The boys are back...at .500.
Joc Pederson, Yasiel Puig, and Cody Bellinger all homered as the Los Angeles Dodgers opened up a three-game series in Pittsburgh with a 5-0 victory over the Pirates on Tuesday at PNC Park.
Following a three-game sweep of the Colorado Rockies, the Dodgers got an off day on Monday before beating up on the Bucs for the first time this season to improve to 30-30 through their first 60 games on the year.
Pittsburgh starter Joe Musgrove was a familiar face to Dodger fans as many will remember him out of the bullpen for the Houston Astros during the 2017 World Series.
Musgrove allowed two home runs in four total appearances in the Fall Classic before he was traded in the offseason to Pittsburgh as part of the Gerrit Cole deal.
"The game plan is a little different since his role in the World Series was a reliever and now he's a starter," said Joc Pederson who was responsible for both of those home runs off Musgrove in the World Series. "He was really good entering into the game, but we were able to get to him early."
With Pederson's success off Musgrove in the World Series, it came as no surprise that he kicked off Tuesday's game with a two-run blast off Musgrove in his first at-bat.
Pederson must like Musgrove's pitching, as he is now 3-for-4 with three home runs in his first three at-bats against the right-hander in his career.
"I don't know," Pederson said when asked why he has so much success against Musgrove. "I just try and not do too much and put a good swing on it. I've gotten a couple good pitches and was able to capitalize."
Yasiel Puig flipped the power switch in the top of the fourth inning when he sent a 94MPH fastball from Musgrove to center field for his seventh home run of the season.
The final blast came off the bat of struggling sophomore sensation Cody Bellinger.
"I've been working on a lot of things to try and simplify my swing," said Bellinger of his recent struggles. "Everyone has been super supportive of me."
Bellinger belted his ninth home run of the season off right-hander Tyler Glasnow in the top of the sixth to put the Dodgers in front 5-0.
Ross Stripling continued his string of successful starts with just four hits allowed and seven strikeouts in five shutout innings.
Stripling (4-1 lowered his ERA to 1.52 on the season, good four third best in baseball behind Justin Verlander (1.24) and Jacob deGrom (1.49).
Stripling's strikeout-to-walk ratio is a whopping 9.8 on the season with 49 strikeouts and just five walks this season, the best in baseball according to STATS, LLC.
Musgrove (2-1) lost his first game of the season, allowing four runs on six hits with one walk and five strikeouts in five innings.
The Dodgers bullpen, fresh off their National League "Bullpen of the Week," honors pitched four scoreless innings of relief.
The Dodgers are expected to call up rookie LHP Caleb Ferguson from Triple-A OKC on Wednesday to start opposite RHP Trevor Williams for the Pirates. First pitch is scheduled for 4:05PM PST.
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