Dodgers avoid sweep and lead Pirates 11-7 | News, sports, jobs

Pittsburgh Pirates’ Andrew McCutchen walks back to the dugout after striking out Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Walker Buehler during the first inning of a baseball game in Pittsburgh, Thursday, June 6, 2024. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Mookie Betts, Freddie Freeman and Teoscar Hernandez homered and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 11-7 on Thursday night to avoid a three-game sweep.

Freeman hit a three-run shot in the first inning for his eighth home run of the season. Betts added a three-run shot of his own during a six-run fifth inning as Los Angeles defeated Pittsburgh for the sixth time in their last 16 meetings despite a relatively quiet night from Shohei Ohtani, who went 1 for 6 with a run scored . .

“Offensively it went well” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “I felt really good, both in the lineup and in the lineup. There were some situational issues. Mookie came to life. Teo finally got some results, which was good for him.

Oneil Cruz crushed a 450-foot home run that landed in the Allegheny River for the Pirates, the sixth-longest home run in the Majors so far this season. It wasn’t nearly enough, as Pittsburgh missed a chance at their first three-game sweep against the Dodgers since 2015.

Los Angeles broke against Bailey Falter (3-3). Hernandez finished with three hits, including a leadoff home run in the fifth that Falter chased.

“Teoscar is a good hitter, especially against lefties,” said Falter, who gave up five runs in four innings-plus. “I just have to be a little smarter.”

Miguel Rojas added three hits and drove in a pair of runs as the high-powered Dodgers generated a little momentum ahead of a three-game interleague series in the Bronx this weekend against the New York Yankees.

“We know it’s going to be a great atmosphere,” Betts said. “They’ll get ready to play. We have to, so we have to play.”

Los Angeles erupted with 14 goals, although Ohtani spent most of the night watching his teammates go to work. The superstar design hitter, who homered and singled off Pirates rookie Paul Skenes on Wednesday, is batting just .225 (14 of 62) since May 29.

Wheeling Park graduate Michael Grove (3-2) pitched two scoreless innings in relief of an ineffective Walker Buehler.

Nick Gonzales had two singles, including a two-run blast off Buehler in the third, which briefly tied the score at 4. Ke’Bryan Hayes had his first three-hit game of the season for Pittsburgh.

Buehler worked through three innings, his shortest outing of the season as he returned from Tommy John surgery that forced him to miss all of 2023. The right-hander gave up four runs (three earned) and seven hits. It took him 78 pitches to get nine outs, although it would have helped if his teammates caught the ball better.

The Dodgers committed three errors, including two by Betts, who moved from right field to shortstop in the offseason.

‘I have to clean up a lot’ Betts said.

The Pirates weren’t much better in the field, as a wild throw to second base by catcher Henry Davis allowed Enrique Hernández to score from third base during Los Angeles’ blowout in the fifth.

Pittsburgh took the first two games of the series behind the electric young arms of rookie pitchers Skenes and Jared Jones.

Falter wasn’t nearly as sharp. Los Angeles batted around in the first, highlighted by Freeman’s shot into the seats surrounding 20-foot Clemente Wall in right field. While Falter settled down to reach the fifth, he was pulled after giving up Hernandez’s leadoff homer in the fifth, leaving the Dodgers ahead.


Pirates: Transferred LHP Ryan Borucki (wrist) from the 15-day injured list to the 60-day injured list. The move allowed Pittsburgh to sign reliever Justin Bruihl, who opted out of a minor league deal with Cincinnati last week.


Dodgers: Rookie pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto (6-2, 3.32 ERA) heads to the Big Apple when he starts for Los Angeles today against New York’s Cody Poteet (2-0, 2.45)

Pirates: Welcome AL Central-leading Minnesota to PNC Park for a weekend series that begins today. Mitch Keller (7-3, 3.42) starts for Pittsburgh against Joe Ryan (4-4, 3.38).

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