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Pirates Launch Three Home Runs in 5-3 Rubber Match Win Over Dodgers

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The Pirates and Dodgers met for the rubber match of a three-game set on Wednesday afternoon in Pittsburgh. After the Dodgers rallied in the seventh to tie the game, Daniel Vogelbach put the Pirates ahead for good and the Bucs defeated Los Angeles 5-3 to earn a series victory.

With the game still tied at zero in the bottom of the sixth, the Pirates finally broke through. Jack Suwinski hit his second homer of the season, a solo shot to give the Pirates a 1-0 lead.

After Diego Castillo was hit by a pitch, Josh VanMeter clubbed a two-run shot over the Clemente Wall, extending the Bucs lead to 3-0.

The lead didn’t last long for the Pirates. Chris Stratton issued a leadoff walk to begin the seventh, before VanMeter booted a potential double play ball. After another walk, Edwin Rios cleared the bases with a bases with a double, tying the game at three.

The Dodgers eventually loaded the bases again, but Castillo made a nice leaping grab on a line drive and Wil Crowe punched out Max Muncy to keep the game tied.

In the seventh, the Pirates regained the lead thanks to another long ball. Vogelbach clobbered one off of Dodgers reliever Daniel Hudson. The ball left Vogelbach’s bat at nearly 111 mph, and was the first extra-base hit Hudson has allowed all season.

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Pittsburgh added on an insurance run in the eighth when VanMeter, who tripled, beat out a Ben Gamel ground ball at home plate.

David Bednar picked up a six-out save to give the Pirates a series victory over the Dodgers. Before this series, the Pirates had lost 16 straight to Los Angeles dating back to 2018. 

Dillon Peters began the afternoon on the mound for the Pirates and pitched well. He completed three innings, gave up two hits and struck out a pair. After a Freddie Freeman single to begin the fourth, Derek Shelton brought in Max Kranick who also worked three scoreless frames.

The Pirates had opportunities to score against Dodgers starter Ryan Pepiot, who walked five and hit a batter, but allowed just one hit and he kept the Pirates off the scoreboard in his three innings. Pepiot was making his Major League debut.

The Pirates will welcome the Cincinnati Reds to PNC Park for a four-game set beginning on Thursday. JT Brubaker (0-2, 5.68 ERA) will look too build off his last start. Connor Overton (0-0, 2.53 ERA) will get the ball for the Reds.

Takeaways

  • Nice Bounce Back: Peters has been incredibly effective this year but struggled for the first time all season in his last time out against the Reds. In that game, the left-hander failed to record an out, let up a hit, walked three and was charged with four earned runs. Peters looked much more like the pitcher he has been all season in this game against the Dodgers. He was tough to square up and only allowed a pair of singles.
  • Going To Need To Cash In With RISP: In the first game of this series against the Dodgers, despite scoring five runs, the Bucs went just 1 for 8 with runners in scoring position. In game two, the Pirates were hitless in eight trips to the plate with RISP. The struggles continued again in this one, as the Pirates had plenty of chances to score runs, but went 0 for 6 with RISP. Pittsburgh particularly squandered chances early in the game against Pepiot, leaving seven runners on base through the first three innings. When playing any team, but especially a team as good as the Dodgers, the Pirates need to cash in on those opportunities. 
  • Captain Jack: Suwinski is looking more and more comfortable at the plate since being called up from Triple-A Indianapolis as evident by his homer and double on Wednesday. He’s reached base safely in nine out of his 12 starts, including his last five. Over those five games, he’s 5 for 16 (.313) with two doubles, two homers, four runs driven in and three walks.
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