LOS ANGELES — With the All-Star Game less than two weeks away, the conversation surrounding the starting pitchers has intensified. In the National League, the two most successful starters in the first half have been Miami’s Sandy Alcantara and Los Angeles’ Tony Gonsolin.
Alcantara, who has one start remaining before the break, has been the most dominant pitcher in the NL. His first-half numbers are historic, and he has a significant edge in innings over Gonsolin. In his last start on Tuesday, Alcantara tossed eight scoreless frames, making quite the case to get the starting nod in the Midsummer Classic.
But on Thursday night, Gonsolin punched right back, reminding everyone why he’d be a good option to start the All-Star Game at his home ballpark. Gonsolin allowed two runs and struck out three over seven innings in the Dodgers’ 5-3 win over the Cubs at Dodger Stadium. The right-hander improved to 11-0, the best record in the Majors.
Mookie Betts helped to give Gonsolin enough run support. The superstar outfielder hit a leadoff homer on the second pitch he saw from Cubs starter Mark Leiter Jr. In the eighth, Betts gave the Dodgers more cushion, smacking another homer — Los Angeles’ fourth of the night and his 20th of the season. It marked Betts’ 19th career multi-homer game out of the leadoff spot, tying Alfonso Soriano for the most all time.