PITTSBURGH (AP) Roansy Contreras gave up two hits in six scoreless innings while Ji Hwan Bae and Jason Delay had three hits each in the Pittsburgh Pirates’ 8-1 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday night.
Contreras (3-1) took a no-hitter into the sixth inning before Austin Wynns broke it up with a leadoff single and Freddie Freeman singled with one out. Contreras escaped the jam and preserved a 2-0 lead by getting Jason Heyward and James Outman to fly out.
“I mean no-hit through five with that lineup, that’s not easy to do,” Pirates manager Derek Shelton said. “You know, kind of lost his command a little bit in the sixth but he was really good. He was really effective.”
Contreras struck out five and walked two while notching his third straight quality start.
“You resonate with good work, hard work, consistency and a year-plus in the big leagues,” Contreras said through a translator. “That helps a lot when it comes to adjusting to the league and making my pitches out there.”
Hitting in the bottom two spots of the batting order, Bae stole three bases and Delay drove in three runs. Bae raised his season steal total to 10 and became the first Pirates player to steal multiple baes in back-to-back games since Starling Marte in 2017.
The Pirates lead the major leagues with 34 stolen bases, including six Wednesday. The rule changes instituted by Major League Baseball to increase the running game are benefitting Pittsburgh.
“We’ve done a really nice job in the early going in how we’ve exploited it,” Shelton said.
Rodolfo Castro added two hits for the Pirates, who won for the eighth time in nine games to improve to 17-8. Pittsburgh has the best record in the National League after losing 101 games in 2021 and 100 games in 2022.
Despite their great start, the Pirates aren’t drawing many fans. There were just 12,152 in attendance Wednesday night, the fourth straight game with under 13,000.
Tony Gonsolin started and made his season debut for the Dodgers, whose three-game winning streak was stopped. Gonsolin sprained his left ankle during spring training after going 16-1 last season for Los Angeles, which won a franchise-record 111 games.
Gonsolin threw 65 pitches over 3 1/3 scoreless innings. He allowed two hits and three walks while striking out one.
“I was not throwing very many effective pitches and I was falling behind in a lot of counts,” Gonsolin said. “I don’t want to make any excuses but (the IL stint) might have had an effect. I was throwing a lot of strikes in the bullpen warming up, but I couldn’t carry it over into the game.”
Freeman accounted for the Dodgers’ lone run with an eighth-inning homer and had two of Los Angeles’ four hits.
The Pirates opened the scoring in the fifth inning on back-to-back RBI singles by Bryan Reynolds and Andrew McCutchen off Phil Bickford (0-1). Reynolds’ hit came after he signed an eight-year, $106.75-million contract, the richest in franchise history, earlier in the day,
Delay’s run-scoring single in the sixth inning extended Pittsburgh’s lead to 3-0 and he hit a two-run double during a five-run seventh that broke the game open. Castillo added a two-run single in the outburst and Bae drove in a run with an infield single.
The Pirates’ Drew Maggi, a 33-year-old utility player, made his major league debut in the eighth inning when he pinch-hit for McCutchen and struck out. Maggi had played in 1,154 minor league games over 13 seasons.
Home plate umpire Jeff Nelson called Maggi for a pitch-clock violation with the count 0-1.
Dodgers: DH J.D. Martinez missed his second straight game because of back tightness. … SS Miguel Rojas (strained left hamstring) took batting practice Wednesday but will need a rehab assignment before being activated from the injured list … C Will Smith (concussion) said he is unsure if we be able to come off the IL on Friday when the Dodgers play St. Louis to open a homestand. … RHP Brusdar Graterol and 3B Max Muncy are expected to be activated from the paternity list Friday … RHP Andre Jackson was optioned to Triple-A Oklahoma City as the corresponding roster move for the activation of Gonsolin.
Pirates: RHP Wil Crowe was placed on the 15-day IL with right shoulder discomfort and RHP Cody Bolton’s contract was selected from Triple-A Indianapolis. C Tyler Heineman was designated for assignment to clear a 40-man roster spot for Bolton. … Reynolds was activated from the bereavement list and OF Canaan Smith-Njigba was optioned to Indianapolis.
The three-game series concludes Thursday afternoon with LHP Julio Urias (3-2, 3.33 ERA) pitching for the Dodgers against RHP Mitch Keller (2-0, 3.64). Keller has a 1.98 ERA in his last seven home starts dating to last season.
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