Dodgers extend winning streak to seven in an old-fashioned pitching duel
After a night of haymakers in a game with combined 20 runs, the Dodgers’ 2-1 win over the Seattle Mariners on Tuesday at Dodger Stadium was a battle of soft jabs and ducked blows.
There was no score after five innings, and the game was tied 1-1 at the seventh-inning stretch. Starters Tony Gonsolin and Marco Gonzales were in command. And Corey Seager’s game-winning RBI single didn’t come until the eighth.
Nonetheless, the Dodgers extended their winning streak to seven games and their edge atop the National League West to four, the largest margin of any division leader in baseball. At 18-7, they’re off to their best 25-game start since 1983. And once again, it was a late rally that keyed the victory.
After Austin Barnes walked with one out in the eighth, he was able to steal second with a shifted Mariners infield playing deep. That set up Seager’s go-ahead single, as the shortstop beat the shift with a full-count, two-out grounder to right field.
Fernando Tatis Jr.’s grand slam for the San Diego Padres renewed the debate over whether baseball’s unwritten rules have a place in the modern game.
Barnes scored the Dodgers’ opening run too, reaching on an infield single to lead off the sixth inning. That hit was his second of the day, lifting his batting average above .300 amid a seven-game hitting streak.
After advancing to second on a groundout, Barnes scored on a two-out single by Justin Turner, who extended his own hitting streak to 12 games and recorded his 17th RBI of the season, matching Seager for second most on the team.
The Mariners erased the lead in the next half-inning, pouncing on newly inserted reliever Jake McGee with a leadoff walk and double. Left-hander Scott Alexander was summoned with one out to limit the damage and only allowed the runner at third to score on an groundout.
The run did spoil Gonsolin’s opportunity at earning his first win of the season, saddling the right-hander with a third consecutive no-decision even after he ran his season-opening scoreless streak to 14⅔ innings.
Almost 75% of the Dodgers’ plate appearances have come against right-handed pitching. They also have an MLB-best 10 comeback wins.
In six innings Tuesday, Gonsolin conceded only two hits while striking out three in a season-high 84-pitch outing. He began by recording eight consecutive outs. His fastball velocity increased over the course of the afternoon, maxing out at 98 mph. And the two times the Mariners did threaten, getting runners to second base in the third (on a Dee Gordon hit by pitch and stolen base) and fourth (on a Kyle Lewis single and steal) innings, Gonsolin inducing an inning-ending out the following at-bat.
Gonzales was also sharp for Seattle. The left-hander did allow one run but struck out nine over seven innings without issuing a walk. His day also began with eight straight outs, and twice he struck out the side.
But it wasn’t enough. After the Dodgers retook the lead, Blake Treinen emerged from the bullpen in the ninth (closer Kenley Jansen had pitched in three of the previous four games) to collect his first save of the season.
Three takeaways from Dodgers vs. Mariners
- Keibert Ruiz confirmed he was late for training camp last month because he tested positive for COVID-19. The catcher, who homered in his big-league debut Sunday, said he was ill for a week, had a fever for three days, and experienced other symptoms when he contracted the virus.
- Alex Wood (shoulder) threw in a three-inning simulated game Tuesday. He is scheduled to throw a bullpen session at the end of the week before throwing in a four-inning simulated game next week.
- Justin Turner extended his hitting streak to 12 games in Tuesday’s 2-1 win with a two-out RBI single in the sixth inning. His career-long hitting streak is 16, set in April 2017.
— Jorge Castillo
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