Dodgers' Kenley Jansen shakes off rocky stretch, gets save in shutout of Colorado

Dodgers' Kenley Jansen shakes off rocky stretch, gets save in shutout of Colorado

7/25/2021 7:48:00 AM

Dodgers' Kenley Jansen shakes off rocky stretch, gets save in shutout of Colorado

The Dodgers' Kenley Jansen closed out a 1-0 win over the Colorado Rockies after three straight blown saves in a bounce-back effort by the bullpen.

PrintDodgers manager Dave Roberts said he deployed his starting pitcher Saturday with the simplest of instructions: Throw strikes and do so for as long as you can.“That’s kind of our message to him,” Roberts explained before the game. “Go make pitches.”

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Tony Gonsolin responded with 5-1/3 shutout innings against Colorado, matching his longest outing of the season.Just as notable were the 3-2/3 innings that came after Gonsolin as Roberts’ bullpen finally locked down a victory, this one 1-0, ending a nightmarish stretch.

AdvertisementEntering Saturday, the Dodgers had lost five of six games with each of their previous three defeats coming after blowing a late lead.Following an All-Star-like first half, closer Kenley Jansen opened the second by squandering his first three save opportunities. But Jansen retired three of the four Rockies he faced in the ninth inning, striking out C.J. Cron to end the night and secure his 22nd save.

Jansen entered the game to cheers but only after a ripple of concern passed through the crowd of 42,245. He had been booed at home after his previous two outings.Subpoenas seeking Trevor Bauer social media records withdrawn and hearing is delayedDodgers pitcher Trevor Bauer is contesting a restraining order request filed against him by a woman accusing him of sexual assault.

Roberts never wavered in his public support of Jansen, insisting that he didn’t see the need for a change.After retiring Charlie Blackmon on a popup and Trevor Storey on a fly ball, Jansen walked Ryan McMahon. But he rebounded to dispatch Cron on three pitches.

The game’s only run came on Austin Barnes’ homer leading off the second inning.After Gonsolin departed, having given up just two hits, Alex Vesia pitched 1-1/3 innings and Joe Kelly struck out the only batter he faced. Kelly hadn’t appeared since a 16-pitch effort Tuesday against San Francisco because of what Roberts described as arm soreness.

AdvertisementBlake Treinen then delivered a 1-2-3 eight inning on only eight pitchers. That set up Jansen, and this time he came through.Gonsolin’s velocity had dipped in his previous two starts, prompting questions about the soundness of his arm. Roberts insisted that the right-hander was healthy.

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Saturday, Gonsolin’s velocity returned — he averaged nearly 95 mph on his fastball — as he struck out seven to tie another season high.He surrendered only a first-inning double to Blackmon and a fourth-inning single to McMahon. Gonsolin walked two.Advertisement

Dodgers starter Tony Gonsolin pitched 5-1/3 shutout innings against Colorado.(Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images)His performance came a day after David Price produced his finest start as a Dodger in an eventual 9-6, 10-inning loss to the Rockies.Having lost Dustin May (elbow ligament) after only five starts, the Dodgers also are without Trevor Bauer and Clayton Kershaw. Bauer remains on administrative leave and Kershaw is dealing with elbow inflammation.

The emergence of Price certainly would help ease the burden on the pitching staff as the second-place Dodgers attempt to keep up with San Francisco in the National League West.Advertisement“I felt good coming out of the game,” Price said Saturday. “Felt good today … So everything was positive.”

The left-hander pitched into the sixth inning, giving up three runs and four hits while striking out four and walking one. He threw 54 of 74 pitches for strikes.‘It’s pretty weird’: Dodgers can’t snap out of extra-inning funkAfter Friday’s 10th-inning loss to the Rockies, the Dodgers fell to 1-10 in extra-inning games this season.

The 5-2/3-inning effort was Price’s longest as a Dodger and longest since going six innings for Boston on July 24, 2019.Advertisement“Just throwing strikes early,” Price said of his Friday performance. “Whenever you can establish the strike zone, you can put the other team in swing mode. Then you can try to get them to swing at the pitches you want them to swing at.”

Kershaw’s return from injury continued Saturday afternoon with a bullpen session at Dodger Stadium. The left-hander last pitched in a game July 3 at Washington. Roberts said the plan is to have Kershaw next participate in a simulated game in San Francisco during the Dodgers’ three-game series beginning Tuesday.

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Injuries have plagued the Dodgers all season. They also played Saturday without Corey Seager (hand, on injured list), Gavin Lux (hamstring, on injured list), Mookie Betts (hip) and Cody Bellinger (hamstring).Max Muncy also remains away from the team on paternity leave.

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