Dodgers lose to Pirates for fourth time in May
Whether in Pittsburgh or Los Angeles, the Dodgers haven’t been able to solve the Pirates, who are young and seem emboldened enough to accept what others might worry about.
The Dodgers’ last loss to the Pirates was a 5-3 decision Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium. Pittsburgh won four of five games between the teams in May, winning the season series for the first time since 2016.
“Obviously they’re scoring more runs than us, but that’s just one of those great things,” Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner said. “We’ll regroup and try to get one back tomorrow.”
Not knowing what went wrong isn’t the best way to fix it, but at 33-16 the Dodgers won’t be a fuss. They went 20-9 in May, after all. But they also went 1-4 in the month against the Pirates.
“You know what, I don’t have the answer, but I know outside of the one game we won, they really did a great job of preventing runs against us,” manager Dave Roberts said. “We haven’t found a way to score consecutively and consistently. So you have to give them credit. They are doing something good.
While Walker Buehler was unable to contain the Pirates on Monday, it was another proven pitcher in Julio Urías who had a surprisingly similar outing on Tuesday. Both Dodgers starters allowed two homers, including one in each game for rookie Tucupita Marcano. Those were the only two homers in his brief 31-game career.
Marcano jumped on a 95 mph fastball from Buehler on Monday and a 93 mph heating first pitch in the second inning Tuesday from Urías. Dodgers pitchers operated against him with a different strategy the rest of the game.
“[Marcano] had a plan of attack and he attacked that fastball,” Urías said through an interpreter. “[Monday] he was ahead on the count and attacked the fastball and today was a first pitch fastball. Then we made the adjustment to go a little slower to break balls and use those pitches against him.
Give credit to hackers. They were forcing the Dodgers to adapt to them.
“Obviously they came with a plan of attack and they’re rocking a lot of ground,” Urías said. “We made adjustments, but we knew they were going to swing on a lot of ground.”
Winner of 20 games a season ago, Urías fell to 3-5 this season. While his 2.89 ERA is in line with his 2.96 mark from a year ago, his race support has been very different. The Dodgers averaged 6.4 runs per nine innings when Urías was still in the game last season, but he’s only received 2.1 runs this season.
“I think Julio, the last few years, didn’t have a lot of running support,” Roberts said. “It happens to pitchers at different times in different years. But I don’t think it hurt him. He will never use it as an excuse.
“I know he doesn’t want to put us behind the eight ball at the start of the game. To his credit, he fought back and kept us in the ball game.
It was a rare day in May when Mookie Betts was held in check. He went 0 for 4 with a walk but still pulled away tying Roy Campanella’s club record for home runs in May with 12. He also set the club record for extra hits in May with 22, surpassing Jackie Robinson’s record of 21. .
Trea Turner hit a two-run homer among her two hits, extending her hitting streak to 23 games, the best in MLB.
Still, even a hot month with two of the Dodgers’ top three hitters in the roster couldn’t derail the Pirates in May.
“I think we are going to take this almost every month. Obviously there’s room for improvement,” Justin Turner said of the team’s 20-9 month. “I think we can play better.”