Two days after I published a column about how the starting pitching was responsible for most of the team’s recent success, the offense of the Dodgers erupted for a whopping 18 runs over the final two games of a weekend set to secure both the series and season sweep against a battered Pirates squad.
For the entire three game series, the Dodgers outscored the Pirates 28 runs to 11.
With Sunday’s win, the Dodgers have now won 17 of the last 19 games against the Pirates, including the last 10 contests.
The series finale was seemingly messy at times, especially for the Pirates. The Pittsburgh staff walked eight Dodger batters and hit another three. Los Angeles pushed six runners across the plate in a sixth inning that featured back-to-back hit batsmen which resulted in two runs scored.
In the bottom of the sixth inning, catcher Austin Barnes was lifted for veteran backstop Russell Martin after Barnes complained of soreness in his groin. By game’s end, no further reports were provided on the seriousness of the injury.
Sunday’s game took nearly four hours to complete after the middle game on Saturday began 1-3/4 hours late after a lengthy rain delay.
Justin Turner was given a day off on Saturday and responded by going 5-for-5 with five singles and three runs scored in the finale. It was the first five-hit game in Turner’s career. His effort elevated his season average to .304.
Freshly reinstated of the injury list, Kenta Maeda got the start for the Dodgers on Sunday. The righty threw 81 pitches over five full innings, surrendering three earned runs on five hits and no walks while striking out four. He was credited with his sixth win of the year.
Lefty reliever Caleb Ferguson threw the sixth inning, allowing three more earned runs of his own on four hits and a walk.
Pedro Baez and Yimi Garcia held the Pirates scoreless in the seventh and eighth innings. Ross Stripling gave up one run in the ninth after allowing an earned run on two hits, one of which was a double to center field off the bat of Gregory Polanco.
With a 35-18 record, Los Angeles far and away has the best mark in the National League. The team returns home on Monday to begin a four-game set against the New York Mets.