The Los Angeles Dodgers will attempt to even the National League Championship Series at one game apiece Tuesday but with rookie right-hander Tony Gonsolin on the mound against the Atlanta Braves instead of left-hander Clayton Kershaw.
Kershaw was scratched from the start because of back spasms, the team announced Tuesday morning.
The 26-year-old Gonsolin will be making his postseason debut. He was 2-2 in eight starts and one relief appearance in the regular season. His 2.31 ERA was best among major league rookies with at least 40 innings.
Kershaw is 2-0 with a 1.93 ERA and 19 strikeouts in 14 innings in the 2020 postseason. He is 5-0 with a 1.98 ERA against the Braves in 10 postseason starts.
Atlanta will counter with rookie right-hander Ian Anderson, who is 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA and 17 strikeouts in 11 2/3 innings in the 2020 postseason.
The Braves have allowed six runs in their six 2020 postseason games, all victories.
The Dodgers were held to four hits in a 5-1 loss in Game 1 on Monday, none in the final 4 1/3 innings.
Austin Riley greeted reliever Blake Treinen with a tie-breaking home run leading off the ninth inning Monday and Atlanta added three runs on Marcell Ozuna’s RBI single and Ozzie Albies’ two-run homer later in the inning.
The lone Dodgers run came on Kike Hernandez’s fifth-inning homer on an 0-2 curveball off Braves starter Max Fried.
“They made some mistakes that we just didn’t capitalize on,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “You could just see that their plan was to spin us a lot more and we just got to continue (to) swing at strikes.”
The Braves opened the scoring in Game 1 when Freddie Freeman, the second batter, homered on a 1-2 four-seam fastball from starter Walker Buehler.
Relievers Chris Martin, Will Smith and Mark Melancon retired all nine Dodgers they faced. Smith pitched a perfect eighth inning and was credited with the victory.
The final Dodger to reach base was Corey Seager, who hit an infield single off Fried with two outs in the fifth. Justin Turner grounded out to end the fifth.
Fried also allowed a two-out single by Turner in the first and AJ Pollock’s one-out single in the second.
The Dodgers were hitless in their two at-bats with runners in scoring position.
Will Smith — no relation to the Atlanta pitcher — struck out on a foul tip to end the first inning, stranding Turner, who had advanced to second on Max Muncy’s walk.
Mookie Betts flied out to end the second with Pollock at second following a two-out, four-pitch walk to Chris Taylor.
Fried allowed four hits, struck out nine and walked two in six innings.
“He just kept nibbling and spinning us to death,” Roberts said.
Fried is a 2012 graduate of Harvard-Westlake School in Studio City and was the seventh overall selection by the San Diego Padres in that year’s MLB draft.
The left-hander was acquired in a six-player trade on Dec. 19, 2014, with the Braves sending outfielder Justin Upton and minor league pitcher Aaron Northcraft to San Diego. Atlanta also received second baseman Jace Peterson and minor league outfielders Dustin Peterson and Mallex Smith.
Buehler allowed three hits in five innings, striking out seven and walking five.
Treinen, the fifth of six Dodger pitchers, was charged with the loss. He allowed three runs and three hits in one-third of an inning.
The loss was the Dodgers’ first of the 2020 postseason following a two-game sweep of the Milwaukee Brewers in the wild-card round and a three-game sweep of the Padres in a National League Division Series.
The series is being played at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas. The final three rounds of baseball’s postseason are being played at neutral sites in an attempt to reduce the possibility of spreading the coronavirus.
The FS1 telecast will be shown on 60-foot screens in Dodger Stadium Parking Lots 2 and 3, with audio broadcast through an FM radio. Admission is $75 per car and must be purchased in advance, with no on-site sales available.
Details and the full list of safety measures and security protocols can be found at Dodgers.com/DriveIn.
Parking gates will open one hour prior to the 3:08 p.m. start.
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