After a surprising series loss on the road to the Royals, the Dodgers returned home for four games against the Pirates, who dominated them last year and beat them earlier this year as well.
This series has started well, though, as the Dodgers beat the Pirates’ ace with a quasi-pen game as they jumped out to an early lead and never looked back in a 5-2 victory.
While Michael Grove‘s best role long-term might be as a reliever, he got another start today because quite frankly the Dodgers are desperate.
Things started well with an 11-pitch inning in the 1st, but he wasn’t really sharp all game. In the 2nd, he allowed a lead-off double that advanced to third on a wild pitch, but he rebounded with a strikeout and Miguel Rojas made a nice play to cut down the runner at home on a grounder. However, an infield single on a comebacker to Grove left the runners cornered after he threw a bit wild, and Jared Triolo followed with a clean single to give the Pirates a 1-0 lead.
After another infield single loaded the bases, Grove finally got out of the 2nd. In the 3rd he started with a walk and hitting a batter, but rebounded with a double play before escaping the jam. Finally, in the 4th he pitched surrendered yet another infield single, had that erased on a steal attempt, but issued a walk before ending his outing. The Pirates had seven at-bats with RISP against Grove in just the four frames.
Not exactly a picturesque start, but he did his job: 4 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 3 K, 79 Pitches.
Max Muncy ties the game with a homer. pic.twitter.com/h4bEdfElnF— Chad Moriyama (@ChadMoriyama) July 4, 2023
Still in the 2nd, David Peralta doubled and Jason Heyward followed by smashing a double of his own off Carlos Santana at first base for a 2-1 lead. A single and a walk eventually loaded the bases in the inning, but nothing more came of the rally.
Jason Heyward follows David Peralta's double by hitting one off Carlos Santana for the lead. pic.twitter.com/AQmmYZA8pb— Chad Moriyama (@ChadMoriyama) July 4, 2023
After a quiet 3rd, the Dodgers got things going with two outs in the 4th, as Miguel Vargas got hit by a pitch and Rojas immediately took advantage by doubling to left-center for a 3-1 lead.
Miguel Rojas finds the gap to extend the lead with a double. pic.twitter.com/vQrWdNZs9d— Chad Moriyama (@ChadMoriyama) July 4, 2023
They didn’t let up on Keller in the 5th with two outs either. Back-to-back singles from Freddie Freeman and Will Smith started things, but back-to-back strikeouts put Keller on the verge of escape. That’s when the Dodgers got to work with a Peralta single that plated Freddie and another Heyward hotshot to Santana that he couldn’t field (this time for an error) to score Dills and make the lead 5-1.
David Peralta continues the Dodger tradition of two-out hitting, singling in another run. pic.twitter.com/24tx10K8IW— Chad Moriyama (@ChadMoriyama) July 4, 2023
Jason Heyward hits one off Carlos Santana again for another run. pic.twitter.com/zoxiKTr0VW— Chad Moriyama (@ChadMoriyama) July 4, 2023
The Pirates pen did an admirable job after this, getting three scoreless innings and giving up only a single the rest of the way.
The Dodgers pen had to get the majority of the game, and Caleb Ferguson started for the unit in the 5th, hitting a batter but securing a scoreless frame. The 6th didn’t go as smoothly, as Ryan Brasier allowed a pair of singles, struck out a batter, and issued a walk to load the bases. However, all he gave up was an Austin Hedges sacrifice fly that cut the lead to 5-2 before he was able to escape and minimize the damage.
Thankfully, Brusdar Graterol got things back to sanity in the 7th with a 1-2-3 frame on just 10 pitches. Things were then handed over to Daniel Hudson in the 8th, who continued to look strong, issuing a two-out walk but also getting two strikeouts in a scoreless outing.
Daniel Hudson … paint. pic.twitter.com/TywNDMQxpp— Chad Moriyama (@ChadMoriyama) July 4, 2023
Evan Phillips then came in for the save with a three-run lead in the 9th, and while he hit a batter, he had that erased by a double play, and got a fly out to end it.
Connor Joe won the battle but this is ridiculous. It's int he strike zone the whole way. pic.twitter.com/5rh4Vfm073— Chad Moriyama (@ChadMoriyama) July 4, 2023
Nice and pleasant.
|Dodgers||47-37 (2.5 GB)|
|Giants||46-39 (4 GB)|
*Either still playing or will play later.