The Dodgers’ offense is coming off a productive June when they hit 55 home runs, most in a calendar month in franchise history. And at the start of July, they look even better.
First the Dodgers crushed the Pirates on Monday to the tune of 17 runs and 21 hits. On Tuesday it was six home runs, including back-to-back homers from Joc Pederson and Max Muncy to lead off the game. Muncy went deep twice and has 20 on the season.
So with scheduled starter Joe Musgrove headed to the disabled list with a finger infection, the Pirates must send somebody else to the wolves.
Right-hander Clay Holmes (0-0, 2.25 ERA) is expected to make his first start of the season for Pittsburgh on Wednesday. He has pitched in two games for the Pirates this season, and he threw two hitless, scoreless innings in his most recent appearance June 24 against Arizona. He has never faced the Dodgers.
The Dodgers’ Rich Hill (1-3, 4.68) will make his fourth start since coming off the disabled list because of a blister on the middle finger of his left hand.
On Friday, Hill faced the Colorado Rockies and gave up one run on six hits over 6 2/3 innings with 10 strikeouts. He threw 110 pitches in that game, validating the series of laser treatments he received while out of action.
“I was really pleased with the consistency of the flight of the ball,” Hill said after his last outing, according to the Los Angeles Times. “The way the curveball came out of my hand Devin Bush Jersey , the consistency of that. Everything really came together tonight.”
Hill is 3-2 lifetime against the Pirates with a 3.25 ERA over nine starts, although he is a far different pitcher than the first time he squared off against them in 2006.
Holmes faces a major challenge against the Dodgers’ potent offense. When Matt Kemp went 5-for-5 with a homer on Monday, it gave him a hit in eight consecutive at-bats.
Also homering for the Dodgers on Tuesday were Yasmani Grandal, Enrique Hernandez and Chris Taylor.
The Dodgers’ run-scoring onslaught has left the Pirates reeling. Not only did the Pirates’ bullpen absorb five innings Monday, it was called on for three more innings Tuesday. Tuesday’s starter, Ivan Nova, allowed seven runs on nine hits in his five-plus innings.
“We’ve been a little short on the front end of things, which has provided some complications on the bullpen,” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said, according to mlb.com.
The Dodgers will see their 10-game homestand come to an end Wednesday, but their Southern California stay is just beginning. Next up is a “road trip” to Anaheim and San Diego, before three more home games to close out the first half.
The Pirates are 2-3 on their six-game tour of Southern California, having faced the San Diego P luded a stop in New York to face the Mets.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Rookie quarterback Will Grier got in his first work with the Carolina Panthers, while Cam Newton continued to be limited — even on the kickball field.Grier, the team’s rookie third-round draft pick, threw for the first time with his new NFL team as the Panthers opened rookie minicamp on a practice field outside of Bank of America stadium.Newton, who is coming off shoulder surgery, spent his day inside the stadium hosting his fifth annual “Kicking it with Cam” celebrity kickball tournament to benefit youth in the areas of education, diversity and inclusion, and wellness. In the past Newton has participated in the event, but he did not Friday.“It’s all right, it’s getting there,” Newton said about his surgically repaired right shoulder.Newton underwent an arthroscopic procedure on Jan. 24, but has not thrown a football yet. When asked if he knows when he will be cleared t . “But I can get better. That is one thing I can do. At this point the things that make me (who I am) are instilled and cemented in. It’s just up to me to take my game to the next level and get better.”Instead of playing his normal role as a kickball pitcher, Newton mingled with some of celebrities on hand, including boxer Evander Holyfield — whose son, running back Elijah Holyfield, recently signed as an undrafted free agent — former NFL player Terrell Owens and several current Panthers teammates including Christian McCaffrey and Kawann Short. He also did some dancing , too.Grier was hoping to attend the kickball event, too, but was a little busy learning his new job.Grier, who grew up in the Charlotte area, was with Carolina’s other rookies going through two short practices and spending most of the day in the classroom with coaches learning plays.He said his primary goal this weekend is to show coaches that he’s wi o with the idea that he could come in and backup Newton — and perhaps develop into a starting quarterback down the road.“I have to be ready to play,” Grier said. “So that is my kind of goal, and my role, right now. All of the twos (backups) need to act like ones (starters) and that just means you have to be ready to play when your number is called.”Grier and Newton have met in the past.When Grier took the practice field Friday, he was in a familiar place. Several years ago he led Davidson Day High School to a championship in a 7-on-7 football tournament sponsored by the Cam Newton Foundation.He got to meet Newton at the time.Now, as surreal as he said it feels, he’s in the same quarterback room with the 2015 league MVP playing in the NFL.“I don’t remember if we took pictures,” Grier said recalling the 7-on-7 tournament. “But I remember Cam telling us to keep the energy up.”