Ryan Pepiot celebrated his 25th birthday on Sunday by turning in the longest start of his career thus far to help the Los Angeles Dodgers complete a sweep of the Miami Marlins.
Pepiot’s outing began with a four-pitch walk and he also a hit batter in the first inning. Pepiot was aided by Joey Gallo throwing out Joey Wendle at home plate to complete a scoreless first inning.
“It was huge. Definitely was a momentum swinger,” Pepiot said. “Kudos to Joey. He made a great play, and then a diving catch later and hit a big triple as well. Great game from him.”
Pepiot wound up allowing just two runs over his six innings, and set a career high with seven strikeouts. “It was definitely exciting,” he said of the performance. “Happy I was able to power through and get through that sixth inning. It was very exciting for me and I had some great help from defense as well.”
After Jesús Aguilar led off the fourth inning with a single, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts hovered around the top step in the dugout. He appeared to be on the verge of removing Pepiot, but stuck with the organization’s top pitching prospect.
“It definitely means the world to me knowing that he let me go out there and stay out there,” Pepiot said. “That he trusted me to get the job done, and I was able to pull through.”
After making three starts this month, Pepiot was optioned to Triple-A Oklahoma City as a corresponding move to the Dodgers activating Brusdar Graterol off the 15-day injured list. He’s been up with the Dodgers for three separate stints this season.
“Definitely feel more comfortable each time I’m going out there. I feel part of the team and like I’m helping any way I possibly can,” Pepiot said. “It’s definitely been awesome to be up here and be able to watch other people and actually get to watch it up close and personal. See how people pitch and how I can maybe emulate some things.
“Just taking it day-by-day, trying to build off each inning and just being able to be here and talk to guys, take everything in, has definitely been very beneficial.”
Roberts wanted Pepiot to complete six innings
With the Dodgers only ahead by three runs and Pepiot in the midst of his longest outing, Roberts was hopeful to see the right-hander get through the sixth inning.
“I just thought he did a great job,” Roberts said. “Sort of like Dustin (May), where there’s one hit away from a run coming across, and found a way to save those runs and settle in. I think that third inning might have been the best he’s thrown as a big leaguer. It was clean, the slider was good, fastball was good, missing bats.
“I thought about kind of pulling the plug in that fifth inning, but talking to Mark prior and just kind of thinking that he had one more in there. He proved to be right. I think it was really good for Ryan to go out there and see if he can get through six innings. It was really good to see.”
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