The Los Angeles Dodgers defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates, 5-3, in the series opener at PNC Park to snap a two-game losing streak. L.A. also improved to 2-2 on their current road trip and overall have won 11 in a row against Pittsburgh.
They nearly fell into an early deficit when Pirates rookie Ke’Bryan Hayes appeared to hit a solo home run off Walker Buehler in the first inning. However, the Dodgers challenged the ruling — but not whether or not the ball stayed fair — and got it overturned when it was discovered Hayes didn’t touch first base.
Buehler wound up getting through seven scoreless innings, pitching to soft contact for much of the night. He collected a season-low two strikeouts but retired the final 13 batters faced and has gone at least six innings in every start this year.
Buehler additionally matched the two hits allowed with a pair of singles himself.
Pittsburgh threatened in the second inning when a single, Gavin Lux error and walk loaded the bases. Buehler benefitted from it bringing up Pirates starter JT Brubaker, who grounded out to end the inning.
Brubaker had the Dodgers flummoxed through four innings as he allowed just two baserunners during that span on singles by Cody Bellinger and Buehler.
The Dodgers then found success in the fifth, beginning with a Lux single that resulted in a two-base error by Gregory Polanco in the gap. AJ Pollock then ambushed the first pitch from Brubaker for an RBI double to center field that broke up the scoreless tie.
Mookie Betts later started small two-out rally with an RBI triple to right-center field, and Max Muncy added to it with a run-scoring single. Muncy went 2-for-5 in his first start since being removed last Friday due to a mild right ankle sprain.
Chris Taylor padded the Dodgers’ lead with a two-run home run in the sixth inning.
Dodgers bullpen backs Buehler
Joe Kelly allowed a run in the eighth, and Nate Jones surrendered two home runs in the ninth, which prompted Dodgers manager Dave Roberts calling on Kenley Jansen for the final out of the game.
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