-0.
The Dodgers retorted after a Joc Pederson lead-off walk was followed by a Max Muncy one-out single to put runners at the corners, and Cody Bellinger just missed a homer but got a sacrifice fly instead to tie the game, 1-1.
The Pirates then appeared to blow things open in the 2nd. Muncy made a throwing error to start the 2nd to put a man at second, and then on a bunt attempt for a hit Russell Martin had a brain fart and picked up a ball that would’ve rolled foul for a bunt single to put runners at the corners. A conventional single, a sac bunt, and a ground out later and the Pirates plated two runs and picked up a 3-1 lead.
That was only exacerbated further when Cabrera again victimized Hill by going down to get a curve out of the strike zone and pummeling it for a homer to give the Pirates a 5-1 advantage.
In the 4th, the Dodgers got one back to make it 5-2 behind Bellinger, who powered his 14th dong of the year to tie for the MLB lead, and he did so on a pitch that had plagued him the last two seasons.
The relentless attack of the offense continued in the 5th, as Enrique Hernandez and Martin led things off with back-to-back singles, and Hill laid down a perfect bunt to advance both runners. After a strikeout took the Dodgers down to their last out of the frame, Corey Seager reached out and dunked a change into the right-center gap for a double to score two and cut the deficit to one at 5-4. Muncy then followed by muscling a ball off his hands for a single of his own to tie the game at 5-5.
Meanwhile, Hill closed his comeback impressively, retiring 13 straight Pirates after Cabrera’s second homer of the day to get through six solid innings. All in all, he surrendered just one earned run (five runs) on six hits and no walks, striking out six Pirates.
Julio Urias took over for Hill in the 7th and allowed just an infield single in a scoreless frame, striking out two batters and looking awful comfortable.
The bats came alive again in the 7th to take a lead, as Chris Taylor drew a walk and Joc reached on a grounder that Josh Bell hit CT3 with on a throw to second, which allowed both runners to advance and put runners on second and third with nobody out.
After a pop out, Muncy came through with a single to center to drive in a run and make it 6-5, and Bellinger followed with a single of his own to plate another and give the Dodgers a 7-5 advantage.
Unfortunately, Urias’ went back out for the 8th, which wasn’t as comfortable. He allowed a single to start but the runner ended up on third after Alex Verdugo unwisely tried to be aggressive for a 9-3 putout chance. Julio then walked the next batter and allowed a broken-bat single to left to score a run and cut the lead to one at 7-6. However, Urias did an excellent job rebounding from that, inducing two routine fly balls and then escaping the jam with a strikeout.
That set the stage for Kenley Jansen, who looked to build on the momentum of his last outing. Jansen got a strikeout and ground out to start, but then issued a walk (that should’ve been a strikeout if this umpire wasn’t having a horrid series) and a double to up the drama.
Thankfully, Kenley fought through the undeserved adversity with a strikeout to end it and secure the win.
The sweep gets the Dodgers to 19-12 on the year, a 99-win pace, and an impressive 12-4 at home. They’ll now head out on a California road trip, going to San Francisco and then San Diego. Tomorrow’s game against the Giants is at 3:45 PM HST/6:45 PM PST/9:45 PM EST with Kenta Maeda looking to get his year on track against Jeff Samardzija.