Tony Gonsolin set to return to Dodgers for finale at St. Louis

MLB

The Los Angeles Dodgers will get a bit healthier Thursday when they conclude their four-game road series against the St. Louis Cardinals.

They will activate pitcher Tony Gonsolin (2-1, 2.78 ERA) from the 10-day injured list. The right-hander has been sidelined since late July due to right shoulder inflammation.

“He will be taking the bulk of (Thursday’s) game,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said Wednesday. “With the guys we have in the ‘pen, I think three (innings) and 45 (pitches), three and 50 is fair.”

The Dodgers (88-52) won the first two games of the series at Busch Stadium before the Cardinals (70-68) won 5-4 Wednesday to snap a four-game losing streak.

Roberts originally planned to start Julio Urias in the series finale, but the opted to move the left-hander to a Friday start against the visiting San Diego Padres instead.

“We just felt that we wanted to get Tony back on line,” Roberts said. “If you look out at planning out the rest of the season, it just made sense for us. And there was really no cost.”

Gonsolin started for Class-A Rancho Cucamonga on a rehab assignment Saturday, working 2 1/3 innings and 41 pitches while allowing one run on three hits.

He rejoined the Dodgers, enjoyed a successful bullpen session and got the green light to return. Roberts hopes Gonsolin can settle into the rotation for the stretch run.

“The expected thing is he’ll just slot into that starter’s role and pitch every fifth or sixth day,” the manager said.

Gonsolin has faced St. Louis once in his career, getting a win after throwing six shutout innings in 2019.

The Cardinals will counter with right-hander Jake Woodford (2-3, 4.47 ERA). He earned the nod on the strength of his stellar outing in relief of Kwan Hyun Kim on Saturday, when he threw 5 1/3 scoreless innings in a 4-0 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers.

That inspired Cardinals manager Mike Shildt to insert Woodford in the rotation in place of Kim, who moved to the bullpen.

“I just try and show up every day and get better, but right now, it’s trying to win,” Woodford said. “There’s no real sugarcoating it, I’m here part of the team trying to win. We’re trying to make a push right now, and honestly, that’s all I’m really concerned about.”

Woodford faced the Dodgers for the first time on June 2, working 2 1/3 innings in relief during a 14-3 loss. He was charged with one run in that appearance, but he allowed three inherited runners to score when he served up a grand slam to Cody Bellinger.

The 24-year-old returned to Triple-A Memphis on Aug. 1 to build endurance as a starter. In four starts before returning to the majors, Woodford allowed 14 runs (11 earned) in 22 innings, a 4.50 ERA.

“I think he’s grown in a lot of areas,” Shildt said. “His stuff has gotten crisper. He’s been able to pitch which helps — and he’s had the wonderful opportunity to prove that he belongs in the big leagues. He got that earlier.

“He got down to Triple-A to work on his craft, which is important for a younger guy who hasn’t pitched all that much. Probably needed to be (there) at that stage in his career.”

–Field Level Media

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