The Pittsburgh Pirates continued their unexpected dominance over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday night, winning an 8-4 contest (box score) that completed the season series as well as a three-game sweep.
The Pirates, who entered the night with a 21-27 record on the regular season, serve as the rare team that might be disheartened to not face the Dodgers again this year. Wednesday's victory ensured that the Pirates will finish the campaign with a 5-1 record against the Dodgers, the best team in the National League based on their run differential. (The Dodgers have outscored teams by 113 runs; the New York Mets, for a point of comparison, have outscored their opponents by a total of 77 runs.)
Veteran left-hander José Quintana received the start on Wednesday. He worked just 4 ⅓ innings and was fortunate to escape having allowed just two earned runs. That's because he'd given up seven hits and one walk, or an average of nearly two baserunners per inning.
The Pirates' bullpen did its part to keep the Dodgers off the board. Chase De Jong, Dillon Peters, and Chris Stratton combined to allow no runs on three hits. Anthony Banda, tasked with closing out the game, did surrender a pair of runs.
Offensively, the Pirates were paced by second baseman Rodolfo Castro (who replaced Josh VanMeter after he suffered a hand injury) and outfielder Bryan Reynolds. The two combined for six runs batted in, with four of those coming courtesy of Castro.
Indeed, Castro launched a two-run homer in the eighth and then followed it up by driving in two more with a ninth-inning single. For those wondering, he entered the night having batted .180/.265/.246 (48 OPS+) with no home runs in his first 68 plate appearances, making Wednesday an unusual night all around.
The Pirates will now have Thursday off before hosting the Arizona Diamondbacks for a weekend series. The Dodgers, meanwhile, will lick their wounds ahead of a four-game set versus those aforementioned Mets.