The Los Angeles Dodgers remained undefeated in three Clayton Kershaw starts this season, as they came from behind to defeat the Pittsburgh Pirates, 3-1.
Kershaw again had good break on his slider, which allowed him to collect three strikeouts through two perfect innings. Though, the second ended in scary fashion as Kershaw raced over to cover first base and slid into the bag, colliding with and tripping Bryan Reynolds.
Kershaw quickly rose to his feet and checked on Reynolds before jogging back to the dugout. Both players remained in the game.
Pablo Reyes’ leadoff single in the third gave the Pirates their first baserunner and it led to breaking a scoreless tie as he scored on Adam Frazier’s two-out RBI single. That was the only run Kershaw allowed over seven innings.
He retired 12 in a row before allowing a two-out double in the seventh and finished with eight strikeouts, which set a season high. He exited with the Dodgers trailing 1-0 but their comeback gave Kershaw his first win of 2019.
The Dodgers had at least one batter reach in three of the first four innings but had nothing to show for it. Joc Pederson was stranded in the first after being hit by a pitch, and Austin Barnes grounded into an inning-ending double play in the second when the Dodgers had two on.
They nearly pulled ahead in the fourth inning but Cody Bellinger’s drive to center field was caught on the warning track. Justin Turner, who had led off with a single, alertly tagged to move into scoring position.
A successful challenge at first base overturned an out call to give Alex Verdugo an infield single, though runners were left at the corners when Joe Musgrove got Chris Taylor to fly out on the next pitch.
The Dodgers were held to just three hits through six innings, each of which was a single. They were potentially robbed of a double when Max Muncy’s chopper up the first-base line carried into umpire Sean Barber and settled just off the bag, holding Muncy to a single.
It was another unfortunate moment for Barber, who had three of his calls challenged and two over turned by the Dodgers. Barber inadvertently robbing Muncy of extra bases was further put into the spotlight when Verdugo followed with a single to right field.
Taylor’s sacrifice fly tied the game and Musgrove remained in trouble when Barnes kept the inning alive with a two-out single. The Dodgers then received their first extra-base hit of the game on Pederson’s two-run triple.
Pirates manager Clint Hurdle had Francisco Liriano warming up but elected to allow Musgrove to face Pederson. The decision backfired and ultimately cost his team the game. Including the postseason, Pederson improved to 4-for-7 with one triple and three home runs off Musgrove.
Though, Pittsburgh did have a golden opportunity in the eighth inning as they loaded the bases with nobody out. Pedro Baez bailed out Caleb Ferguson and the Dodgers by retiring each of the three batters faced.