The Los Angeles Dodgers enjoyed a successful weekend at PNC Park, finishing off an eight-game road trip by sweeping the Pittsburgh Pirates. In doing so the Dodgers won all six head-to-head meetings with the Pirates this season.
L.A. twice reached double-digits in runs scored over the past three games, including in the series finale to go 6-2 on the road trip. The weekend was also used to provide Justin Turner with rest, and Alex Verdugo was limited to a pinch-hit appearance Sunday because of back tightness.
Now the Dodgers may have another minor injury to monitor as Austin Barnes was removed in the bottom of the sixth inning. Barnes limped and grimaced as he rounded second base, prompting Dodgers manager Dave Roberts and a trainer to check on him.
Barnes initially remained in the game before coming out due to groin soreness. The Dodgers aren’t quite sure what yet to make of the injury, per Jake Crouse of MLB.com:
“Right now, it’s mild. We don’t know if it’s a little cramp or a mild strain,” Roberts said. “Once we get back home tomorrow, we’ll reassess and reevaluate and see where he’s at.”
Barnes went 1-for-1 with two walks prior to being taken out of the game. He additionally was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. Barnes had a pair of doubles and two RBI in the series opener, adding to what’s been a recent resurgence at the plate.
The 29-year-old currently has a modest four-game hitting streak. If Barnes is to require a stint on the 10-day injured list, the Dodgers presumably will recall Rocky Gale from Triple-A Oklahoma City for a third time this season.
Gale is 2-for-15 with seven strikeouts in five games with the Dodgers. Barnes’ potentially missing time will also thrust Russell Martin into a larger role. He’s primarily been used as the backup thus far in 2019 and spent more than two weeks on the IL because of back trouble.
Martin adjust his catching stance upon returning; both to aid his efforts in avoiding injury and also to more closely mirror Barnes behind the plate.