The Los Angeles Dodgers began a three-game series with the National League-leading Pittsburgh Pirates and the first matchup turned into a bit of a slugfest.
L.A. jumped out to an early 2-0 lead thanks to a double from Miguel Vargas, but matters quickly went downhill from there. The Pirates came back to score seven runs over the first four innings against Noah Syndergaard while holding the Dodgers scoreless during that stretch.
Things looked bleak for the Dodgers, but they chipped away with one run in the fifth and two in the sixth to cut Pittsburgh’s lead to two runs. Following Syndergaard’s seven-run outing, the bullpen combined for five scoreless innings to keep the Dodgers in the game.
That paid off in the eighth inning, when the Dodgers broke through with three runs via a homer from Chris Taylor to put them up 8-7. Caleb Ferguson and Shelby Miller pitched the final two innings without giving up a run to close out the victory.
The comeback victory kept the Dodgers over .500 and gave them their second three-game winning streak of the season, and manager Dave Roberts credited the entire team for contributing, via SportsNet LA:
“It’s big, it’s big. Considering also where we were at after the fourth inning. Our bullpen was lockdown, and we needed every bit of those zeroes tonight. Guys kept grinding and having good at-bats leading up to the C.T. at-bat. There were a lot of good things that happened tonight. Obviously, Michael made his debut and drove in a run, Austin got a sacrifice fly to drive in a run. There were some things that we did to tack on and keep us in the ballgame. Very good team win.”
Although the Dodgers lineup was missing Max Muncy, who was placed on the paternity list; J.D. Martinez, who was getting a day off because of minor back trouble; and Will Smith, who remains on the seven-day concussion injured list; the group was still able to perform well.
Every player in the Dodgers lineup aside from Mookie Betts either had a hit, drove in a run or scored a run. Betts was robbed of a three-run homer.
Michael Busch, who made his MLB debut, picked up his first career hit and RBI on a single. James Outman also continued his hot start with two hits, and Taylor broke through for three hits.
Each reliever also gave up no more than one hit in their scoreless inning while striking out one or more batters, and Miller earned his first save of the year.
Will Smith not yet returning to Dodgers lineup
Smith was eligible to be activated off the seven-day injured list this past Thursday, but Roberts ruled out the possibility despite saying the backstop was making progress and would soon resume baseball activities.
While the Dodgers were initially optimistic Smith would be able to return for their matchup against the Pirates, Roberts expressed doubt that would be the case.