In an unusual situation, the Dodgers were swept away by a rebuilding team at home. The Pirates have already won the first series between the two In Pittsburghs, and a Los Angeles team that is coming off four straight victories dropped three in a row to the visitors.
The first two games were close, but the Pirates stacked up Wednesday, winning 8-4 at Dodger Stadium.
It was the first sweep against the Dodgers in Los Angeles since August 2018 against the Cardinals. But no matter how frustrating you thought this game could have been, it was worse.
On the mound, you could say the advantage was the Pirates, which isn’t what you would normally expect between these two teams and a big contrast to what we’ve seen in the first two games. Mitch White took the hill for a start, the third of the year for him against José Quintana, who has thrived in his first 46 innings in 2022.
Quintana’s strikeout rate is down, but he’s been throwing to the tune of a 2.15 ERA averaging .215 opponents heading into tonight’s outing, and he’s had success against the Dodgers when they traveled to Pittsburgh earlier in the year, earning the first win of the season by a Pirates starter on May 9 at PNC Park.
The Pirates wasted no time jumping on White as three of the first four batters reached base safely on top of first. Josh VanMeter led Ke’Bryan Hayes with an RBI single. White limited what could have been a big run, though, pinning down two runners with a flyout and groundout from Diego Castillo and Cal Mitchell, respectively.
Things remained quiet until the bottom of the fourth when Chris Taylor drove Trea Turner to even the score, but the rest of the game went pretty much as the series went. White had a pretty clean outing after trouble in the first, but Bryan Reynolds had other plans with a two-out two-run bomb in the fifth.
The Dodgers starter would leave the game after five innings with the following stat line:
- 4 strokes
- 3 deserved races
- 2 walks
- 7 strikeouts
Quintana was hit with seven hard-hit balls in four and a third, but managed to keep the Dodgers at bay, allowing just a few runs.
Kevin Pillar twisted his shoulder late in the fifth and was replaced by Cody Bellinger in center field. Chris Taylor moved to left field.
Pillar won’t play on Thursday as the team awaits testing.
Roberts said Kevin Pillar’s shoulder went in and out twice in the game. He’ll be out tomorrow and go through scans. Pillar has had the problem in the past.
— Dodger Insider (@DodgerInsider) June 2, 2022
The Pirates have done exceptional glove work on several occasions. Diego Castillo made a one-on-one play to bring out the force at third on a sharp grounder from Mookie Betts, and Hayes threw Hanser Alberto to another grounder and came back to pick the pitch at third and also get Taylor .
Hayes’ double play was all the more important as Austin Barnes scored a following single at bat, and that could have meant a run for the Dodgers without Hayes’ gloves. But instead, there was no one, and the Pirates brought in a southpaw, Dillon Peters, to take out Cody Bellinger.
On a day when Craig Kimbrel was unavailable, the Dodgers had to go four innings with the bullpen, and Evan Phillips continued his excellent form this season with two scoreless innings, capped by back-to-back strikeouts against Hayes. and Reynolds.
Once again, the Dodgers found themselves behind in a hotly contested game against those pesky Pirates.
After removing Bellinger, Peters came back to face Gavin Lux and couldn’t find the area allowing for a four-pitch walk, Mookie Betts followed her with a single and advanced to second on the pitch to third. The Dodgers had second and third no-outs, but you already know the scenario.
Peters forced Freeman out and the runners didn’t move with the infield. Chris Stratton came in and the high level defensive work continued. Trea Turner hit one through the air to middle center, and Reynolds came in with a straight throw on the money to score Lux from the third, a late-inning double play. The Dodgers finished second and third with 2-3-4 in the going order and failed to score a single run.
Pittsburgh followed up an incredible breakaway in the seventh to add to their lead. The Pirates pounced on Alex Vesia with a two-point bombshell from Rodolfo Castro that turned a tight 3-2 affair into a 5-2 lead, and one step away from a sweep at Dodger Stadium.
Taylor got a one-out single in the bottom of the eighth, but any rally threat died very quickly as Edwin Ríos dug in a double play on the first pitch of the next stick.
The crowning achievement of a frustrating game was the explosion in the eighth inning when Michael Grove allowed three more runs. Any possibility of a comeback has drastically diminished with an 8-2 deficit to overcome in the ninth.
Betts continued his incredible run with a two-run bomb late in the set, but it was too little too late for a comeback.
The Dodgers beat the Pirates 12-9 in an 8-4 loss, and the sweep that no one saw coming became a reality.
Home runs: Mookie Betts (16); Bryan Reynolds (8), Rodolfo Castro (1)
WP-Chase De Jong (2-0): 1⅓ IP, 1 hit, 1 walk, 1 strikeout
PL – Mitch White (1-1): 5 IP, 4 hits, 3 runs, 2 walks, 7 strikeouts
The Dodgers continue this welcoming homestand to the NL East Mets for a four-game series. It will be a battle for supremacy between the two best records in the National League. Tony Gonsolin takes the ball Thursday night (7:10 p.m., SportsNet LA) against Taijuan Walker.