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July 11, 2013

What You Need to Know

Dodgers Back at Breakeven

by Daniel Rathman


The Wednesday Takeaways
With 30 teams in the major leagues, there are 435 possible matchups, and—since there are no ties in baseball—870 possible results. Entering play on Wednesday night, 869 of those outcomes had, at some point in history, been recorded. But the Pirates had never beaten the Athletics. They had played 11 times, including twice earlier this week, and the A’s had won each one.

Finally, in their 12th crack at the green and gold since 2002, the Buccos came out on top. Clint Hurdle’s club, which—now just 28 wins shy of the franchise’s first winning season in two decades—is well on its way to a more significant bit of history, rode the left shoulder of Francisco Liriano to a 5-0 shutout in the series finale.

Liriano limited the visitors to four hits (all singles) and a walk in seven innings of work before Justin Wilson and Jeanmar Gomez sealed the deal with two frames of one-hit relief. The Pirates plated three runs in the third inning, which began with back-to-back doubles off the bats of Starling Marte and Jose Tabata, and added two insurance tallies in the fourth on their way to their 54th win of the season.

Thus, the 870th box on the list of possible major-league outcomes was finally checked off.

***

Hours later, in the desert, the Dodgers enjoyed a first of their own. With a 14-inning, 7-5 victory over the Diamondbacks, Don Mattingly’s club completed a critical sweep, moved to within 1 ½ games of first place, and climbed to .500 for the first time since the end of April.

Back then, the Dodgers were 13-13, Yasiel Puig was still in Double-A, and Hanley Ramirez was a day removed from a month-long stint on the disabled list, which he spent recovering from surgery to repair a torn ligament in his right thumb. Now, after his game-winning solo shot off of Josh Collmenter, which preceded a follow-up blast from A.J. Ellis, Ramirez is batting .409, Puig is the toast of the town, and the Dodgers are 45-45.

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<< Previous Article
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