The Los Angeles Dodgers got back in the win column in game one of a two-game Freeway Series and saw Mookie Betts add an insurance homer in the eighth during a 2-0 shutout win over the Los Angeles Angels on Tuesday night at Dodgers Stadium.
With the win, the Dodgers improved to 38-23 while snapping a three-game losing streak and avoided its second four-game slide after getting swept on the road against San Francisco last week.
The Angels fell to 29-34 with the loss and dropped its last 17 of 19 games, and 10 straight on the road.
Dodgers starting pitcher Tony Gonsolin (8-0) threw six strikeouts and walked two, allowing only two runs or fewer in all 12 starts this season to remain undefeated while picking up his eighth victory.
“I made it a point this Spring Training to just throw strikes and see what happens,” said Gonsolin, who pitched into the seventh inning for the first time this season. “Try to give whoever is hitting my best stuff.”
It marked the fifth shutout of the season for the Dodgers who saw its rising star pitcher lower his ERA to 1.42.
“This is as confident as he’s been in his own abilities,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said on Gonsolin. “He’s scratching the surface on some really good things.”
“He really looked like he had a lot of his good command and he mixed in some pitches he hasn’t been using percentage-wise as much,” said Angels interim manager Phil Nevin. “There’s a reason why he’s 8-0 now.”
Angels starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard (4-5) threw five strikeouts and retired his first 10 batters before losing rhythm in the fourth. Syndergaard went on to issue three walks as Justin Turner was walked with the bases loaded, allowing Freddie Freeman to score the first run of the game.
Betts provided insurance with a homer off Andrew Wantz in the eighth as the Angels fell behind 2-0.
“It was big… we needed that run.” Roberts said on Betts, who recorded his 17th home run. “It was good to see him, obviously it wasn’t an offensive outburst but it was enough to get a win.”
Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout gave the Angels life in the ninth and a thriller of a finish even while falling just short.
With one out, Trout broke his bat and was able to single off Dodgers closer Craig Kimbrel, injuring the home plate umpire in a scary play that caused a delay after a piece of the bat struck its way between the bars of his mask.
“Never seen that in the mask,” Roberts said. “That was really scary.”
After play resumed, Ohtani then followed up with a double to center field, tallying his second hit of the night and Kimbrel walked Matt Duffy to load the bases with one out.
Kimbrel, however, locked in the rest of the way after a nerve-racking start at the plate and was able to strike out the next two batters to cap a 2-0 win for the Dodgers while picking up his 12th save of the season.
“He really locked in,” Roberts added on Kimbrel, who struck out Jared Walsh and Max Stassi on called third strikes for the much-needed win.