Recap: Dodgers Defeat Pirates Behind Balanced Offense, Strong Bullpen

The Los Angeles Dodgers had trouble with the Kansas City Royals at the end of their road trip but got back on track against another sub-.500 team by starting their homestand with a 5-2 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates.

To little surprise, the Dodgers placed Clayton Kershaw on the 15-day injured list because of left shoulder soreness, and turned to Michael Grove for a start in the series opener. Manager Dave Roberts said the expectation was Grove could face anywhere from 18 to 20 batters.

Grove wound up seeing 18 hitters as he got through four innings with just one run allowed. Although it was a short outing, the right-hander effectively pitched through some traffic as he allowed five hits, two walks and one hit by pitch.

Grove was aided by the Dodgers playing their infield in during the second inning, which resulted in an out at home plate. Without that play by Miguel Rojas, it’s plausible Grove would have allowed two runs in the frame.

The Dodgers quickly erased their deficit as Max Muncy hit a game-tying solo home run in the bottom of the second inning, and doubles from David Peralta and Jason Heyward put them ahead. Peralta extended his hitting streak to nine games in the process.

The Dodgers caught a break in the fourth inning when Mitch Keller hit Miguel Vargas with a pitch to put him on base with two outs. Miguel Rojas followed with an RBI double, his second extra-base hit in the last three games.

Peralta added onto the Dodgers’ lead with an RBI single in the fifth inning, and Heyward hit another hard shot to first base that Carlos Santana was not able to field.

While the Pirates’ defense didn’t do Keller many favors, his outing was drastically different from holding the Dodgers to two runs and had 10 strikeouts over six inning to earn a win at PNC Park in April.

Dodgers bullpen protects lead

Following Grove was a stretch of five Dodgers relief pitchers, with each completing one inning. Ryan Brasier ran into trouble in the sixth as the Pirates loaded the bases, but he held them to just one run on a sacrifice fly.

That was the lone run the Pirates mustered against the Dodgers bullpen.

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