Joe Musgrove excited fans as he struck out the side in the top of the first inning, but it was all downhill from there. After allowing a pair of runs in the second, the game was never in doubt as the Pirates fell for the 13th time in 17 games.
Ross Stripling dominated Pirates batters for five innings, much as his college teammate Michael Wacha did in Pittsburgh’s last game on Sunday. Stripling scattered four singles without a walk while striking out seven.
Matt Kemp opened the Dodgers second lining a 3-2 pitch into left for a single. Two pitches later Joc Pederson landed a ball in the right field seats for a 2-0 Los Angeles lead.
Again in the third the inning started with Chris Taylor and Max Muncy lining singles. With runners on first and second, Musgrove’s pickoff throw to second base clanked off shortstop Sean Rodriguez’s glove, letting both runners advance. Musgrove got a strikeout of Yasmani Grandall, but Kemp lifted a fly ball to left that scored Taylor, extending the lead to 3-0. Yasiel Puig plated the final run against Musgrove with a solo homer into the center field bullpen in the fourth.
Tyler Glasnow came on to throw a pair of innings, allowing a walk along with three strikeouts, but the only hit he allowed was a Cody Bellinger drive into the bushes in center to cap the scoring at 5-0.
Old friend Daniel Hudson closed out the bottom of the ninth, including a strikeout of the man he was traded for, Corey Dickerson.
The loss leaves the Pirates record at .500, 30-30, 6.5 games behind the first place Brewers, fourth place in the division.
The second game of the series will be Wednesday night at 7:05 pm Eastern as 21 year old left-hander Caleb Ferguson makes his major league debut against the Pirates’ Trevor Williams (5-3, 3.84)