After a day off, the Los Angeles Dodgers are set to meet the host Cincinnati Reds on Tuesday for the opener of a three-game set.
The Dodgers will be looking to pick up a much-needed series win and get some separation from the Arizona Diamondbacks, who they are currently tied with atop the National League West, a division Los Angeles has won in nine of the last ten seasons.
Despite sitting 10 games above .500, the Dodgers have just been staying afloat as of late, going 6-6 in their last 12 games against some strong division-leading opponents such as the Atlanta Braves and Tampa Bay Rays.
Their bats have not been quiet during this middling stretch, though, as they have scored six or more runs in eight of those games.
Los Angeles is coming off a loss Sunday night, when they fell 4-1 at home to the New York Yankees.
The Dodgers will be looking for Freddie Freeman to get out of a mini slump in Cincinnati this week. He leads Los Angeles in multiple offensive categories, such as batting average (.331), hits (80) and on-base percentage (.402), but has been quiet to begin June, mustering only one hit in 14 at-bats (.071).
The Dodgers will surely like their chances on Tuesday with right-hander Tony Gonsolin (3-1, 1.77 ERA) on the mound. Gonsolin has not allowed more than three runs in any outing this season and is 1-0 with a 3.97 ERA in three career appearances (two starts) against the Reds.
He allowed just one run on three hits and two walks in his last appearance, going six innings against the Washington Nationals last Tuesday.
Contrary to what the box score said, Gonsolin was not too pleased with himself in that last start.
"From pitch No. 1 I wasn't super sharp," Gonsolin said. "I was really fortunate to have awesome defense (Tuesday) and everyone played great (Tuesday) and that's what kept me in the ballgame."
The Reds enter Tuesday's game after snapping a four-game skid with a 2-0 win over the Milwaukee Brewers on Monday night. Before that shutout, Cincinnati had struggled keeping its opponents off the scoreboard, allowing 28 runs over the four-game losing streak.
Andrew Abbott dazzled in his major league debut, tossing six scoreless innings and only allowing one hit in Monday's victory.
Right-hander Luke Weaver (1-2, 5.36) will be trying to follow up Abbott's performance with a strong start of his own. Weaver is 1-3 with a 7.57 ERA in eight career appearances (five starts) against Los Angeles during his eight-year career in the majors.
In his last outing, Weaver went 5 2/3 innings in Cincinnati's 5-4 win over the Boston Red Sox last Wednesday. He allowed three runs on seven hits, including two homers, while striking out five.
"It felt like a grind. It felt like there was some clean innings and some that I really had to dig deep on," Weaver said following his start against Boston. "A couple of those moments that you feel like get away from you, maybe a pitch or two. ... But it's just part of it and I'll continue to work on that."
--Field Level Media