Sat, Jul 2, 2022 2:15 AM
By DOUG PADILLA, Associated Press
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Tony Gonsolin continued a bid for his first All-Star Game appearance, pitching into the eighth inning as the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the San Diego Padres 5-1 on Friday night.
Max Muncy and Cody Bellinger hit home runs to help the Dodgers win their third consecutive game and improve to 2-0 on a season-high 11-game homestand. Los Angeles has won four of five against San Diego this year and leads the Padres by 3 1/2 games atop the NL West.
Gonsolin (10-0) became the first 10-game winner in the National League while lowering his major league-leading ERA to 1.54.
“I'm just trying to stay in the (strike) zone and let them hit it,” Gonsolin said. “We have the best defense behind me so let those guys play.”
Gonsolin gave up one run and four hits over 7 2/3 innings, with no walks and eight strikeouts. He ended the outing by fanning pinch-hitter Manny Machado and C.J. Abrams.
While Gonsolin has shown spurts of being a quality pitcher in the past, emerging as a top starter on an staff that is dealing with injuries has been key for the first-place Dodgers.
“I think the difference is probably his command with all of pitches,” catcher Austin Barnes said. “Sometimes he would be scattered in the zone and that would get him in trouble, make him a little bit inefficient. But he's going after hitters, he knows what he's doing and he has a lot of conviction behind each throw.”
Trent Grisham hit a home run for the Padres, who have lost five of their last six.
San Diego left-hander Blake Snell struck out a season-high 12, but lasted just five innings on 107 pitches. Every Dodgers hitter in the starting lineup struck out by the sixth inning.
“The stuff is as good as we've seen it all year,” Padres manager Bob Melvin said of Snell. “He was good last time and seems to be getting better every time. He has something really to hang his hat on this time.”
The Dodgers still managed to put together enough offense to take a 1-0 lead in the second inning with Muncy’s seventh home run of the season on a drive to right field.
Muncy was 0 for 13 with five strikeouts in his career against Snell before connecting.
The Padres tied it in the fifth on Grisham homer just inside the right field foul pole, his seventh.
Bellinger homered in the sixth against Craig Stammen (1-1). Freddie Freeman hit an RBI double in seventh.
“Craig was kind of our length (out of the bullpen) and we had to go to him a little early today because of five innings out of Blake,” Melvin said.
Bellinger added a sacrifice fly for a run in the eighth and Barnes followed with an RBI groundout.
Nearly two weeks after he was reacquired in a trade from Detroit, Los Angeles right fielder Trayce Thompson hit a pair of doubles off the center-field wall in his first home start as a member of the Dodgers since July 2017.
“It was pretty surreal, but it's pretty easy when a lot of my close friends are on this team, people I spent a lot of time with” Thompson said. “I'm just excited for the opportunity and trying to make the most of it each day.”
Thompson had bounced around seven organizations before returning, including the Padres earlier this season.
Thompson's days figured to be numbered with Mookie Betts close to returning from the injured list, but he has helped his cause with elite defense in right and four extra-base hits with five RBIs in the 10 games since his arrival.
Padres: Machado didn't start one day after returning from a nine-game absence because of sprained left ankle. He is expected to return to the lineup Saturday, with manager Bob Melvin hinting it could be as the designated hitter.
Dodgers: Betts (ribs) hit against a pitching machine Friday and is scheduled to hit against left-hander Caleb Ferguson on Saturday. Manager Dave Roberts said that hitting against live pitching is the final step before Betts can return. ... Ferguson (forearm) is on track to return by the middle of next week, according to Roberts. ... INF/OF Zach McKinstry (neck) could be headed for a minor league rehab assignment by the end of the weekend.
Padres: RHP Yu Darvish (7-3, 3.26 ERA) is set to face his former team Saturday.
Dodgers: LHP Tyler Anderson (8-1) will take the mound following his first loss of the season.
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