Dodgers vs. Washington Nationals recap: With Juan Soto’s help, Nationals win 4-1

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Dodgers pitcher Tony Gonsolin will start against the Washington Nationals on Monday.
Dodgers pitcher Tony Gonsolin will start against the Washington Nationals on Monday. Gonsolin is 11-0 with a 2.02 earned-run average over 17 starts this season.
(Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)

Tony Gonsolin looks to stay undefeated on the season in Dodger Blue as the Dodgers open a three-game series against the Washington Nationals at Dodger Stadium on Monday. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. PT.

Final: Dodgers winning streak ended at eight games in 4-1 loss to Nationals

The Dodgers season-long eight-game winning ended with a whimper on Monday in a 4-1 loss to the Washington Nationals, MLB’s last-place team.

After a third-inning home run by Trayce Thompson, the Dodgers went scoreless the rest of the night, finishing 0 for 9 with runners in scoring position.

The Nationals’ four-run fifth inning against Tony Gonsolin proved to be enough, handing the Dodgers right-hander his first loss of the season.

The Dodgers are now 64-31.

Final: Nationals 4, Dodgers 1

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Tony Gonsolin exits after another rough start

In his first 43 career big league starts, Tony Gonsolin gave up four or more runs only twice.

In his last two, it’s happened both times.

Gonsolin lasted six innings tonight, but gave up four runs — all of them coming in the top of the fifth.

He also finished with six hits, three walks and four strikeouts. His ERA went up to 2.26. And barring a late Dodgers comeback, he’ll be on the hook for his first loss of the season.

End 6th: Nationals lead 4-1

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Juan Soto helps Nationals take lead during four-run fifth inning

Through the first four innings, Tony Gonsolin kept the Nationals without a hit.

In the top of the fifth, however, he struggled to get any of them out.

After Yadiel Hernández hit a solo home run to lead off the frame, the Nationals took the lead with a two-out rally.

Ehire Adrianza dropped a bloop single into center. Victor Robles hit a base hit to left. César Hernández got a shallow fly ball to fall just inside the left field line for a go-ahead RBI knock.

Then, Juan Soto came to the plate and hit a hard bouncer over the head of first baseman Freddie Freeman and into the right-field corner for a two-run triple.

The Dodgers had a chance to respond in the bottom half of the inning, loading the bases with one out and the top of their lineup due up. But Mookie Betts took a called third strike and Trea Turner hit a hard line drive right at Soto in right.

End 5th: Nationals lead 4-1

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Trayce Thompson opens scoring with solo home run

Nationals starter Paolo Espino retired eight in a row to start the game.

Then Trayce Thompson lined a home run over the short wall in left, continuing his strong return to the Dodgers and giving them an early lead.

In 26 games since the team reacquired him in a trade last month, Thompson is hitting .294 with three home runs, 10 extra-base hits and 14 RBIs.

End 3rd: Dodgers lead 1-0

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Juan Soto receives friendly Dodger Stadium ovation as trade rumors swirl

Just like they did during the All-Star Game last week, Dodger fans welcomed Juan Soto to Chavez Ravine with a hopeful chant during his first inning at-bat.

“Fut-ure Dod-ger!”

Whether or not Soto will wind up in Los Angeles remains to be seen. Speculation has swirled around the 23-year-old outfielder since news surfaced that he had rejected a 14-year, $440 million contract extension from the Nationals and thus would possibly be available in a trade.

Pregame, however, he said he has tried not to focus on the uncertainty — or the possibility of perhaps being acquired by the Dodgers.

“I never think about that because I never see myself in any of that,” Soto said. “I always been loyal to the Nationals, I’ve always been there for them. As you see, everywhere I’m going they try to pull me out of my team. But I just keep staying in touch with the Nationals because that’s where I am right now and that’s where I’m going to be loyal until they don’t want me anymore here.”

Still, Soto has plenty of fans in LA, including a former teammate of his in the Dodgers clubhouse.

“I don’t know if I can recruit,” said Trea Turner, who was traded by the Nationals to the Dodgers in a blockbuster trade at last year’s deadline. “But I’m a Dodger and hopefully he’s a Dodger as well.”

Soto worked Tony Gonsolin for nine pitches in his first at-bat before eventually grounding out.

End 1st: No score

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Justin Turner, Chris Taylor take strides in their recoveries

The Dodgers will be without Justin Turner and Chris Taylor again on Monday.

But they’re hoping that won’t be the case much longer.

Turner could return from discomfort near his ribs on Tuesday or Wednesday, according to manager Dave Roberts.

Turner, who hasn’t played since Thursday, went through a full slate of baseball activities on Monday and now just needs to see how his body reacts.

Taylor, meanwhile, was cleared to run Monday for the first time since he fractured his foot earlier this month.

The outfielder is scheduled to begin a rehab assignment early next week, according to Roberts.

In Monday’s game, the Dodgers will send Tony Gonsolin to the mound for the first time since he appeared in his first All-Star Game.

Gonsolin was the losing pitcher in the midsummer classic, after giving up a pair of home runs in his inning of work, but remains undefeated during the regular season with an 11-0 record and 2.02 ERA.

Here’s the Dodgers full lineup:

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How much would a team give up for Juan Soto? Probably more than you think

Washington Nationals star Juan Soto tosses his bat during the All-Star Home Run Derby.
Washington Nationals star Juan Soto tosses his bat after winning his first-round matchup at the MLB All-Star Home Run Derby at Dodger Stadium on July 18. Soto went on to win the derby.
(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

One of the televisions in the Dodgers’ clubhouse Friday afternoon was tuned to MLB Network when Juan Soto appeared. It was time for another segment to discuss Soto’s future.

“Where is he going?” a player asked when he looked up.

It’s a fascinating question everyone in the industry began asking on July 16 when the stunning news surfaced: The Washington Nationals were open to trading Soto by the Aug. 2 deadline after he declined their 15-year, $440-million contract extension offer.

But it’s not the only mystery surrounding the development. For the Nationals to trade Soto, they’ll have to thoroughly evaluate the market for a haul they could justify as adequate to bolster a rebuild. That might be impossible.

Prices for players are subjective, but they are almost always guided by history. There are other examples to study and information to examine. They are the bumpers along the slick lane. Precedent doesn’t exist for Soto.

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Baseball players union rejects MLB’s proposal for an international draft

Cleveland Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis stands on the Major League Baseball logo that serves as the on deck circle
(Charles Rex Arbogast / Associated Press)

Major League Baseball will not have an international draft after all.

The MLB Players’ Assn. rejected the league’s final proposal for an international draft beginning in 2024 on Monday, again pushing a hot-button issue to the next round of collective bargaining agreement negotiations.

The two sides agreed to table the matter in March when they agreed on a five-year collective bargaining agreement to end an owner-imposed lockout, setting a deadline for Monday. To entice the union, MLB offered to remove direct draft pick compensation for qualified free agents — a mechanism that has negatively affected players over the last decade — in exchange for the international draft.

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How to watch and stream the Dodgers this season

Here’s a look at the Dodgers broadcast and streaming schedule for the remainder of the 2022 regular season:

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ICYMI: Middle-of-the-order production drives Dodgers to sweeping win over Giants

The Dodgers’ big three opened the scoring Sunday afternoon when Mookie Betts, Trea Turner and Freddie Freeman hit consecutive singles to lead off the first inning.

But, in a perhaps auspicious sign for an at-times top-heavy lineup, it was the middle of the order that keyed a 7-4 win over the San Francisco Giants at Dodger Stadium.

Unlike most days, when the Dodgers’ superstar trio typically carries the offensive load, the Nos. 4 to 7 batters in the order provided the most offensive fireworks.

Collectively, they went seven for 15 with six RBIs. They also orchestrated a pair of three-run rallies, helping the Dodgers (64-30) extend their winning streak to a season-high eight games and complete a four-game sweep of the Giants (48-47) for the first time since 1995.

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