Tony Gonsolin, Dodgers see streaks end in loss to Nationals – Daily News

LOS ANGELES ― The Tony Gonsolin who led the major leagues in ERA, had not lost a game that counted, and pitched himself into position to start the All-Star Game, showed up.

For four innings against the Washington Nationals on Monday, the Dodgers’ unexpected staff ace did not allow a hit. Then, in the span of nine batters, the National League’s worst team turned the tables on the best team – and its best pitcher.

The Nationals (33-65) batted around in the fifth inning, scoring four runs en route to an eventual 4-1 victory over the Dodgers. Gonsolin, 11-0 to begin the regular season, suffered his first loss of 2022.

“Nobody’s perfect,” he said. “Every time I go out, I try to give our team a chance to win, try to keep us in the ballgame. Try to keep things close. Today, it just didn’t happen. Yeah, it’s unfortunate. Can’t win ’em all.”

The loss halted an eight-game winning streak for the Dodgers (64-30), sandwiched around the All-Star Game. They went 0 for 9 with runners in scoring position and left nine men on base. Their only run came on a solo home run by Trayce Thompson in the third inning.

Nationals slugger Juan Soto, who won the Home Run Derby here a week ago, had a big hit in Washington’s big inning, a two-run triple down the first-base line. Gonsolin also allowed a solo home run to Yadiel Hernandez.

“I went out there, tried to throw strikes,” Gonsolin said. “I wasn’t too happy with the splitter I threw there (to Ehire Adrianza with two strikes), got a little soft off-the-end-of-the-bat hit. … (Victor) Robles hit that (next) ball hard through the six-hole (for a single). Soto hit that ball hard, just got over Freddie, managed to stay fair somehow. It just kind of happens.”

Gonsolin was charged with four earned runs in six innings, increasing his ERA to 2.26.

Nationals starter Paolo Espino and three relievers practically dared the Dodgers to put the ball in play, filling the strike zone aggressively with all but the bendiest of breaking balls.

For the most part, the strategy worked. The Dodgers only swung and missed 13 times in the game, but collected only eight hits – six of which were singles.

“They did pound the strike zone,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “I thought Keibert (Ruiz, the Nationals’ catcher) did a good job with the fingers with those guys. A lot of spin, off-speed, changeups, mix it up then mix in the fastballs. You’ve got to give credit to those guys. We’ve been swinging the bats well. This was just a night we couldn’t put up crooked numbers.”

Espino set an ominous tone in the first inning by retiring All-Stars Mookie Betts, Trea Turner and Freddie Freeman on six pitches. Later on, the Dodgers had their chances.

Turner led off the fourth inning with a double to left-center field, extending his hitting streak to 12 games. He went to third base on a groundout by Freeman, but was stranded there.

In the fifth inning, Max Muncy lined a two-strike pitch to center field for a single. The next batter, Gavin Lux, lined a two-strike pitch the opposite way, putting runners on first and second with nobody out. More significantly, the consecutive hits knocked Espino out of the game.

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