Gonsolin wins 9th, Freeman drives in 5 as Dodgers down Reds

CINCINNATI (AP) — Tony Gonsolin said he hasn’t done anything extraordinary on the way to becoming the first nine-game winner in the majors this season.

“It’s just throwing a lot more strikes,” the 28-year-old righty said of his success in 2022, which includes a 9-0 record and sparkling 1.58 ERA.

He hasn’t gone more than 6 1/3 innings in a start and exited after five in the Dodgers’ 8-2 cruise over the Cincinnati Reds on Tuesday night. He allowed three hits, two of them solo homers that accounted for the Reds’ only runs of the sweltering evening.

He leaned on his four-seam fastball, and his slider and splitter got even better as the game progressed. He struck out four.

“I feel like I’m throwing a lot more competitive pitches this year and able to get some early contact, which allows me to be more efficient and go deeper into games,” he said.

Gonsolin said he still felt great when he came out after 87 pitches.

“Weathered some traffic, gave up a couple homers. But man, I thought he was fine,” Dodger manager Dave Roberts said. “Obviously, wasn’t as efficient as he has been recently. Tony just managed the outing, which is really good to see.”

Getting offensive support helps, too.

Freddie Freeman drove in five runs, breaking the game open with a bases-loaded triple in the eighth inning.

Meanwhile, Reds starter Tyler Mahle (2-6) was lucky to give up only four runs through six innings. He allowed 12 hits but manage to strand eight runners.

“I had to battle through six,” Mahle said. “It was just the way it was today. It wasn’t easy. I had to grind against a good team. ”

Jonathan India homered leading off the Reds first, and Albert Almora Jr. had one in the second, but those were the highlights. Four Dodgers relievers threw scoreless innings to wrap it up.

Joey Votto had two hits for the Reds, including his 1,000th at Great American Ball Park.

Will Smith homered into the left-field seats in the first inning for the Dodgers, his ninth the season.

Freeman put the Dodgers ahead in the third after back-to-back singles by Gavin Lux and Trea Turner, hitting a two-run double into the right-field corner.

Freeman then delivered the bases-loaded triple off the center-field wall off in the eighth.

TURNER STREAKING

Turner had a season-high four hits, extending his current streak to 13 games, and scored twice. He’s already logged a 26-game hit streak this season, and leads the team with 49 RBIs. He leads NL shortstops in All Star voting.

SPEAKING OF STREAKS

The Reds have lost four straight, including a weekend sweep by the Milwaukee Brewers. They’ve had losing streaks of 11 and nine game this season and are in last place in the NL Central.

MOVES

The Dodgers added OF Trayce Thompson to the active roster on Tuesday after acquiring him from the Detroit Tigers for cash. The injury-plagued Dodgers needed another outfielder after star Mookie Betts cracked a rib in a collision with Cody Bellinger last week. Thompson pinch-hit in the eighth inning and struck out. He is the brother of Golden State Warriors star Klay Thompson.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Dodgers: Put LHP Caleb Ferguson on the injured list with left forearm tendinitis. … Transferred RHP Walker Buehler to the 60-day injured list.

Reds: Activated INF Donovan Solano from the injury list following a rehab stint. Solano was one of the team’s few winter signings but was injured in spring training. … Transferred LHP Nick Lodolo (lower back strain) to the 60-day injury list. … OF Tyler Naquin (quad strain) is close to starting a rehab assignment, manager David Bell said.

UP NEXT

Dodgers LHP Tyler Anderson (8-0, 2.82 ERA) is scheduled to face Reds RHP Luis Castillo (2-4, 3.33) on Wednesday night. Anderson threw a season-high 8 1/3 innings, allowing one run and one hit and striking out eight, in beating the Angels last Wednesday. Castillo allowed three runs and four hits through seven innings in the Reds loss Wednesday to Arizona.

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