The changing of roles for Tony Gonsolin and Dustin May didn’t pan out as the Los Angeles Dodgers would have hoped, as they were defeated 5-3 and suffered a loss to the Atlanta Braves at the end of their six-game road trip.
While Gonsolin fared well in his return to the rotation, May struggled in his first audition out of the bullpen. He inherited a 3-1 lead to start the sixth inning and made quick work of Josh Donaldson.
May then lost command, resulting in a walk, single and hit by pitch that loaded the bases. Rafael Ortega delivered the big blow with his grand slam giving the Braves a decided lead and eventual series win.
Although May squandered the lead, the Dodgers’ bats going silent didn’t aid matters. After Kyle Garlick’s walk in the third inning they mustered just one baserunner — on Matt Beaty’s pinch-hit single with two outs in the sixth.
Each of the first five batters and nine of the first 11 reached safely but Max Fried minimized the damage and eventually settled into a groove. He fell into an early deficit in large part because a game of inches broke in favor of the Dodgers.
Cody Bellinger lifted a slider over the plate to deep center field and was nearly robbed of a home run by Ronald Acuña Jr., who has made a habit of doing so this season. The ball instead squirted out of Acuña’s glove and went for a three-run homer.
It was Bellinger’s fifth home run in the past seven games and 42nd this season, which put him back in the MLB lead.
The Dodgers went on to load the bases with two outs but Gonsolin was unable to help his cause before throwing a single pitch in the game. A.J. Pollock and Justin Turner combined for back-to-back singles to put two on with nobody out in the second inning but were stranded.
Jedd Gyorko led off the third with a second base hit in as many at-bats in his debut, and Garlick walked with one out, only for the Dodgers again fail to capitalize. Fried wound up retiring 13 of 18 after the Dodgers put the first five on base to start the game.
In the first of what’s expected to be multiple starts, Gonsolin similarly worked his way around trouble to get through four innings with just one run allowed.
He was aided by Acuña admiring his drive to right field and only ending up with a single that put runners at the corners. He promptly was caught stealing and Gonsolin retired the next two batters to get through the inning.
Acuña’s failure to run out of the batter’s box seemingly earned him a benching as he removed at the start of the fifth.