The early story of the game, was Gerrit Cole‘s success on the mound to go along with the home run power shown by the Pirates. Coming into the game, as the National League team with the second fewest number of home runs, the Pirates had some really good swings against Los Angeles starter Alex Wood. Back to back home runs by Jose Osuna and Sean Rodriguez leading off the bottom of the second inning, and a solo home run by Josh Harrison in the third inning, had the Pirates out to a 3-0 lead. This looked like it would be enough for Gerrit Cole, as he put together a scoreless outing through his first six to match Wood’s six innings pitched with the three solo home runs allowed.
Things would not go so smoothly for Cole in the seventh inning however, as a Chase Utley lead off single got the Dodgers rally started. The Pirates entered the game with a short bullpen, and Clint Hurdle gave Gerrit Cole the seventh inning. Six batters into the seventh inning, with only one out recorded, it became evident that this was not a good strategy. A Curtis Granderson grand slam, two batters after an RBI single by Corey Seager, would end Cole’s night and put him in line to take the loss until the Pirates eighth inning rally. Cole’s final line would be, six and one-third innings pitched, with eight hits allowed, five earned runs, two walks and seven strikeouts on the night.
The Pirates eighth inning rally would start against former teammate Tony Watson, when he hit Adam Frazier leading off the bottom of the inning. After Watson struck out Starling Marte, Pedro Baez would enter the game for the Dodgers, and promptly give up an RBI double to Josh Harrison. This cut the Dodgers lead to 5-4, and with McCutchen up next, the Dodgers decided to pitch around him. A great at bat by David Freese to walk and load the bases, set the stage for Josh Bell who came to the plate pinch hitting for Jose Osuna. Bell would hit a ground ball that the Dodgers were able to get one out on, but the tying run scored when Bell was able to beat the relay throw to first on the double play attempt. This would set the stage for the game to head into extra innings, as the Pirates were not able to push the go ahead or winning run across in the eighth or ninth innings.
After two scoreless innings from Joaquin Benoit in the 10th and 11th innings, two pitches into the 12th inning, Yasiel Puig hit a breaking ball from Dovydas Neverauskas over the center field wall to give the Dodgers the lead. Neverauskas would make quick work of the rest of the Dodgers in the inning, but the damage was already done. The Pirates put together a rally in the bottom of the 12th, but an out by lead off man and pinch hitter Chad Kuhl, proved to be the difference in that inning. Max Moroff‘s drive came up short as Yasiel Puig hauled in the hard hit liner to end the game and give the Dodgers the win. With the win, the Dodgers improved to 88-35 on the season, while the Pirates dropped to 60-65. Tune in tomorrow night at 7:05, as the Pirates and Dodgers play game two of this four game set, with Jameson Taillon taking the mound to face off against Brock Stewart and the Dodgers.