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Tony Gonsolin didn’t worry when he left an early first-pitch fastball over the plate and fell behind the San Francisco Giants on a homer by Brandon Crawford.
Gonsolin knows the Los Angeles Dodgers rarely fail to provide their pitchers with enough support to get away with a few mistakes.
“Our offense is going to put up runs,” he said. “It’s just a matter of when.”
By the time they were done with the Giants on Wednesday night, the Dodgers left no question about who has the early advantage in the NL West — and in the latest edition of this famed rivalry.
Mookie Betts and Max Muncy homered, Freddie Freeman added a two-run triple and the Dodgers swept a short series from San Francisco with a 9-1 victory.
Los Angeles Dodgers right fielder Mookie Betts, right, hits a solo home run as San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Alex Wood, left, and catcher Joey Bart watch during the sixth inning of a baseball game Wednesday, May 4, 2022, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Trea Turner and Will Smith had RBI singles in the fourth inning for the Dodgers, who finished with 11 hits after pouring on six runs in their final two at-bats against the Giants’ short-handed bullpen.
“I think collectively it was the best game we’ve played (offensively),” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “Just a well-played offensive game.”
The Dodgers took the first two of 19 meetings this season between California clubs that racked up a combined 213 victories last season. Los Angeles has won four of five and 15 of 20 after outscoring San Francisco by a combined 12-2.
Gonsolin (2-0) pitched five innings of three-hit ball for the Dodgers, striking out five and avoiding trouble despite allowing the Giants’ leadoff batters to reach base in each of his final four innings. San Francisco briefly went ahead in the second when Crawford barely cleared the right-field fence with his second homer of the season.
“When we get leadoff runners on consistently, we’re going to score runs,” Giants manager Gabe Kapler said. “Obviously didn’t happen in this game. But they beat us throughout the night.”
Alex Wood (2-2) yielded four hits and three runs while pitching into the sixth against his former team for the Giants, who have lost three straight and five of six.
“To go through that lineup several times and stay in a game is all we can ask of our starting pitchers,” Kapler said.
Wood, who finished with seven strikeouts, spent five seasons with the Dodgers over two stints. He won 16 games in 2017 before returning in 2020 and filling a key playoff role for LA’s World Series champions.
Wood retired the Dodgers’ first nine batters before Betts led off the fourth with a single, catalyzing a two-run rally.
“You know Woody is a good pitcher,” said Cody Bellinger, who had a long double and scored a run for LA. “He’s got some funk to his delivery, and he’s got some good stuff. We battled him out, and then we did a good job of getting in the bullpen and getting those guys.”
Betts crushed Wood’s first pitch of the sixth to deep center — and a fan in Giants gear prevented Mike Yastrzemski from having any shot at pulling it back by catching it on the fly from the first row. The homer was Betts’ fourth of a slow-starting season.
Los Angeles added four runs in the seventh on Gavin Lux’s bases-loaded single, Betts’ long sacrifice fly and Freeman’s triple to right, which was greeted by the loud chants of “Freddie! Freddie!” that have become a regular soundtrack in Chavez Ravine.
Muncy singled in the seventh and added a two-run homer in the eighth, snapping an 0-for-15 skid and securing just the second two-hit game of his bumpy season.
Justin Turner ended his 0-for-17 slump with a long single immediately after Muncy’s homer.
Giants: Yastrzemski went 1 for 4 in his first game back from the COVID-19 list. He missed seven games. Luke Williams, the final batter in Tuesday’s loss, got optioned to Triple-A Sacramento to make room.
Dodgers: LHP David Price has rejoined the team after testing positive for COVID-19 on April 24. He won’t be ready to pitch until next week at the earliest, but will travel to Chicago with the Dodgers this week.
Giants: The St. Louis Cardinals visit China Basin on Thursday when the Giants open a seven-game homestand. Kapler hadn’t announced a starter.
Dodgers: After LA’s second day off in four days, Tyler Anderson (2-0, 2.55 ERA) will take the mound at Wrigley Field on Friday for a series opener against the Chicago Cubs.