Whether a byproduct of an early-morning arrival from the East Coast or the simple ebbs and flows of a long season, the Los Angeles Dodgers trudged their way through much of a 2-1 comeback win against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
While offense struggled to generate much success, the Dodgers were able to lean on a collective strong pitching performance in a bullpen game. Justin Bruihl stranded a one-out base hit in the first inning of his role as opener.
He was followed by Dodgers pitching prospect Andre Jackson in what was his MLB debut. The right-hander flashed an effective changeup as he pitched around some traffic to turn in four scoreless innings.
Jackson issued four walks but held the Pirates to just two hits and recorded six strikeouts. Jackson nearly found himself in a jam in the third inning as a leadoff walk was followed by a single into right field.
However, Billy McKinney came up throwing to third base to cut down Ke’Bryan Hayes. Pittsburgh put two on in the fifth behind a leadoff walk and free pass with two outs, but Jackson wiggled out of that.
The Dodgers’ best look at taking a lead came in the sixth inning when they loaded the bases with two outs. However, after Nick Mears walked Justin Turner on four pitches, he suddenly found the zone and retired AJ Pollock with relative ease.
That immediately cost the Dodgers the next inning when a leadoff walk and infield single put two on. Cody Bellinger’s throwing error on a sacrifice bunt attempt went down the line — in large part because Wilmer Difo was running inside the basepath — and the Pirates took a 1-0 lead.
L.A. responded in the bottom half of the inning behind a game-tying home run from McKinney. The homer was McKinney’s ninth of the season but first with the Dodgers.
Max Muncy then provided a decided lead with his towering solo homer in the eighth inning.
Dodgers chasing Giants
As the end of the regular season continues to draw nearer, each game gets magnified, and the Dodgers avoiding a loss to the lowly Pirates was all the more key as the San Francisco Giants defeated the New York Mets.
L.A. remained four games back of San Francisco in the National League West standings.
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