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Dodgers offense showing signs of life

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Dodgers have a chance to even up their road trip with Sunday night's series finale against the Pirates, trying to salvage one game in the weekend series at PNC Park.

If there is one positive to take from the first five games of the trip, it's that the Dodgers offense has produced. The club has scored 25 runs in five games, hitting .301/.389/.421 in Pennsylvania.

With runners in scoring position, the Dodgers are hitting .292/.386/.500 on the trip, but even more importantly they have had 57 plate appearances with RISP in five games.

On the season the Dodgers are hitting .262/.349/.423 with a .331 wOBA with runners in scoring position, third in the National League in OPS, slugging percentage and wOBA, fifth in on-base percentage and sixth in batting average. But they are dead last in the league with 959 plate appearances with RISP, roughly 80 PA shy of the NL team average.

The 11.4 plate appearances with RISP per game on the trip is an improvement over the 8.67 PA per game the club averaged on the season before the road trip.

Jimmy Rollins is 7-for-22 (.318) with three doubles and three walks (.400 on-base percentage) on the trip, and has reached base in all nine games since returning to the leadoff position, hitting .325/.372/.475 during that span.

Howie Kendrick has four straight multi-hit games and on the trip is 9-for-24 (.375) with two doubles.

Joc Pederson went from totally lost at the plate last weekend to having much more engaged plate appearances, and on the trip is 3-for-11 (.273) with a double and eight walks (.579 OBP) against only two strikeouts.

The Dodgers on the road trip have also excelled against opposing starting pitchers. They weren't able to cash in more than one run against Jerome Williams on Tuesday, but they did make him throw 102 pitches to end his night after five innings. Even including that Williams start, the Dodgers have scored 19 runs on 35 hits in 23 innings against the opposing starters in the five games of this road trip.

The only starter to last longer than five innings was Pirates ace Gerrit Cole, who pitched six innings on Friday, and the Dodgers were even able to score three times against him.

Opposing the Dodgers on Sunday night is Charlie Morton, who lasted seven innings his last time out and has averaged 6.19 innings per start over his last seven starts. His shortest start during that span is 5⅔ innings, but then again that was the same story for Mat Latos before he was roughed up in four innings on Saturday.

Dodgers starting pitchers on the trip haven't been very good either, allowing 21 runs on 35 hits in 28⅓ innings, though at least they are averaging a full inning longer than their counterparts. Alex Wood gets the call on Sunday, his second start as a Dodger, hoping to deploy his knuckle curve and replicate more of the first six innings of his Dodgers debut than the fateful seventh.

Game info

Time: 5:05 p.m. PT