After losing three of four in Los Angeles against the Dodgers, the Pittsburgh Pirates have now played at a 54-108 pace the last 10 weeks
It wouldn't surprise anyone if you predicted the Pittsburgh Pirates to lose their concluding game in the four-game series against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Once more, the Pirates disappoint.
Despite the glaringly poor umpiring in tonight's game, it hardly justifies the team's offensive shortcomings. Add to that underwhelming pitching, and you have the outcome of this game.
The Pirates fell to the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-2, putting them at 40-46 on the season good for fourth in the NL Central standings.
The Pirate continue to struggle offensively
After a rough start in the top of the first inning, the Pirates found their footing and received a much-needed boost in the top of the second. Connor Joe stepped up and nailed a single to left field, securing the Pirates' first game hit. When Jack Suwinski smacked a double on a sharp line drive to left field, right over David Peralta's head, things started heating up for the Bucs offensively.
Suwinski's hit sent Joe to third base. And just when you thought it couldn't get any better, Nick Gonzales hit a ground ball that rode the line, resulting in a double to left field. Joe and Suwinski sprinted home, scoring two runs for the Pirates. Gonzales' hit tied the game 2-2.
After a solid second inning, the Pirates went silent for the following three innings. However, Ke'Bryan Hayes drew a walk and reached first base in the top of the sixth inning. Hayes swiftly stole a base during a Bryan Reynolds strike. Unfortunately, that would be the end of their progress for that inning.
Apart from a single by Tucupita Marcano in the top of the eighth inning, the Pirates struggled to generate any offensive momentum. Despite brief glimpses of hope, they eventually fell short, which has become a common occurrence.
In addition to the struggles of the offense, hitting coach Andy Haines was ejected. This came after arguing with the umpire following Suwinski striking out looking.
Johan Oviedo was a mixed bag tonight on the mound.
Johan Oviedo had a tough time at the mound to start this game. Mookie Betts would grab a double with a hard-hit ball to left field, and then Freddie Freeman smacked a home run to right field, bringing Betts home. This would give the Dodgers the lead of 2-0. Oviedo walked David Peralta with two outs but escaped the inning as Jason Heyward grounded out.
He would bounce back between the second and fifth innings showing some solid pitching, including five strikeouts before Reynolds and Jack Suwinski lost the ball in the sky at center field in the bottom of the 5th, nearly putting Oviedo in a bad position.
In the bottom of the 6th inning, Oviedo would derail from his brief improvement when Freddie Freeman hit a ground ball to left field, earning himself a double. Soon after, Max Muncy came up to bat and launched a fly ball to center field that ended up being a home run. It wasn't a good sight for the Pirates as Freeman crossed home plate, giving the Dodgers the lead again, 4-2.
With two outs in the bottom of the 7th inning, Oviedo again folded, and Betts hit his second double of the night, putting him in scoring position. That hit prompted the Pirates to make a pitching change, bringing in Angel Perdomo to take over on the mound.
Oviedo finished the night, pitching 6.2 innings and allowing six hits, 5 earned runs, and striking out six batters with a total of 98 pitches, 68 of which were strikes, resulting in an ERA of 4.75.
The Pirate road trip will now head to Phoenix for a three-game series against the NL West leading Diamondbacks. Rich Hill (4.50 ERA, 4.29 FIP) is set to start for the Pirates on Friday night. NL Cy Young candidate Zac Gallen (3.15 ERA, 2.83 FIP) will take the mound for Arizona. First pitch from Chase Field is scheduled for 9:40 PM ET.