Pirates 9, Dodgers 7: Jonny Deluca’s late go-ahead homer goes to waste as Evan Phillips blows the save

The Dodgers have not won a series against the Pirates since 2021, and they are now one game away from that streak continuing into 2024. After a wild game early, things settled into a tight affair late, and the tie was eventually unbroken by rookie Jonny Deluca‘s first ever homer. However, closer Evan Phillips faltered and allowed three runs in the 9th, eventually leading to a 9-7 loss.


To say things didn’t go ideally for Emmet Sheehan might be underselling it, as while he started the game by recording two outs, he then walked the bases loaded and Nick Gonzalez cashed in the gifts with a ground-rule double to left to give the Pirates a 2-0 lead. While he got a strikeout to avoid complete disaster, he also ran up a pitch count of 37.

Fortunately, Pirates starter Luis Ortiz has horrific peripherals, and he struggled today as well. The Dodgers came right back in the bottom of the 1st with back-to-back singles from Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman to corner the runners before a Will Smith sacrifice fly cut the deficit to 2-1.

That was all they got in the 1st, but then put up a crooked number in the 2nd, which started with a Jason Heyward single and then James Outman‘s first homer since May 17. It was his 10th of the year and it was obliterated to give the Dodgers a 3-2 lead.

Mookie later doubled the lead and made it three in the inning after his pummeled his 23rd dinger of the year to make it 4-2.

Back to Sheehan, after his rough 1st inning he actually needed just 20 pitches to retire the side in order in the 2nd and 3rd. That made it seven in a row for him, which was quickly ruined in the 4th when a homer was crushed to start things off.

A double, single, and walk followed to load the bases, though he did rebound a bit by getting Austin Hedges to hit a sacrifice fly (that tied the game at 4-4) and notching a strikeout. However, his night was over at that point, as Dave Roberts saw him labor twice in the game.

Sheehan’s worse and really only poor start in his career thus far: 3.2 IP, 4 H, 5 R, 4 BB, 4 K, 80 Pitches.

Of course that was five runs and not four because Caleb Ferguson entered and gave up a single. That gave the Pirates a 5-4 lead before he was able to close the books on the 4th.

So obviously that didn’t go well, but fortunately after a quiet 3rd against Ortiz where the Dodgers managed just a single, the 4th began with fireworks. It was the same formula as the 2nd, with a Heyward single being followed by a Outman homer. It was his 11th of the year and gave the Dodgers the lead again at 6-5.

A walk and a single followed to make it four straight to start the inning, but the middle of the order came up empty to end the rally in the 4th. The Dodgers did force Ortiz out after he got just one out in the inning, though.


To start the 5th, the Dodgers gave Gavin Stone a clean inning, and he responded with a scoreless one despite giving up two singles (one was a blooper).

But the 6th was unfortunately a mess for him, as a single started the inning and then a one-out infield single chopped against the shift put a pair on. Stone then appeared to strikeout Henry Davis on an 0-2 fastball painted on the corner, but didn’t get the call, and Davis would go on to single home the tying run after Will missed a tag on a David Peralta throw.


He then issued a walk to load the bases, but got out of it with just the one run after a strikeout and groundout. Yeesh.

The 7th was handed to Yency Almonte, who continued his dominant run, striking out the side on 14 pitches. Phil Bickford then got a 1-2-3 frame in the 8th on just eight pitches, and managed to stay in the game despite taking a hard liner off his left elbow.

If you’re wondering what happened to the Dodgers updates on offense, well there wasn’t much to update. They managed just a walk total in the 5th, 6th, and 7th innings, and the 8th started off with an out as well. However, pinch-hitter Deluca stepped up against lefty Angel Perdomo and dramatically smashed his first MLB homer into the stands in left to put the Dodgers on top 7-6 just like that, seemingly putting the Dodgers in line for the win.

Supposedly Evan Phillips, Daniel Hudson, and Ryan Brasier were down today due to workload, which would’ve left Brusdar Graterol for the 9th, but Dave decided to try and get the win tonight.

Unfortunately, perhaps his initial plan was the correct one, as after a strikeout to start, Phillips then issued back-to-back walks (albeit on borderline calls) and then gave up a Jared Triolo single that scored the tying run. Outman’s attempt to get the runner at third allowed Triolo to take second, which immediately cost them when Josh Palacios blooped a double to left and made it 9-7 for the Pirates. That was all for the inning, but it was obviously enough.

The only good news was they had 2-3-4 up in the 9th against newly minted All-Star David Bednar who was continuing after getting the final two outs in the 8th. After a lineout to start, Will walked and Max Muncy ripped a single to right to corner the runners, which brought the wining run to the plate, but thanks partially to the umpire that rally amounted to nothing.


Dodgers47-38 (2.5 GB)
Giants46-40 (4 GB)

*Either still playing or will play later.

The third game of four in the series is back to the normal time at 4:10 PM HT/7:10 PM PT/10:10 PM ET. It’ll be Bobby Miller (4.23 ERA/3.53 xERA/4.44 DRA) looking to continue settling into the season, facing off against Osvaldo Bido (19 IP/10 ER).

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"A highly rational Internet troll." - Los Angeles Times