Dodgers use six run 5th to trounce the Pirates

© Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Los Angeles escapes Pittsburgh with a win before taking on Yankees in highly anticipated matchup

PITTSBURGH — The Dodgers got a much needed, bounce back, 11-7 victory on Thursday behind a three hit day from Teoscar Hernandez. 

In what was a close game early due to some bad defensive play on the side of the Dodgers (who had three errors on the day), the offense broke out big against the Pirates’ Bailey Falter. Freddie Freeman continued his hot stretch, hitting his eighth home run of the year to give the Dodgers a 3-0 lead. 

Using a six run fifth inning that consisted of two home runs (Mookie Betts and Teoscar Hernandez) and a double, the Dodgers broke open the game to make it 10-4. After blowing a 4-0 lead, the potent lineup for the Dodgers finally showed up. 

Walker Buehler took the mound for Los Angeles and while he did not get much help from his defense, it was still a shaky outing. He went only three innings, giving up three earned runs, a home run and a walk. Evan Phillips was the only other arm out of the six the Dodgers used to give up runs, allowing three earned runs in a non-save situation. 

The Dodgers are now 39-25 and in first place in the National League West. 

Here are the takeaways:

Mookie Betts Breaks Out Of Slump

Betts is hitting .190 with 8 hits, 2 homers, 5 RBIs and 5 runs scored in his last 10 games. On Thursday, he finally broke out, going 2-for-4 with 2 walks and 2 runs scored. 

The craziest part is that Betts is now hitting .370 with runners in scoring position, despite his long slump at the plate. After his insanely hot start at the dish, Mookie has cooled off significantly, hitting .312 after being around .350 earlier in the season. 

With a big series coming up against the Yankees, let’s see if he can shine when the lights are bright. 

Teoscar Hernandez Does Damage

In a bit of an under the radar season, Hernandez now leads all National League outfielders with 13 home runs on the season. He came into the game hitless in his last 14 at-bats and had his third three-hit game of the season on Thursday. 

He has steadily become a consistent power threat in the lineup and it is needed while Max Muncy rehabs from his oblique injury. 

Defense Bailed Out

The Dodgers had a tough time fielding the ball on Thursday, committing three errors as a team. With Mookie Betts’ move to shortstop, it was thought that he could be an elite defender there after being a gold glover in right field for years. 

Betts has nine errors on the season and has looked uncomfortable for the most part at shortstop, but the team collectively has been fine. 

The numbers say that the Dodgers are among the teams with the least amount of errors in the MLB, however at times it can look like a team that is playing out of position. That is the price you pay for having dynamic players. 

The Dodgers will now travel to New York and take on the vaunted Yankees in one of the most anticipated series’ of the year. Yoshinobu Yamamoto faces his first major test against Cody Poteet for the Yankees. First pitch is set for 4:05 p.m.

The Sporting Tribune’s Arash Markazi contributed to this report.