For the second time in three days, the Dodgers made life miserable for a Cy Young contender, cruising to a 10-1 win over Corbin Burnes and the Brewers on Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium.
Trayce Thompson had the big blow, a three-run home run in the second inning that broke the game open, in a game that was emblematic of his season. He wasn’t originally in the starting lineup on Tuesday, but was a late addition after Gavin Lux was scratched with a neck issue. Thompson was asked to fill in, just like he was asked to fill a void via trade in June when the Dodgers lost Mookie Betts and Chris Taylor to injury.
Thompson, a right-handed batter, started more against left-handers this year, but he’s had his fair share of time against right-handers, too. With Tuesday’s home run, plus an RBI single in the fourth off Burnes, Thompson this season is hitting .365/.459/.698 in 74 plate appearances against same-handed pitchers, the best OPS on the team against right-handers.
Four runs batted in matched a career high for Thompson, who also turned the trick in 2016 with the Dodgers and 2021 with the Cubs.
NL ERA leaderboard
|Through Saturday||Through Tuesday|
|Through Saturday||Through Tuesday|
|Alcántara 1.92 (1st)||Gonsolin 2.10 (1st)|
|Gonsolin 2.12 (2nd)||Alcántara 2.19 (2nd)|
|Urías 2.40 (3rd)||Urías 2.36 (3rd)|
|Burnes 2.48 (4th)||Burnes 2.84 (8th)|
The Dodgers scored three more against Burnes in the fourth, tallying seven against last year’s National League Cy Young Award winner. Burnes couldn’t complete the inning, two days after the Dodgers knocked out Sandy Alcántara in the fourth after hanging six runs on him.
Tony Gonsolin happily took the support, and kept the Brewers to just an infield single through the first four innings. He faltered a bit in the fifth, allowing two singles and a walk for a run, but got a double play to exit without further damage.
Just like Julio Urías on Monday, Gonsolin was removed Tuesday with a low pitch count, only at 77 through five innings. Thursday’s off day likely played a role, both providing an extra day of rest for the rotation before their next start and shaving an inning or so off the odometers of the most-used starting pitchers.
It also allowed Dave Roberts to use his bullpen a little more liberally now that he’s back to eight relievers instead of seven, and with a rest day coming after this series.
Gonsolin took over the NL ERA lead from Alcántara on Sunday, then with his one run allowed on Tuesday lowered it to 2.10. In the last three days, the Dodgers added 0.27 to Alcántara’s ERA, and 0.36 to Burnes’, dropping the Brewers ace from fourth to eighth in ERA.
Mookie Betts scored the first run of the game after a double in the first, then expertly took third base on a long throw to first from deep at third by Luis Urías. Then, Betts in the top of the second saved Gonsolin’s bacon, taking away a sure RBI extra-base hit by Urías with a magnificent leaping catch at the right field wall.
They call him Mookie but we call him Superman. pic.twitter.com/RT8CMkXFrw— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) August 24, 2022
“Mookie Betts, Superman!” from Joe Davis on the call seemed apt.
No stat padding
It’s been a fun series so far for the Brewers’ Keston Hiura, who was born in Valencia, went to college at UC Irvine, and grew up a Dodgers fan. He homered in Monday’s win at Dodger Stadium, and in the second inning on Tuesday he provided some comedy.
Taking a 2-2 pitch from Tony Gonsolin that was just off the plate, Hiura thought it was ball four, and removed both his elbow guard and shin guard, starting his trot to first base. Home plate umpire John Tumpane gently reminded him that the plate appearance was still going, so Hiura improvised by, instead of putting back on the protective gear, he chucked it toward the dugout, deciding to figuratively and potentially literally take his lumps.
Hiura did walk on the next pitch, but was stranded on third base when Betts made his wonderful catch in right field to end the frame.
Okay, some stat padding
Down six runs, the Brewers turned to catcher Victor Caratini to pitch the eighth. A walk to Thompson and Betts getting hit by a pitch were followed by Trea Turner and Freddie Freeman each hitting doubles, plating three runs, all in a nine-pitch span.
Both Turner and Freeman had three hits on Tuesday, keeping Freeman in the major league lead with 154 hits on the season to Turner’s 153 safeties.
Hanser Alberto, who doubled and walked in a game he did not start, closed out the game with his fifth pitching performance of the season. Alberto has only allowed one run this year, and has a four-inning scoreless streak going.
Home run: Trayce Thompson (6)
WP — Tony Gonsolin (16-1): 5 IP, 3 hits, 1 run, 2 walks, 3 strikeouts
LP — Corbin Burnes (9-6): 3⅔ IP, 6 hits, 7 runs, 2 walks, 3 strikeouts
Dodgers go for the series win on Wednesday night, with an earlier start time (6 p.m., SportsNet LA). Andrew Heaney starts for Los Angeles.