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Dodgers use group effort to beat the Pirates in homestand opener

Pittsburgh Pirates v Los Angeles Dodgers Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

Back at home for a reset, the Dodgers moved past a lost weekend on the road with a group effort to beat the Pirates 5-2 on Monday night at Dodger Stadium.

They didn’t score first, but the Dodgers scored the most frequently, plating five runs in the first five innings.

Max Muncy led off the second inning with a home run off Mitch Keller to center field, a sight for sore eyes after a struggling and injury-plagued June for the third baseman. Muncy’s home run was his first since June 2, a drought that was exacerbated by missing 11 games with a left hamstring strain. But when he did play, in between home runs Muncy had just five hits in 49 at-bats, plus eight walks.

Muncy also singled in the seventh for his second multi-hit game in four starts since returning from the IL.

David Peralta was in the middle of everything as he has been of late. He doubled and scored in the second, then singled home a run in the fifth, extending his hitting streak to nine games.

Miguel Rojas, who doubled twice on the road trip but entered Monday with a .552 OPS, doubled home Miguel Vargas in the fourth, with both middle infield Miguels combining for a mini two-out rally.

Called up before Monday’s game, Michael Grove was asked to get through the Pirates lineup twice and he did just that, facing 18 batters in his four innings of work. He worked around some traffic, including four singles in the second inning, then walked one and hit batter to start the third inning, but only allowed one run.

It’s the first time in his last five starts and/or bulk outings in which he didn’t allow a multi-run inning, a nice palate cleanser to start July after a 6.86 ERA in June.

After Grove came the parade of one-inning relievers. Only Ryan Brasier allowed a run. Daniel Hudson pitched in his second game since getting activated off the injured list over the weekend, this time as a setup man in a scoreless eighth inning, strengthening the top of the bullpen depth chart.

Monday particulars

Home run: Max Muncy (19)

WP — Caleb Ferguson (5-3): 1 IP, 2 strikeouts

LP — Mitch Keller (9-4): 5 IP, 8 hits, 5 runs (4 earned), 1 walk, 7 strikeouts

Sv — Evan Phillips (12): 1 IP, 1 HBP

Up next

The second game of the series starts one hour earlier on July 4 (6:10 p.m., SportsNet LA), with Emmet Sheehan making his fourth major league start. Right-hander Luis Ortiz starts for Pittsburgh.