Former Mountaineer Michael Grove made the fifth start of his Major League Baseball career Sunday afternoon in Los Angeles.
Grove remains part of the Dodgers rotation as LA continues to deal with a slew of injuries to its pitching staff.
The rookie completed five innings for his third-straight start and, more importantly, earned the first win of his big league career.
Grove needed just 69 pitches to complete his five innings of work. He struck out three, while limiting the Cardinals to just one run on three hits.
The Wheeling, West Virginia native needed just 10 pitches to get through the first inning. He then picked up a pair of strikeouts as he danced around trouble in the second inning. His inning-ending punchout of Tommy Edman stranded a runner at third base, and held what could’ve been a big frame for the Cardinals to just one run.
Grove pitched another 1-2-3 inning in the third, which he completed by striking out NL MVP front-runner Paul Goldschmidt. An error by the Dodger infield placed a runner third with only one out in the fourth, but Grove induced a pair of flyouts to once again strand a runner in scoring position.
He finished his outing with a 1-2-3 fifth inning.
Grove has now pitched at least four innings in each of his last four starts.
The former Mountaineer became just the eighth WVU alumus since 1900 to earn a win on the mound in his first season in the big leagues. Alek Manoah, John Means and Steve Kline are among the former WVU pitchers to do so.
Sunday marked the first time that Grove allowed fewer than two runs in an outing. The three hits allowed are tied for a career-best.
The 69 pitches he tossed against the Cardinals are a significant improvement over his previous two starts. Grove needed 92 pitches to complete five innings in his last start on Sept. 20.