Dodgers Vs. Cardinals Game Preview: Trayce Thompson Starts Against Lefty; Bullpen Still Needs Relief

The Los Angeles Dodgers started their season-long road trip with a loss and now look to avoid dropping consecutive games for the first time since falling to the Pittsburgh Pirates on April 26 and 27.

That also was the last series the Dodgers lost, as they’ve won six in a row since that point. However, a loss to the Cardinals on Friday would mean at the best the Dodgers would come away with a series split at Busch Stadium.

Tony Gonsolin takes the mound as he looks to both continue building some momentum and stop a streak of a Dodgers starting pitcher logging four innings or fewer. It’s occurred in four consecutive games, which has placed a significant burden on the bullpen.

The Dodgers again rotated relief pitchers by optioning Andre Jackson to Triple-A Oklahoma City and selecting the contract of Tyler Cyr.

Gonsolin threw a season-high 85 pitches over five innings his last time out. The right-hander saw an uptick in fastball velocity and came away encouraged with his continued progression since coming off the 15-day injured list.

Gonsolin is 1-1 with a 1.42 ERA and 0.95 WHIP in four starts this season. When Gonsolin last pitched at Busch Stadium on July 13, 2022, he allowed five runs on seven hits in five innings of a no-decision that saw the Dodgers narrowly come away with a win.

The Cardinals counter with Steven Matz, who enters 0-4 with a 5.62 ERA in eight starts this year. Matz has allowed at least four earned runs in four of his outings, and a homer in six of them.

Matz faces a Dodgers lineup that includes Trayce Thompson starting in left field despite his ongoing struggles to hit lefties. Manager Dave Roberts has nonetheless continued to express confidence Thompson will find success in the role the team has carved out for him.

Thompson is hitless in his last 34 at-bats.

Dodgers lineup

RF: Mookie Betts
1B: Freddie Freeman
C: Will Smith
DH: J.D. Martinez
3B: Chris Taylor
2B: Miguel Vargas
CF: James Outman
SS: Miguel Rojas
LF: Trayce Thompson

Cardinals lineup

CF: Lars Nootbaar
1B: Paul Goldschmidt
2B: Nolan Gorman
3B: Nolan Arenado
DH: Willson Contreras
LF: Brendan Donovan
SS: Paul De Jong
C: Andrew Knizner
RF: Óscar Mercado

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