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    Dodgers lose series at KC as Tony Gonsolin is KO’d early
    • July 2, 2023

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A year ago at this time, Tony Gonsolin was preparing to go to the All-Star Game and the Dodgers were piling up wins no matter where they played.

    Times have changed.

    Gonsolin has yet to look like that All-Star pitcher this year. The Kansas City Royals chased him from the game in the fourth inning Sunday afternoon on their way to handing the Dodgers a 9-1 defeat.

    At 25-59, the Royals are the worst team in baseball not stripped down and packing for Las Vegas. But they took two out of three from the Dodgers for just their fourth series victory of the season (second at home) after a stretch of 12 winless series.

    “We didn’t play well and they played better, frankly,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said.

    “Obviously, if you look on paper, yeah, we should have won the game. But we all understand that you don’t play it on paper, and like I said, they played a better, well-rounded baseball game. They did.  They spoiled pitches. They hit behind runners. They kept the line moving. They took walks, hit batters, so when you do that, when you look at it that way, it’s no surprise at all. We struck out a lot more. We weren’t as good situationally. We didn’t create situational opportunities by way of running the bases. So when you look at it that way, it’s pretty stark.”

    That has been a familiar lament when the Dodgers have donned their road greys. They have a .500 record away from home (22-22) after the back-to-back losses Saturday and Sunday and have won just four road series outside of California all season (only one since their May trip to Atlanta).

    “I don’t know the road record. What I can speak to is this series, which is more fresh to me,” Roberts said. “Those guys just outplayed us. It’s a different brand of baseball as far as putting the ball in play, hitting behind runners, stealing bases. They were excellent in situational hitting. To be quite honest, we couldn’t keep up and that’s how they beat us, that’s how they won the series.”

    Roberts didn’t mention starting pitching on his list. But in both of the weekend losses to the Royals, the Dodgers were put in the trail position by their starters.

    Gonsolin was not as unlucky as Julio Urias in Saturday’s loss. But he wasn’t any more effective. Ten of the 21 batters he faced reached base — six hits, three walks and a hit batter. Of the 11 outs Gonsolin did record, two were conceded by the Royals on sacrifice bunts.

    Over his past three starts, Gonsolin has allowed 15 runs on 17 hits and seven walks in just 14⅓ innings. That is a 9.42 ERA, and opposing hitters are batting .304 against him.

    “I just haven’t really been good lately,” Gonsolin said. “I feel like I’ve been walking more guys, falling behind in counts. Just not executing pitches.

    “It’s super frustrating. I felt like I was doing okay until a few starts ago. Just trying to figure it out and trying to compete.”

    Gonsolin left with the Dodgers trailing 4-1 and they never mustered a response against Royals starter Brady Singer, who held them to four hits in seven innings.

    “He kept the ball out of the middle of the plate and when he needed to make a pitch he did,” said Mookie Betts who had one of the Dodgers’ six hits in the game. “He’s  a good pitcher and he showed it today.”

    Things didn’t get any better after Gonsolin left.

    The Royals scored three times in the fifth inning against Victor Gonzalez and twice against Yency Almonte in the sixth. Their No. 9 hitter, Nicky Lopez, had a season total of seven RBIs through Saturday. He had four on Sunday alone with two of the Royals’ 15 hits.

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    ​ Orange County Register