LOS ANGELES — Mookie Betts continued his hot May, hitting a two-run home run in the Dodgers’ 4-0 win on Sunday afternoon at Dodger Stadium, finishing off a three-game sweep of the Padres.
Betts started the scoring for Los Angeles in the third inning, following a Miguel Rojas double with a home run to right center.
That one's for you, Mom! pic.twitter.com/51xvu1TMg8— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) May 14, 2023
Betts had an extra-base hit in each of his last four games against the Padres, including three home runs. His five home runs during May are one more than he hit during April. This month, Betts is hitting .289/.377/.689 with eight extra-base hits, nine runs scored, and 13 RBI in 12 games.
“He’s certainly getting big hits,” manager Dave Roberts said. “Superstars play big in big moments, and he’s doing that for us.”
Miguel Vargas, who’s been on an extra-base kick of his own, doubled off reliever Brent Honeywell with two outs in the sixth inning, adding two more insurance runs to Padres starter Ryan Weathers’ ledger.
Vargas has five doubles, four home runs, and a triple in his last 15 games.
The Dodgers went through the first 38 games of the season without scoring exactly four runs in a game, while every other team in MLB did so at least twice. But they scored exactly four runs in all three games against the Padres.
Tony Gonsolin held the Padres scoreless, though was done after five innings with a season-high 85 pitches. He struck out six and walked one. The only two hits he allowed were leadoff doubles — by Fernando Tatis Jr. in the first inning and Trent Grisham in the third, the latter aided by a misstep in center field by James Outman.
Getting through the teeth of San Diego’s lineup made for a pair of stressful innings, but Gonsolin was able to escape thanks to holding the Padres hitless in six at-bats with three strikeouts and an infield popout with runners in scoring position.
“They’re a really good lineup, you can’t take any pitches off,” Gonsolin said. “Top to bottom, they all hit well. I was fortunate enough to come out of this without any runs allowed.”
The Dodgers have 10 games over the next 10 days, so Gonsolin could make his next two starts on four days rest instead of five, which played into the decision to remove him after five innings on Sunday.
“He probably would have liked to be a little bit more efficient to get into the sixth inning, but looking out what we have ahead of us I thought it was smart to make that the end of the line,” Roberts said. “I’m really impressed with how he’s throwing the baseball.”
Yency Almonte (three outs) and Victor González (five outs) each walked a batter following Gonsolin. Brusdar Graterol got the final out of the eighth inning, and Justin Bruihl worked around a one-out double in the ninth to close out the Dodgers’ fifth straight victory.
During the three-game series, the Dodgers trailed after one of 51 half-innings, Saturday’s 1-0 San Diego lead in the top of the first. After winning five of six games against the Padres over the last two weekends, the Dodgers lead third-place San Diego (19-22) by seven games in the National League West.
“We know what we’re capable of, we know what we can do,” Betts said. “We’re just doing it.”
Home run: Mookie Betts (9)
WP — Tony Gonsolin (1-1): 5 IP, 2 hits, 1 walk, 6 strikeouts
LP — Ryan Weathers (1-2): 5⅔ IP, 3 hits, 4 runs, 4 walks, 3 strikeouts
The Dodgers play their first interleague series of the year beginning Monday, welcoming the Twins to town for three games. Noah Syndergaard and his Dermabond-covered right index finger starts the opener (7:10 p.m., SportsNet LA), with right-hander Pablo López on the mound for Minnesota.