The opener backfired again for the Pirates Friday in a 10-2 loss to the Dodgers.
Michael Feliz (2-1), the first man out of the gate, was hit early and often, retiring just one of his six batters faced and allowing the other five to score. Four of those runs came off the bat of David Freese, taking a 3-2 fastball the opposite way for a grand slam.
“Pitch execution,” said Clint Hurdle. “Behind in the counts, pitches were left up over the plate.”
Feliz was pegged as an opener candidate because he made 71 career minor league starts.
“Nothing changed,” Feliz said about the difference preparing for the first inning compared to a normal day. “I did everything like I do everyday.”
Feliz was replaced by Steven Brault, who was able to go 5.2 innings despite throwing 41 balls out of his 98 pitches thrown. He allowed two runs, both coming in the third after walking a pair with two outs before Austin Barnes brought them both home on a double.
“Two out walks are terrible, just one of them, so two of them is really bad,” Brault said. “Especially a team like the Dodgers. Can’t give them chances like that.
“Overall, it was good. I was able to get my fastball to my glove side a lot better tonight, so that’s really important for me.”
Brault walked three, struck out one and surrendered three hits.
Walker Buehler (5-1) struck out six in six innings pitched, with only one run on his ledger, coming on a second inning ground out by Elias Diaz.
The Pirates’ second run came on an Adam Frazier double in the seventh, plating Kevin Newman.
Chris Stratton was brought into the game in the seventh but was removed with right side discomfort after five pitches.
His successor, Geoff Hartlieb, was tagged for three runs in 1.2 innings, two of them coming on a Cody Bellinger home run.
Josh Bell went 1-4 with a double. Clay Holmes struck out the side in the ninth.
Bucs On The Mend
Corey Dickerson, who has been on the injured list since Apr. 4, began his rehab assignment with AAA Indianapolis Friday. He has been out with a right posterior shoulder strain.
Keone Kela is also rehabbing in AAA and is scheduled to pitch an inning Saturday. He has not pitched since May 4.
Joe Musgrove (3-4, 3.67) will get another crack at the Dodgers Saturday at 7:15 p.m.. Hyun-Jin Ryu (6-1, 1.52) will go for the Dodgers.
1. The Pirates are 5-12 this year when their opponent scores first.
2. Josh Bell’s second inning double was his 34th extra-base hit this year: the most in the majors.
3. Feliz’s 0.1 inning start is the shortest by a Pirate since Wandy Rodriguez’s injury shortened outing on June 5, 2013.