LOS ANGELES (AP)Tony Gonsolin is well known on the Los Angeles Dodgers for his love of cats, even taking the mound with fur on his cleats.
His pitching is what everyone is talking about this season.
Gonsolin tossed two-hit ball over six sharp innings and the Dodgers defeated the Mets 2-0 on Thursday night, snapping New York’s six-game winning streak in the opener of a four-game series between the National League’s top two teams.
”Just a little more nervous honestly going into it knowing they’re a good offense,” Gonsolin said.
The right-hander struck out five and walked one while relying on his fastball more in his first career start against the Mets. Gonsolin has allowed two runs or fewer in all 10 starts this year and lowered his ERA to 1.59.
”Wasn’t really throwing anything off speed for strikes, honestly. The fastball ultimately was the savior,” Gonsolin said. ”It’s a good feeling that I can go out there without my best stuff and rely on the defense and let them make great plays like they always do.”
Gonsolin (6-0) didn’t give up a hit until the fourth – a single by Luis Guillorme after left fielder Chris Taylor’s snow-cone catch on Starling Marte’s line drive. Initially ruled no catch, the Dodgers successfully challenged the call.
Gonsolin is coming into his own in his fourth season with the Dodgers after being their minor league pitcher of the year in 2018 and finishing fourth in voting for the 2020 NL Rookie of the Year.
”I think he’s finally getting some of the recognition he deserves,” Taylor said.
Craig Kimbrel retired the side in the ninth to close out the Dodgers’ fourth shutout. He had allowed runs in his past three outings, but struck out slugger Pete Alonso swinging to earn his 11th save.
The high-powered Mets managed just one hit after Gonsolin exited – a single by Jeff McNeil in the seventh. Their only other hit was J.D. Davis’ two-out double in the fifth.
New York, which piled up 77 runs in its previous nine games, was the only major league team that hadn’t been blanked this season.
”We should give credit to ourselves for playing 50-plus, almost 60 games without being shut out,” Marte said. ”But at the end of the day, you have to tip your cap to them for doing a good job.”
The Dodgers were coming off a three-game home sweep by Pittsburgh for the first time in 22 years. Although they still struggled to convert with runners in scoring position, the win moved them four games ahead of second-place San Diego in the NL West.
Trea Turner doubled into the left-field corner on Taijuan Walker’s first pitch of the sixth to extend his 25-game hitting streak, tops in the majors this year.
Walker (3-1) gave up two runs and seven hits in 5 2/3 innings. He struck out two and walked one.
”I wanted to go six innings,” Walker said. ”Try to get out there, try to go deep for the team, and at the end of the day I felt like I gave us a chance to win, and I guess that’s all you can ask for.”
The Mets’ run of 26 consecutive shutout innings ended in the fifth. Mookie Betts’ RBI single to left-center scored Taylor, who went 2 for 3 in addition to playing stellar defense.
Justin Turner chased Walker with a two-out RBI double to deep right over Marte in the sixth.
New York had thrown back-to-back shutouts in its previous two games against last-place Washington, capping a 6-0 homestand.
Mets: SS Francisco Lindor sat out with a swollen right middle finger after he injured it closing a double door in his hotel room. He’s likely to be back in the lineup Friday.
Dodgers: OF Kevin Pillar went on the injured list with a left shoulder fracture. He left Wednesday’s game in the sixth inning. … LHP Clayton Kershaw (pelvis) will throw a rehab game likely Sunday at Class A Rancho Cucamonga.
Mets: RHP Chris Bassitt (4-2, 3.66 ERA) has won three of four road starts with a 3.68 ERA.
Dodgers: LHP Tyler Anderson (6-0, 2.90) has tossed 20 scoreless innings since allowing two runs in the first against Arizona. He’s 1-0 with a 3.31 ERA in three career appearances against the Mets.
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