The Dodgers entered tonight 2-6 in their last eight and losers of three in a row, but they ended that skid with a 4-1 victory over the White Sox behind yet another excellent Tony Gonsolin start.
Forget All-Star, at this rate he’s starting the damn game.
Old nemesis Johnny Cueto is now on the White Sox, and perhaps the familiar look helped the offense a bit. With two outs in the 1st, Trea Turner singled and then Will Smith followed by popping his seventh homer of the year and second in three games for a 2-0 lead.
The 2nd didn’t provide any relief for Cueto, as Cody Bellinger led-off the inning by skying a homer of his own, which was his seventh as well.
Cueto did settle in after that, however, retiring 15 of the next 17 batters he faced, including eight in a row after the homer.
Fortunately, the Dodgers had their ace Tony Gonsolin going and he continued to deal tonight. He started the game in style, retiring 12 of the first 14 batters he faced to power himself through four shutout.
Gonsolin did face adversity, as Jake Burger led off the 5th with a solo homer, and Gavin Sheets followed with a double. AJ Pollock then drew a walk and things weren’t looking so hot all of a sudden. However, Gonsolin buckled down, inducing a routine groundout, getting a key strikeout on a nasty splitter, and then inducing a fly ball to center to escape.
Gonsolin rebounded from that with an emphatically clean 6th on just 12 pitches that included two strikeouts: 6 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 5 K, 94 Pitches.
Despite that effort the game was close throughout as the bats couldn’t get much going. Even the White Sox pen started by getting six in a row into the 9th. However, Trea’s power has continued to show up of late, and he led off the frame with his seventh homer of the season for a 4-0 lead.
As per usual, the pen entered in the 7th after Gonsolin, with Yency Almonte entering and carving with two strikeouts in a 13-pitch inning.
Struggling Brusdar Graterol followed in the 8th and bounced back from allowing three runs in each of his previous two outings by getting a quick 10-pitch inning that included a strikeout.
That was the bridge to Daniel Hudson with Craig Kimbrel on paternity leave, who did his job with two strikeouts in a clean frame, allowing just a two-out single.
Even though he’s only broadcasted road games and part time, the Dodgers have broken Eric Karros already.
The Dodgers improve to 36-20 on the year and are temporarily 2 games up on the Padres in the NL West as they are still playing.
The rubber match of the series is tomorrow at 8:10 AM HT/11:10 AM PT/2:10 PM ET, which is way too early for me. Anyway, Tyler Anderson starts against Dylan Cease in what seems like a surprisingly even matchup.