The Los Angeles Dodgers altered their starting rotation prior to Sunday’s finale against the Atlanta Braves, recalling Tony Gonsolin from Triple-A Oklahoma City while sending Dustin May to the bullpen.
Making his first Major League start in nearly two weeks, Gonsolin didn’t miss a beat. He worked around a throwing error by Corey Seager in the bottom of the first and retired the next three batters without allowing a run.
Then in the second, Gonsolin continued taking care of business. With the exception of a two-out single by Adeiny Hechavarria, he escaped the inning unscathed and posted another goose egg on the scoreboard.
The 25-year-old ran into a bit of trouble in the third, yielding a leadoff double to opposing starter Max Fried. Ronald Acuña Jr. followed suit with a long single of his own, putting runners at the corners with no outs.
Gonsolin, however, benefitted from Will Smith throwing out Acuña trying to steal second base. He then retired Ozzie Albies and Freddie Freeman in back-to-back plate appearances to work out of another jam.
The Braves finally got to Gonsolin in the fourth. A two-out single by Matt Joyce was parlayed into an RBI double by Hechavarria, enabling Atlanta to trim into the Dodgers’ lead.
After recording the final out of the inning, the right-hander’s outing was complete. In four innings pitched, he allowed just the one run on five hits while accumulating two strikeouts.
Gonsolin revealed his focus moving forward is on being consistent, as seen on SportsNet LA:
“Definitely consistency, No. 1. I think that’s the most important thing. Coming out every day with my best stuff or close to it and trying to compete.”
All things considered, Gonsolin’s first MLB start in 13 days can be deemed a success. He provided enough length while limiting the damage, giving the Dodgers an opportunity to experiment with different bullpen roles.
May, who was initially poised to start on Sunday, most notably made his first Major League relief appearance instead. He entered the game in the sixth inning and immediately struggled.
In two innings of work, May was tabbed for four runs on three hits and did not record a strikeout. Despite the struggles, the Dodgers envision him as the ideal candidate to fill a multiple-inning role out of the bullpen while Julio Urias serves his 20-game suspension.