Thursday, August 18

Mistakes fall Dodgers’ way in victory over Diamondbacks

Also Read  June Brown, Dot Cotton in ‘EastEnders,’ Dies at 95

LOS ANGELES ― The Dodgers nearly cost themselves a victory Sunday by making an error in the field against the Philadelphia Phillies. They made another error that counted on the scoreboard, and a couple more that didn’t, on Monday night against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

The fate of the baseball gods is nothing if not fickle. The D’backs never took advantage of the mistakes, but one of their own loomed large over the Dodgers’ 5-4 victory.

With a pair of runners on base and a 2-0 deficit in the fifth inning, Mookie Betts’ line drive got past rookie center fielder Alek Thomas and rolled all the way to the deepest part of Dodger Stadium. Both runners scored, tying the score at 2-2. The next batter, Freddie Freeman, smoked a double against Madison Bumgarner to score Betts with the go-ahead run.

The Dodgers had caught a break. A strong start by Tony Gonsolin, and a late homer by Chris Taylor, made it stand up.

Gonsolin threw a season-high six innings and allowed two runs, giving his bullpen a badly needed breather. The right-hander matched a career high by throwing 92 pitches. But until the fifth-inning hits by Betts and Freeman – sandwiched around Thomas’ costly error – Gonsolin’s efforts had gone for naught.

“This offense is really good,” he said. “We’re never out of the game.”

Gonsolin (4-0) completed six innings only once in his first six starts of the season. The Dodgers needed him to do it again with a doubleheader looming Tuesday, part of a stretch of 31 games in 30 days. Gonsolin allowed three hits, walked two batters and struck out seven before turning the game over to the bullpen.

Also Read  US, UK move to block Russian oil as Europe considers similar action amid Ukraine war: LIVE UPDATES

After Christian Walker’s solo homer gave Arizona a 1-0 lead in the second inning, “every fastball I saw (Gonsolin) throw was with conviction,” Manager Dave Roberts said.

Gonsolin pitched aggressively enough to fall behind 2-and-0 just twice and 3-and-0 once. His fastball topped out at 94.9 mph, close to his season high and that was in the sixth inning. He threw more curveballs than usual – 18 – which elicited nine called strikes and no balls in play.

“I’ve just been trying to get some early contact. I’ve talked with (Clayton Kershaw) a lot about how to get deeper into games; what works, what doesn’t work. Trying to figure out a way that works for me and get that early contact.”

Taylor homered and doubled as part of a 2-for-4 performance before the announced crowd of 42,650. Max Muncy continued his slow climb out of a season-long pit with a pair of infield singles, the latter on a bunt to begin the sixth inning. Taylor followed with an opposite-field home run and the Dodgers led, 5-2.

Muncy’s batting average was as low as .130 on May 3. It now stands at .163.

The Dodgers made mistakes too, but they were rarely punished. Ketel Marte led off the fourth inning with a routine pop fly to shallow left field. Third baseman Justin Turner had the only play on it, but he couldn’t close his glove on the ball after drifting underneath. The play was ruled a hit.

The next batter, Walker, hit a dribbler to shortstop that Trea Turner charged but couldn’t glove cleanly. Marte went to third base, then scored on a sacrifice fly to put the D’backs ahead, 2-0.

Also Read  White House: President Biden to visit Poland on Europe trip this week

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.