Los Angeles Dodgers

Dodgers beat Pirates 5-2 to pull within a half-game of NL West-leading Diamondbacks

Max Muncy and Freddie Freeman homered and Julio Urias pitched six innings to help the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 5-2. 

Pittsburgh Pirates v Los Angeles Dodgers

Max Muncy and Freddie Freeman homered and Julio Urias pitched six innings to help the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 5-2 on Thursday night.

The Dodgers took three of four from Pittsburgh to pull within a half-game of slumping Arizona for the NL West lead with two games left before the All-Star break.

Freeman, who will participate in his seventh All-Star Game, was 3 for 4 with three RBIs and two runs. He made a sliding catch, turned a double play and stole a base.

“That was a good fantasy night with steals and stuff,” Freeman joked. “It’s good. You just try to do the best you can every single night and I was able to be at the right spot at the right time.”

Muncy hit the go-ahead home run in the sixth inning, a two-run shot to center field for his 20th of the season. Freeman led off the inning by legging out a double to the left-field corner, and Muncy then hit a 414-foot home run.

Urias (6-5) allowed two runs on three hits, struck out eight and walked one, all in 88 pitches. He retired 11 in a row before walking Ke’Bryan Hayes to lead off the sixth. With Hayes in scoring position with two outs, Freeman made a sliding catch in front of the Pittsburgh dugout to retire Carlos Santana.

“This is Julio,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “I think there was a little frustration and some embarrassment. He rolled up his sleeves. He competed like he always does. I just felt that he was truly on the attack from pitch one.”

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Pirates starter Johan Oviedo (3-10) allowed five earned runs on six hits in 6 2/3 innings.

Freeman hit a two-run homer 415 feet to right field in the first to open the scoring. Mookie Betts doubled leading off and Freeman hit his 15th homer of the season.

Nick Gonzales hit a two-run double to left in the second inning to tie it.

Pirates hitting coach Andy Haines was ejected in the sixth inning for appearing to argue balls and strike after Suwinski was out on a called third strike that appeared to be low.

Brusdar Graterol, who had experienced right shoulder soreness but didn’t go on the IL, pitched a scoreless eighth inning for the Dodgers.

Urias was happy to get back on track.

“It’s very frustrating. No one wants to go on the injured list,” Urias said through an interpreter. “Everyone wants to be out here competing and do their thing and put their foot in the sand and help the team win. Obviously, the team came out and answered, and we got that win.”

PITCHING INJURIES CONTINUE

The injury bug continued to wreak havoc on the Dodgers’ pitching staff, so much so that Dave Roberts said there was a “crazy” scenario in which Noah Syndergaard could pitch out of the bullpen Friday but after Thursday’s game Roberts said he would pitch a simulated game instead. With Urias’ strong outing, the bullpen wasn’t taxed. Syndergaard — who is on a one-year, $13 million contract — would be needed. He’s pitched terribly this season, going 1-4 with a 7.16 ERA before being placed on the IL. The Dodgers also recalled RHP Nick Robertson and LHP Alex Vesia on Thursday, and RHP Yency Almonte was placed on the paternity list.

HOME RUN DERBY

With Muncy hitting his 20th home run of the season, the Dodgers have three players with 20 home runs or more. Betts has 23, J.D. Martinez 20.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Pirates: INF Ke’Bryan Hayes (lower back inflammation) was reinstated from the 10-day injured list and batted leadoff Thursday. RHP Roansy Contreras was optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis.

Dodgers: RHP Daniel Hudson was placed on the IL with a sprained MCL in his right knee suffered Wednesday. Hudson had was just three games into his return from a torn ACL in his left knee that he suffered a year ago.

UP NEXT

Pirates: LHP Rich Hill (7-8, 4.50) The 43-year-old makes the 239th start of his career as the Pirates start a three-game series at Arizona. Hill allowed three earned runs in five innings in a loss against Milwaukee in his last start.

Dodgers: RHP Tony Gonsolin (4-3, 3.69 ERA) gave up four earned runs and was chased in the fourth inning in a 9-1 loss Sunday at Kansas City. He’ll start the first of a two-game series against the Angels. The Dodgers gave away his bobblehead Thursday.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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