Unbeaten Los Angeles Dodgers right-hander Tony Gonsolin enters Wednesday night’s start against the host Chicago White Sox with a stingy 1.59 ERA and a .159 opponents’ batting average.
With the Dodgers seeking to snap a three-game losing streak while the White Sox aim to stretch their winning streak to four, Los Angeles would take another night of Gonsolin (6-0) keeping up appearances.
The key to his hot start?
“It’s confidence,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “That’s the thing that you can see more than anything. I think he’s expecting to go close to three times through the lineup. He’s expecting himself to go deeper in the game. (He’s) expecting, if there’s some stress, that he’s going to find a way to get out of it.”
Gonsolin encountered little resistance in his most recent start, pitching six shutout innings with two hits, one walk and five strikeouts to help Los Angeles blank the New York Mets 2-0 on Thursday.
Although he matched a season-best by working six innings for the fifth time this season and fourth start in a row, Gonsolin bemoaned not being at his sharpest.
“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 and just go out there and throw strikes,” Gonsolin said.
Right-hander Johnny Cueto (0-2, 2.92 ERA) will seek his first win with the White Sox as he aims to snap a two-game losing streak. Cueto started his Chicago career with 12 shutout innings over two starts but has yielded nine runs (eight earned) in 12 2/3 innings over his past two.
Still, White Sox right-hander Lucas Giolito said Cueto has been “amazing” and a notable influence on a young starting staff.
He’s “just fitting right in and honestly has been huge for us when it comes to the pitching side, the starting pitching staff. Like, a true veteran,” Giolito said. “I’ll just walk by him and he’ll just give me a little wink, you know? He’s got that presence. It makes me feel good.”
Cueto is 9-9 with a 3.76 ERA in 24 career starts against the Dodgers, with 122 strikeouts in 133 innings. The veteran is even sharper in interleague play, going 19-8 with a 2.80 ERA in 40 starts.
Gonsolin hasn’t faced the White Sox in his career but boasts success in interleague play, going 3-0 with a 3.24 ERA in six appearances, including four starts.
Chicago opened the three-game interleague series Tuesday with a 4-0 win. Michael Kopech pitched six shutout innings while four relievers followed to cap a five-hit shutout.
AJ Pollock highlighted a four-run sixth inning with a two-run double, while Jake Burger and Reese McGuire followed with run-scoring hits. Burger ranks fifth on the team with 18 RBIs while playing in just 32 games.
The White Sox, who are on their first three-game winning streak since the team won six straight from May 2-8, are trying for consecutive home victories for the first time since April 15-16.
–Field Level Media