After going 5-0 on their homestand, the Los Angeles Dodgers begin a seven-game road trip, with their first stop at Kauffman Stadium for a weekend series against the Kansas City Royals.
The Dodgers enter play with a season-high 10-game winning streak and the best record in all of baseball at 77-33. The Royals have won five of their last six, but own the third-worst record in the American League at 47-66.
L.A. has gone 32-5 since June 26, which isn’t far off from the historic 43-7 run the 2017 team went on, but manager Dave Roberts sees differences between the two stretches.
“No, it doesn’t,” Roberts said when asked if the current winning stretch is comparable to 2017. “It’s different in the sense that I think that run was magical in that we came from behind late a lot. It was magical stuff late.
“We’ve done that here in this five-week stretch, but for the most part, we’ve just kind of taken leads and kept them, or regained a lead in the middle innings. There’s not as much dramatics as there was in ’17. That ’17 run was pretty special, but we’re on our way.”
Tony Gonsolin makes his 21st start of the season and looks to build on a rebound game against the San Diego Padres. He allowed just three hits and collected six strikeouts over five scoreless innings.
Gonsolin posted a 4.40 ERA in July after a stellar first three months of the regular season, when he had a 1.58 ERA through June.
Overall, the 28-year-old is 13-1 with a 2.30 ERA, 3.47 FIP and 0.89 WHIP in 109.2 innings pitched this season. Friday marks his first career start against the Royals.
Kansas City counters with Daniel Lynch, who hopes to bounce back from an inconsistent start against the Boston Red Sox. He yielded four runs on seven hits over six innings of work while collecting six strikeouts.
Lynch is 4-7 with a 4.79 ERA, 4.08 FIP and 1.52 WHIP in 82.2 innings pitched this season (17 starts). He is making his first career start against the Dodgers.
The Dodgers’ 13-4 record in Interleague play this year is tied with the Milwaukee Brewers for best in baseball.
Hanser Alberto is in the Dodgers lineup to face the team he spent last season with. Max Muncy is also starting despite being removed on Wednesday due to a right hand contusion. Muncy is the designated hitter and Justin Turner starts at third base for the first time since coming off the 10-day injured list.
Turner enters play on a 20-game hitting streak and is batting .397/.473/.556 with four doubles, two home runs and 14 RBI since July 1.
Prior to the game the Dodgers called up Tony Wolters from Triple-A Oklahoma City and placed Austin Barnes on the family emergency list. Rylan Bannon was designated for assignment in order to make room for Wolters on the Dodgers’ 40-man roster.
RF: Mookie Betts
SS: Trea Turner
1B: Freddie Freeman
C: Will Smith
3B: Justin Turner
LF: Chris Taylor
DH: Max Muncy
2B: Hanser Alberto
CF: Trayce Thompson
DH: MJ Melendez
3B: Bobby Witt Jr.
C: Salvador Perez
1B: Vinnie Pasquantino
LF: Nick Pratto
CF: Michael A. Taylor
2B: Michael Massey
RF: Kyle Isabel
SS: Nicky Lopez
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