Tony Gonsolin continued to run roughshod over the competition, and he had to be thanks to the Dodgers offense. Gonsolin lasted his deepest into a game in two seasons on Tuesday, making the Dodgers’ paltry offense hold up in a 2-0 win over the Angels at Dodger Stadium.
The Angels only managed one hit against Gonsolin, a fourth-inning single by Shohei Ohtani, but he was caught trying to steal second base. Gonsolin worked around a pair of walks over the rest of his night, and pitched into the seventh inning for the second time in his career.
Gonsolin allowed no runs in 6⅓ innings on Tuesday, striking out six, his fifth scoreless start of the season to lower his MLB-best ERA to 1.42. In six starts at home this season, Gonsolin has allowed three total runs in 33⅓ innings.
About the only blemish of the night against Gonsolin was when he thought the third inning was over early, heading to the dugout after the second out, only to be ribbed by his teammates, for their pleasure. Two pitches later, Gonsolin got the actual third out.
Tuesday marked the sixth straight time Gonsolin lasted at least six innings. His only career start longer than this was a seven-inning affair on September 15, 2020.
Dave Roberts pulled Gonsolin with one out and nobody on in the seventh inning, at just 86 pitches. Due up was the left-handed Jared Walsh, who had a 97-mph lineout against Gonsolin two innings earlier. In came southpaw Caleb Ferguson, who induced a groundout from Walsh, than got Max Stassi to pop out.
The Dodgers offense scored their first run in a little over 73 hours, but it took Herculean patience, and not just from Dodgers fans who had to sit through the last few games. Noah Syndergaard threw 40 pitches in the fourth inning on Tuesday. Only two were put in play, one an ground ball single to third base by Trea Turner.
Three walks from Syndergaard, who retired his first 10 batters of the night, were enough to bring home the Dodgers’ first run since Saturday. But he recovered to strike out Cody Bellinger on three pitches to prevent further damage.
Forty pitches in a single frame took enough of a toll that Syndergaard was removed with two outs in the fifth. That they didn’t plate a second run against him was almost criminal. Chris Taylor doubled on a pop fly down the right field line that was initially called foul, then stole third on the very next pitch.
With Taylor on third and nobody out, the Dodgers saw Gavin Lux ground out to a drawn-in infield and Mookie Betts strike out against Syndergaard. In came left-hander Jose Quijada, who fell behind 3-1 to Freddie Freeman before striking him out, leaving Taylor at third base.
Betts was hitless in his first three trips up on Tuesday, running his skid to 2-for-34. But he took out some frustration on Andrew Wantz in the eighth with a home run into the left field pavilion. Betts still leads the majors in runs scored, now with 53 through 59 games, and 61 team games. But that home run was Betts’ first run scored in nine games, since June 3.
The home run provided some insurance for Craig Kimbrel against the vaunted top of the Angels lineup. After Taylor Ward struck out, Mike Trout broke his bat on a fly ball single off Gavin Lux’s glove in short center field. The sharp end of the broken bat not only hit home plate umpire Nate Tomlinson, but got him through his face mask.
Tomlinson went down immediately, and was seen bleeding near his right eye while being tended to by Dodgers assistant trainer Nathan Lucero. Tomlinson walked off on his own power, while also holding a towel to his nose, but his night was finished. Laz Diaz, who was at second base, moved behind the plate to finish out the game.
After a delay of about 10 minutes, Shohei Ohtani doubled to put the tying runs in scoring position with one out, then Kimbrel walked Matt Duffy to load the bases. But he recovered to strike out Jared Walsh and Max Stassi to end it.
Just like they drew it up.
Home run: Mookie Betts (17)
WP — Tony Gonsolin (8-0): 6⅓ IP, 1 hit, 2 walks, 6 strikeouts
LP — Noah Syndergaard (4-5): 4⅔ IP, 2 hits, 1 run, 3 walks, 5 strikeouts
Sv — Craig Kimbrel (12): 1 IP, 2 hits, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts
This miniseries ends on Wednesday night (7:10 p.m.; SportsNet LA, Bally Sports West, MLB Network) with a battle of southpaws. Tyler Anderson starts for the Dodgers, against Reid Detmers for the Angels.