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Pirates take series, drop Dodgers 5-3

Three late homers and a two-inning David Bednar save—raise it!

MLB: Los Angeles Dodgers at Pittsburgh Pirates
SuWINski!
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Today, the Pirates did something they haven’t done since 2016.

They took a series from the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Not only that, but they rallied after a lost lead to win the game 5-3 at PNC Park.

Hit the breakdown for us, Jason Mackey.

Jason skipped over the not-great part, but we’ll get to that in a bit.

If you like pitching (and some people do), then the first six innings of this game were right up your alley. Dillon Peters and Max Kranick each threw three two-hit innings, with Kranick helping himself out with a pretty double play to Diego Castillo on Freddie Freeman and Trea Turner in the top of the sixth.

If you don’t like pitcher duels, it was like this:

The bottom of the sixth, though, was when the Pirates’ bats woke up. First up was Jack Suwinski, or as we like to call him around here, SuWINski:

Diego Castillo got smacked by Dodgers reliever Tommy Kahnle, so he was on first when an unlikely hero appeared at home plate:

And just like that, it was 3-0 Pirates.

Pirates fans, however, are well-versed cynics, and that cynicism was rewarded in the top of the seventh when Chris Stratton came in. Stratton was one of the few bright spots on the 2021 Pirates. Not so much in 2022. He walked Justin Turner, who got to third on a Josh VanMeter error (what comes up must come down, I guess) and got Cody Bellinger on base. He then walked Chris Taylor to load the bases with no outs. Oscar Marin paid him a visit, and if his instruction was “make sure you give Edwin Rios a nice pitch to hit,” Stratton came through in spades. Rios doubled to clear the bases and tie the game.

But these are the 2022 Pirates. Daniel Vogelbach, aka Vogelsnack, lived up to another of his nicknames—VogelBOOM:

VanMeter redeemed himself in the bottom of the eighth with a triple, and Ben Gamel brought him home on a fielder’s choice to solidify the lead. David Bednar entered in the eighth and pitched two superb innings to get the save for himself and the win for Wil Crowe, who came in after Stratton but managed to get out of his own bases-loaded jam with a timely strikeout of Max Muncy.

After the debacle of the Reds series, getting this series against one of the best teams in MLB was a boon. The Reds are back in town tomorrow, so revenge just might be on deck for the Pirate Ship.