What began as a welcome return for Tony Gonsolin ended up a showcase for a Dodgers bullpen that held the Rockies to just one run in eight innings. But that one run proved enough in Colorado’s 2-1 win over Los Angeles on Monday night at Dodger Stadium.
Eight Dodgers relievers were used, and didn’t allow a run until the ninth when Brusdar Graterol allowed hits to the UCLA duo of Sean Bouchard and Michael Toglia, the latter driving in the former with a two-out single in the ninth. In addition to the ninth-inning single, Bouchard doubled twice, giving him four doubles in the last two games.
Those two hits in the ninth made a winner out of another UCLA product, Jake Bird, who pitched two scoreless innings for the Rockies.
Trayce Thompson got the Dodgers on the board in the third inning with his 13th home run of the year, matching a career high. Thompson also singled in the fifth, and over his last six games is 7-for-17 (.412) with two home runs, a double, and six walks, a stretch that included nine straight plate appearances reaching base.
But that was it for a Dodgers offense that was held to one run for the second day in a row, and has averaged just 3.3 runs over the last 13 games.
Down a run in the ninth, the Dodgers hit the ball hard in the ninth against Justin Lawrence, getting a single by Trea Turner to open the frame. Freddie Freeman hit a ball to the warning track in right field, but it was tracked down by Randal Grichuk near the wall.
Max Muncy hit a 106.7-mph liner, the Dodgers’ third 100-mph drive of the inning, but it was right at Yonathan Daza in center to end it.
Hits and misses of Gonsolin’s return
The Dodgers right-hander showed promise in his first start for the team in 41 days, but also had the rust of someone who missed six weeks with a right forearm strain.
Gonsolin retired the Rockies in order in the first inning on 13 pitches, but ran into wildness in the second. He fell behind four straight batters, allowing three hits and a line drive out during that span, but was able to limit the damage to just one run thanks to two strikeouts to end the frame.
His eight swinging strikes in 20 swings were impressive, but any chances of Gonsolin pitching a third inning on Monday was torpedoed by a 27-pitch second. Gonsolin did get some work in in the bullpen during the third inning, like a glorified spring training contest but with much larger stakes.
This was just one step in the process of getting ready for the postseason, but an important one. After this Gonsolin will pitch in a simulated game this weekend, further stretching out to get back to something resembling a starter’s workload. Dave Roberts did tell reporters before Monday’s game that if Gonsolin is healthy, he would start in the postseason, either Game 3 or 4 of the NLDS.
Gonsolin looked healthy on Monday, which is a good sign for the Dodgers.
Home run: Trayce Thompson (13)
WP — Jake Bird (2-4): 2 IP, 2 strikeouts
LP — Brusdar Graterol (2-4): 1 IP, 2 hits, 1 run
Sv — Justin Lawrence (1): 1 IP, 1 hit
Julio Urías has one more start to secure the National League ERA title and add to his Cy Young résumé on Tuesday night (7:10 p.m., SportsNet LA), with right-hander Ryan Feltner starting for Colorado.