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Pirates Rally But Pitching Crumbles Late in 11-7 Loss to Dodgers

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Ke'Bryan Hayes, Pittsburgh Pirates

PITTSBURGH — Nick Gonzales hit a two-run home run to erase an early-four run deficit for the Pittsburgh Pirates but the pitching crumbled late in an 11-7 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers at PNC Park on Thursday night.

The Dodgers (39-25) responded to the Pirates’ rally with seven-unanswered runs against a trio of Pirates’ pitchers and an Oneil Cruz tape-measure shot in the eighth inning was too little too late.

Cruz put an end to the Pirates’ scoring drought by blasting a 462-foot home run over the fence in right-center field. It’s the longest homer of Cruz’s career.

The Dodgers scored four runs off of Bailey Falter in the top of the first inning, three of which came on one swing from Feddie Freeman’s home run to right field. Later in the inning, Miguel Rojas plated Teoscar Hernández with a base hit.

The Pirates (29-33) took advantage of two Dodgers’ errors in the second inning and scored their first run of the game when Jack Suwinski looped a base hit into shallow left-center with runners on the corners. 

With runners on second and third and one out in the third, Edward Olivares cut the Dodgers’ lead in half with a sacrifice fly to right field.

Gonzales followed by belting a game-tying two-run home run to left field, giving him 22 RBIs through his first 24 games of the season. Gonzales collected four RBIs in the Pirates’ win on Wednesday.

The Pirates were able to mount a comeback in part because Falter held Los Angeles scoreless through the next three innings. However, he surrendered a home run to Hernández to open the fifth inning which ended his night.

Falter (3-3) allowed five runs in four innings and struck out six batters, the second-most punchouts he’s had in a start this season.

Ben Heller relieved Falter for what turned out to be a Pirates’ debut he’d like to forget. Heller was tagged with five earned runs in a lone inning of relief. Mookie Betts put the exclamation point on the inning with a three-run homer to center. 

Rojas doubled home the Dodgers’ 11th run in the sixth inning against Kyle Nicolas. 

Oneil Cruz put an end to the Dodgers’ seven-unanswered runs by blasting a 462-foot home run over the fence in right-center field. It’s the longest homer of Cruz’s career. 

Ke’Bryan Hayes finished 3 for 5, his first three-hit game of the season. Cruz, Gonzales, Suwinski and Rowdy Tellez each had two hits apiece. 

Up Next

The Pirates’ homestand continues with the Minnesota Twins coming to PNC Park on Friday night. Mitch Keller (7-3, 3.42 ERA) will be opposite Joe Ryan (4-4, 3.38 ERA). First pitch: 6:40 ET.

Noteworthy

  • The Pirates signed left-handed pitcher Justin Bruihl to a major-league deal. Bruihl made his team debut and retired both batters he faced. 
  • Right-hander Quinn Priester was placed on the 15-day injured list (retro to June 3) with a right lat muscle injury. Ryan Borucki was transferred to the 60-day IL.
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