Pittsburgh Pirates Lose Series vs Los Angeles Dodgers

PITTSBURGH, PA - AUGUST 24: Jordy Mercer
PITTSBURGH, PA - AUGUST 24: Jordy Mercer /

The Pittsburgh Pirates will finish the 2017 season 1-6 against the Los Angeles Dodgers

Thursday afternoon the Pittsburgh Pirates were looking to split their four-game series against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Unfortunately, the Pirates came up short on Thursday afternoon in the form of a 5-2 loss.

With the loss, the Pittsburgh Pirates finish this homestand with just a 3-5 record. They are now just 61-67 overall on the season. As for the Dodgers, they are now a staggering 90-38.

Chad Kuhl started for the Pirates on Thursday and ran into trouble immediately. After a single and a pair of walks, he had loaded the bases with just one out in the top of the 1st inning. However, he was able to pick up back-to-back strikeouts to end the frame.

In the top of the 2nd, the Dodgers would take a 1-0 lead. This came when Chris Taylor recorded a two-out RBI single that drove home Kike Hernandez. This Dodger lead, however, would not last long.

With two outs in the bottom of the 2nd inning Sean Rodriguez walked, and this was followed by an Elias Diaz single. Jordy Mercer then collected a two-out single of his own to score Rodriguez and tie the game at 1.

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In the top of the 3rd inning the Dodgers threatened again. Yasiel Puig singled with two outs, Logan Forsythe walked, and Hernandez singled. On Hernandez’s single Puig attempted to score, but he was gunned down at the plate by left fielder Sean Rodriguez. This kept the game tied at 1.

The Dodgers retook the lead in the top of the 4th inning when Curtis Granderson hit a solo home run into the Allegheny River to make the score 2-1 Los Angeles. This 4th inning would be Kuhl’s final of the game.

Chad Kuhl struggled with his control throughout the afternoon on Thursday and this is why his outing lasted only 4 innings. In his 4 innings of work he held the Dodgers to just 2 runs, however, he allowed 6 hits and walked 5. His control issues led to Kuhl throwing 92 pitched in just 4 innings pitched.

After Kuhl exited the game, Steven Brault took over for the Pirates. As was the case with Kuhl, control would be an issue for Brault as well. Despite loading the bases in the top of the 6th inning, thanks in part to a pair of walks, he was able to wiggle off the hook. In the top of the 7th inning he gave up a two-out RBI single to Kike Hernandez to make it 3-1 Dodgers.

In 2 2/3 innings of relief work Brault allowed a run on 4 hits, 2 walks, and 3 strikeouts. After he was lifted with two outs and two on in the top of the 7th inning, Johnny Barbato entered the game for the Pirates.

Barbato started his outing by walking Chirs Taylor. On his 3-2 pitch, home plate umpire Paul Emmel started to ring up Taylor. However, after Taylor started to walk toward first place Emmel stop his strikeout call leading to the walk. This led to Clint Hurdle exploding in the dugout and getting ejected. Barbato then struck out Curtis Granderson to end the inning.

In total, Pittsburgh Pirates’ pitchers walked 8 Dodger hitters on Thursday afternoon.

Los Angeles starting pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu was in control throughout the afternoon on Thursday afternoon. When the Pirates scored in the bottom of the 2nd inning, that was the lone inning in which Ryu allowed multiple base runners.

After allowing a one-out double to Jordy Mercer in the bottom of the 7th inning, he was lifted for lefty reliever and ex-Pirate Tony Watson. After Watson retired pinch-hitter John Jaso he issued a walk to Josh Harrison. Watson then allowed a RBI single to Adam Frazier that scored Mercer, moved Harrison to third base, cut the Dodger lead to 3-2, and chased Watson from the game.

Frazier’s base hit also closed the book on Hyun-Jin Ryu’s afternoon. In total, Ryu pitched 6 1/3 innings and he held the Pirates to 2 runs on just 5 hits, he walked a pair, and he recorded 2 strikeouts.

Pedro Baez entered the game for the Dodgers as Andrew McCutchen stepped to the plate with the tying run just 90 feet away. Baez would get the job done for the Dodgers by striking out McCutchen, to keep the Dodger lead in tact at 3-2.

In the top of the 8th inning right-handed reliever Angel Sanchez made his Major League debut for the Pittsburgh Pirates. After retiring the first batter he faced, he allowed a solo home run to Yasmani Grandal that extended the Dodger lead to 4-2. This was followed by a solo shot from Adrain Gonzalez that made it 5-2 Dodgers. He then retired the next two hitters to end the inning.

Pedro Baez remained in the game for the Dodgers in the bottom of the 8th inning. He issued a one-out walk to David Freese and then hit Sean Rodriguez with a plate. Baez would bounce back from his bout of wildness to strike out Elias Diaz looking and get Jordy Mercer to ground out to end the inning.

Angel Sanchez remained in the game for the Pirates in the top of the 9th inning. Despite allowing a one-single to Chase Utely, Sanchez posted a zero to keep the score at 5-2 Dodgers.

John Jaso led off the bottom of the 9th inning against Brandon Morrow. Jaso grounded out to start the inning, Josh Harrison flew out, and then Jose Osuna struck out to end the game as the Pirates were defeated 5-2.

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The August struggles of the Pittsburgh Pirates remain in full force. After Thursday’s loss they are now just 10-12 this month. Any chance of finishing the 2017 season with a winning record keeps looking bleaker by the day.

Next up for the Pittsburgh Pirates is a weekend trip to Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati. The good news for the Pirates is that the Reds are in last place in the National League Central, the bad news is that the Pirates are 2-8 against the Reds this season. Ivan Nova will start for the Pirates on Friday night, while the Reds will start Robert Stephenson. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10.