Tuesday saw another back-and-forth game at PNC Park, and for the second straight game the Dodgers prevailed, this time with an 8-5 win over the Pirates in Pittsburgh.
Both starters were wild, with Brock Stewart and Jameson Taillon combining for nine walks in seven innings. This game was left to the bullpens, where the Dodgers feasted.
Adrian Gonzalez collected his 2,000th career hit on Tuesday, a leadoff double in the sixth inning in a 5-5 tie. Two outs later, the game was untied when Corey Seager singled him home, extending his own hitting streak to 11 games in the process.
Yasmani Grandal widened the Dodgers’ advantage with a two-run home run in the seventh inning, his 17th of the season. He has a six-game hitting streak, with three home runs and two doubles during that span.
The Dodgers have six players with 17 home runs — Cody Bellinger, Yasiel Puig, Seager, Taylor, Justin Turner and Grandal -- for the first time ever.
With the win, the Dodgers assured themselves of at least a split of the four-game set in Pittsburgh, extending their streak of unbeaten series to 22.
The 1953 Brooklyn Dodgers were 90-40 at the end of August, on their way to a franchise-record 105 wins. This year’s team is 89-35, with eight more games left in the month to become the second Dodgers team to win 90 games before September.
Mr. Bases Loaded
Chris Taylor recorded his team-leading 12th three-hit game of the season on Tuesday, and as usual was in the middle of things for the Dodgers offense. He doubled in the first inning — his 30th of the season, tying Seager for the team lead — and scored on a pair of ground balls.
He singled in two runs in the Dodgers’ three-run second inning, continuing his amazing run this season with the bases loaded. Taylor already tied the franchise record with three grand slams in a season, and with the bases juiced in 2017 is 5-for-8 with four walks, hitting a robust .625/.750/1.750.
In just 12 plate appearances, Taylor’s 19 RBI are tied with Tigers outfielder Justin Upton (in 13 PA) for second most in the majors this season, behind only Manny Machado’s 21 RBI in 14 such PA.
Milestone for Granderson
Dodgers outfielder Curtis Granderson walked and stole second base in the fifth inning, his fifth steal of the season and first since joining the Dodgers. It was the 150th steal of Granderson’s career, which with his 314 home runs put him in select company.
Granderson is the 36th player in MLB history with at least 300 home runs and 150 steals.
Stewart walked a pair in his first two innings but worked around them, keeping the Pirates off the board. He even helped himself at the plate with a bases-loaded single in the second inning, his first major league RBI and his second major league hit.
The single snapped an 0-for-54 skid by Dodgers pitchers at the plate, a drought that included 32 strikeouts. Stewart notched the first hit by a Dodgers pitcher since Kenta Maeda singled against the Royals on July 7.
Staked to a 4-0 lead, Stewart unraveled in the third inning, facing five batters and not retiring a single one. He returned the favor, allowing a single to his opposite number, Pirates starter Jameson Taillon, then Starling Marte homered to cut the Dodgers’ lead in half.
Stewart then allowed two walks and a single to loaded the bases with nobody out, ending his night after just six outs.
Josh Ravin, recalled before the game — giving the Dodgers nine relievers -- for just this situation, was greeted by a three-run double by Josh Harrison, who has three extra-base hits and four RBI in the first two games of this series. Ravin pitched two innings of his own, allowing nothing else, with three strikeouts.
In three starts this season, Stewart has eight walks and five strikeouts in 9⅔ innings. As a relief pitcher, he has three walks and 12 strikeouts in 14⅓ innings.
Wasn't my night at all, but damn what a team we have! The guys had my back in a big way!— Brock Stewart (@Brock_A_Stewart) August 23, 2017
The Dodgers bullpen -- Ravin, Tony Watson, Tony Cingrani, Josh Fields and Kenley Jansen -- combined to allow three hits and two walks in seven innings on Tuesday, with nine strikeouts.
Rich Hill takes the mound in the third game of the series, another 4:05 p.m. PT start on Wednesday night. The Pirates will turn to Trevor Williams.
Home runs: Yasmani Grandal (17); Starling Marte (4)
WP - Tony Watson (7-4): 1 IP, zeroes
LP - Johnny Barbato (0-1): 1 IP, 2 hits, 1 run, 1 walk, 1 strikeout
Sv - Kenley Jansen (34): 1 IP, 3 strikeouts