LOS ANGELES — The Pittsburgh Pirates headed north by bus Sunday evening to see if the roller-coaster ride will continue.
Fresh off a series victory at San Diego Mark Andrews Jersey , capped by a 7-5 victory Sunday, the Pirates are now in Los Angeles for the first of three games Monday, having won four of their last six games.
That winning run came after a five-game losing streak. The five games before that? The Pirates won four of them.
The Dodgers have been a bit steadier of late, going 17-9 in June to keep pace with the first-place Arizona Diamondbacks in the National League West. But the end of June was a bit of a struggle as the Dodgers lost four of their last five before the calendar flipped. They opened July with a 6-4 win over the Colorado Rockies on Sunday.
Not only did the Dodgers’ offense take off in June, to the tune of 55 home runs to set a franchise record for a month, the pitching staff got healthy again … literally.
Alex Wood (4-5 Ondrej Palat Jersey , 4.00 ERA) will take the mound Monday, looking and feeling much better after nagging leg cramps early in the year.
Wood went seven innings against the Chicago Cubs in his last outing Wednesday, his longest start since his season debut on March 30 when he worked eight innings against the San Francisco Giants.
An All-Star for the first time last season, Wood is once again starting to look like the pitcher who can rise to the occasion on a nightly basis.
“I’m still looking for consistency out of my sinker, but the breaking ball was a lot better,” Wood told reporters after his most recent start. “Overall Luke Schenn Jersey Kids , it was pretty good.”
The Dodgers also have Clayton Kershaw back recently from a lower back injury and Rich Hill returned from a blister on his left middle finger. Both left-handers will face the Pirates this week.
Pittsburgh announced Sunday that Nick Kingham (2-3, 3.82) will start the series opener at Dodger Stadium. He will take the spot of Chad Kuhl, who is on the DL with a forearm strain.
The Pirates (40-43) know that getting some length on their current winning ways can get them to .500 soon, possibly by the All-Star break that starts in two weeks.
“We’re starting to show a little bit of resiliency here the last week or so,” Pirates infielder Josh Harrison said, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “A team that (is) not making any excuses Roman Josi Jersey , which is refreshing because at the end of the day we know what we have to do and that’s come to show up every day.
“It’s been some ups and downs, but every team goes through ups and downs, and a lot of guys here are riding that wave of knowing that any day can be that day that we turn it around.”
Wood is 2-2 with a 2.86 ERA in eight career games (seven starts) against the Pirates. He has not faced Pittsburgh since last season. Kingham, a rookie, has not pitched against the Dodgers in any of his first six appearances.The NHL suspended Washington Capitals forward Tom Wilson three games on Wednesday for an illegal hit on Pittsburgh’s Zach Aston-Reese.
The league announced the suspension less than 24 hours after Wilson broke Aston-Reese’s jaw with a violent collision near the Washington bench in the second period of Washington’s 4-3 Game 3 victory over the Penguins.
Aston-Reese was stickhandling near the Capitals bench when Wilson drilled the rookie with his left shoulder. The force propelled Wilson up into the Washington bench while Aston-Reese lay on the ice for several moments before skating off. He was later diagnosed with a concussion and a broken jaw.
The NHL’s Department of Player Safety ruled Wilson made Aston-Reese’s head the initial point of contact during the collision, pointing out that Wilson did not have to pivot to his left side to hit Aston-Reese.
The league said Aston-Reese made no sudden movement at the last second that made contact unavoidable. The league pointed out several ways Wilson could have finished the play legally only to instead launch himself at Aston-Reese.
”He extends up and into the hit unnecessarily Carlos Dunlap Jerse ,” the league said in a video.
While Wilson was not penalized during the game, the league’s Department of Player Safety called for a hearing on Wednesday.
This isn’t the first time this season Wilson has been disciplined by the league. He was forced to sit out two preseason games following a late hit on St. Louis Blues rookie Robert Thomas and was suspended for the first four games of the regular season for boarding Blues forward Sammy Blais shortly after his return.
The league pointed out Wilson’s status as a repeat offender as a factor in the length of the suspension it handed out.
Game 4 is scheduled for Thursday night in Pittsburgh.
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