Well, it certainly wasn’t as bad as it could be when one of baseball’s best teams takes on one of its worst, as the Pittsburgh Pirates played a late one in California last night against the Los Angeles Dodgers. But the Bucs were still on the receiving end of a 2-1 defeat in which they continued their struggles at the plate putting up runs.
In fact, they were five-hit by the Dodgers, and their only run came off of a throwing error by first basement Cody Bellinger off of an attempted sacrifice bunt by Wilmer Difo in the top of the seventh that scored Gregory Polanco.
That was it for the Pirates’ scoring on the night, but the maddening part is that run actually put the Pirates ahead 1-0 before Anthony Banda blew a save opportunity by giving up a solo homer to Billy McKinney in the bottom of the inning before Chasen Shreve gave up another solo shot the following inning to Max Muncy. It was Muncy’s 26th of the year and the game-winner for the Dodgers.
The loss spoiled an excellent start by Pirates pitcher Steven Brault, who went five and two-thirds, giving up no runs on three hits while striking out four.
Blake Treinen got the win for L.A., while Kenley Jansen picked up his 24th save of the season, as they combined with four other L.A. pitchers to strike out 10 Pittsburgh batters, five coming from Ben Gamel (two) and Rodolfo Castro (three).
The Bucs will be back in action in another late one tonight, looking to catch a spark at the plate.