By STEVE DILBECK, Associated Press
LOS ANGELES (AP) — This one was easy for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Chris Taylor hit a grand slam during a six-run first inning, Alex Wood and two relievers combined for 17 strikeouts and the Dodgers rolled over the Pittsburgh Pirates 12-1 on Monday night.
“It was fun tonight,” Taylor said.
At least for the Dodgers. Pittsburgh was behind 10-0 after four innings.
“The beauty of this game is games like this only count as one loss,” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said.
The Dodgers have won three straight and eight of 10. Their 15 hits tied a season high.
Yasiel Puig added a solo homer in the first as Los Angeles jumped all over Trevor Williams (1-2), who was filling in for Jameson Taillon after he had surgery Monday for suspected testicular cancer.
In his fourth start, Wood (3-0) threw five scoreless innings, holding the Pirates to two hits and a walk while striking out a season-high 11. Ross Stripling allowed a run but fanned five over three innings, and Adam Liberatore added a strikeout during a perfect ninth.
“It was a complete game by us,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said.
Wood got his chance to start when injuries depleted Los Angeles’ rotation. Now the Dodgers are rife with healthy arms, but the left-hander isn’t throwing like someone headed back to the bullpen.
“You have to control what you can control,” he said. “I’m just happy with the consistency.”
Taylor and Joc Pederson each had three hits, and Pederson, Yasmani Grandal and Enrique Hernandez each drove in a pair of runs.
It was Taylor’s third home run of the season, matching his career high.
“He has the ability to cover more pitches this year,” Roberts said, “and he’s handling velocity better.”
It was the second slam in two games for Los Angeles, which got one from rookie Cody Bellinger on Saturday in San Diego.
A reliever all season, Williams made his first start of the year. He allowed eight runs, seven hits and a walk over three innings.
“I had the chance to stop the bleeding,” Williams said. “Unfortunately, he (Taylor) hit it over the fence for four runs.”
Jose Osuna drove in Pittsburgh’s only run with a single in the sixth.
Pirates: Adam Frazier (hamstring) made his first rehab start, going 1 for 3 with a double and an RBI for Triple-A Indianapolis. He is already eligible to come off the disabled list.
Dodgers: Placed RHP Brandon McCarthy on the 10-day disabled list with a sore left shoulder he injured weightlifting and called up Liberatore. McCarthy said he felt able to pitch.
With the Dodgers leading 10-0 after five innings, Roberts removed shortstop Corey Seager. One inning later, Justin Turner was pulled. Roberts said both were fine, he was just taking advantage of the blowout to get them some rest. “I just felt it was an opportunity,” the manager said.
WELCOME TO TOWN
New Los Angeles Rams coach Sean McVay threw out the first pitch. The 31-year-old McVay was hired in January and is the youngest head coach in modern NFL history. He exchanged a hug and a few words with Roberts on the field.
WHAT TO DO
Hurdle did not seem too devastated by the loss. He thought Williams pitched better than his line looked and credited the Dodgers. “Those guys over there, you make mistakes, they make you pay,” Hurdle said.
Pirates: RHP Ivan Nova (3-3, 2.14 ERA) makes his seventh start of the season Tuesday against the Dodgers. He’s walked one batter in 42 innings this season and thrown two complete games.
Dodgers: LHP Julio Urias (0-0, 0.84) gets his third big league start of the year. The team’s top pitching prospect has held opponents to a .229 batting average in the previous two, but he’s walked eight and struck out five.
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