Dodgers beat Pirates 2-1 on HRs by McKinney and Muncy
LOS ANGELES (AP) — A couple of newcomers helped produce a fourth straight victory for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Max Muncy hit a tiebreaking home run in the eighth inning and Billy McKinney went deep for the first time with Los Angeles in a 2-1 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Monday night.
McKinney is filling in for injured All-Star Mookie Betts since being acquired July 21 from the Mets. His solo shot tied the game in the seventh, and he also had a big assist from right field in the third when his pinpoint throw cut down a runner at third base.
“Billy really had a great night on both sides of the ball,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said.
Andre Jackson made his major league debut in the second inning after being recalled earlier in the day. The 25-year-old right-hander allowed two hits in four innings, struck out five and walked four. He has split this season between Double-A Tulsa and Triple-A Oklahoma City, with a combined record of 5-2 and a 3.28 ERA.
“It’s pretty unreal coming up to a team this stacked,” Jackson said. “It was everything I thought it was going to be. I didn’t have the nerves that I thought I was going to have, so I’m very grateful for that.”
The Dodgers’ winning streak over the Pirates reached a franchise-record 14 games and they’ve won 11 in a row against them at home. They are 21-2 versus Pittsburgh since 2017.
Blake Treinen (3-5) got the win in relief. He struck out two in 1 1/3 innings.
Kenley Jansen pitched the ninth for his 24th save, but not without some suspense.
The Pirates had the potential tying run in scoring position with one out after newly signed Yoshi Tsutsugo doubled into the left-field corner off Jansen. Tsutsugo moved to third on Hoy Park’s groundout, but Jansen got Ke’Bryan Hayes to ground out and the Pirates dropped their third in a row.
Pirates starter Steven Brault knew the Dodgers were dangerous when trailing by one run.
“It’s almost harder since it’s a bullpen game for them,” he said. “Everybody that comes up to the plate, you’ve got to be on your game.”
Offense was in short supply for both teams. They had three hits each through six scoreless innings.
Muncy homered twice in a 14-4 victory over the Mets on Sunday night. He and the rest of the Dodgers arrived back in Los Angeles after 3 a.m. Muncy popped up, walked and was hit by a pitch in his first three plate appearances before driving his 26th homer to right field off Chasen Shreve (1-1).
McKinney tied the game 1-all in the seventh, going deep to right off Anthony Banda in a matchup of lefties.
The Pirates took a 1-0 lead in the seventh. Gregory Polanco got hit by a pitch from Brusdar Graterol, took second on Rodolfo Castro’s infield single and scored on a throwing error by first baseman Cody Bellinger. Pinch-hitter Wilmer Difo sacrificed and Bellinger raced in only to fire the ball past first base.
The Pirates stranded 10 runners in the game.
Left-hander Justin Bruihl opened a bullpen game for the Dodgers with one inning in his first career start.
Brault made his second start of the season for the Pirates, allowing three hits in 5 2/3 innings. He struck out four and walked one.
Dodgers: LHP Clayton Kershaw (left elbow inflammation) played catch for the first time and will do so again this week. How his arm responds will determine how aggressive he can be going forward. “The best-case scenario is he’s making a couple starts in September,” Roberts said. ... C Will Smith got the night off.
HAMELS TO DL
Cole Hamels went on the 60-day IL with an unspecified injury, effectively ending his season with the Dodgers. The 37-year-old lefty signed a one-year deal less than two weeks ago.
He missed nearly all of the 2020 season with a shoulder injury, pitching only 3 1/3 innings in one start on an $18 million, one-year deal with the Atlanta Braves.
“Right now we’re just sad for Cole,” Roberts said. “He did everything he could to get back on a major league team and unfortunately it didn’t happen.”
Tsutsugo, a 29-year-old utility player, has spent most of this season with Triple-A Oklahoma City, where he hit .257 with 10 home runs and 32 RBIs. Tsutsugo was on Tampa Bay’s opening day roster before being designated for assignment on May 11. He was acquired by the Dodgers four days later and played in 12 games before going on the injured list June 9 with a right calf strain. Tsutsugo was outrighted off Los Angeles’ roster on July 7 and released on Saturday. To make room for him on the 26-man active roster, John Nogowski was designated for assignment.
Pirates: RHP Wil Crowe (3-7, 5.27 ERA) has lost back-to-back starts after winning two in a row. He’s won two of his last three starts on the road.
Dodgers: LHP David Price (4-1, 3.60) has pitched more than five innings in a game just twice this season. He has yet to become a permanent part of the rotation even though injuries and Trevor Bauer’s paid administrative leave have decimated the starting staff.
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