Standing at second base, 2,400 miles away from the ballpark he calls home, Adrian Gonzalez doffed his batting helmet. A modest crowd at PNC Park rose to salute his achievement, the 2,000th hit of his career, a double down the first base line in the sixth inning of an 8-5 Dodgers victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates.
“It’s one of those milestones that means a lot,” Gonzalez said. “A lot to be grateful for, a lot to be thankful for. I’m just going to continue to try and do it, keep going.”
Gonzalez would come around to score the go-ahead run on a single by Corey Seager as the Dodgers conducted a night-long battering of Pirates pitchers. Gonzalez has made hard contact since returning from the disabled list Friday. He walked in the second inning and scored on a two-run single by Chris Taylor, who had three hits and three RBIs. Yasmani Grandal added some insurance with a two-run homer in the seventh.
The Dodgers overcame a third-inning combustion by spot starter Brock Stewart. Handed a four-run lead by his teammates, who bullied starter Jameson Taillon, Stewart capsized. A well-place groundball from Taillon led to a leadoff single. Starling Marte hammered a 91-mph fastball into the left-field seats to cut the deficit in half. From there, Stewart’s command disappeared, as he walked two batters, gave up a single and left with the bases loaded.
Stewart dealt with sinus issues over the weekend. Neither he nor manager Dave Roberts would use the illness to explain his performance.
“The bottom line is he wasn’t executing like he knows he’s capable of doing,” Roberts said.
The Dodgers did not trail for long. With runners at second and third in the fourth inning, Taylor ripped a grounder down the third base line. Harrison could not handle it and Taylor received credit for a run-scoring single. Seager drove Gonzalez home two innings later.
The bullpen made the lead hold up. Ravin finished with two scoreless innings. Tony Watson (7-4) secured three outs. Tony Cingrani got six outs. After Josh Fields pitched the eighth inning, Kenley Jansen recorded his 34th save.
“They did a great job,” Roberts said.