LOS ANGELES (AP) — Austin Barnes stood by first base and watched the Seattle Mariners’ infield move back, leaving him to take whatever lead he desired.
This apparent disregard for an able-bodied catcher would not stand, Barnes thought to himself — and he promptly stole second with a daring that decided yet another win for the streaking Los Angeles Dodgers.
“When they played behind me, I was confused, because I can run a little bit,” Barnes said. “I’m not super slow.”
Corey Seager singled home Barnes with the tiebreaking run in the eighth inning and the Dodgers beat Seattle 2-1 on Tuesday for their seventh consecutive victory.
Barnes went 2 for 2 with a walk and scored both runs for the Dodgers, who improved to an NL-best 18-7 and sent the Mariners to their seventh straight defeat.
He also seized the moment to get in position for the winner. After drawing a walk, Barnes stole his first base of the season before Seager brought him in with a two-out drive through the shift in right.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts called Barnes’ 13th career stolen base “just a heads-up baseball play.”
And Mariners manager Scott Servais confirmed no disrespect was intended: “He’s a really good athlete. We were focused on trying to make a pitch there, and he took off on us.”
Barnes’ swipe set up the latest big hit by Seager, who connected off Dan Altavilla (1-2). Seager had homered in each of the Dodgers’ two previous games.
With the temperature at 102 degrees in Chavez Ravine for the opening pitch, Tony Gonsolin threw six scoreless innings of two-hit ball for the Dodgers. He had an impressive duel with Marco Gonzales, who struck out nine in seven innings of five-hit ball for the Mariners.
“Two really good pitching performances,” Roberts said. “I thought Marco Gonzales was excellent today, and I thought Tony was just as good.”
After the starters dominated early in scorching heat, Justin Turner had an RBI single in the sixth inning off Gonzales. Seattle tied it on Tim Lopes’ RBI groundout in the seventh, rallying against the Dodgers’ bullpen.
Blake Treinen (2-1) got five outs on just 16 pitches for the win.
Servais said he needed a significant start from Gonzales after using his bullpen heavily Monday, and Gonzales responded like the ace he is becoming.
Gonzales had an “awesome outing,” Servais said. “Shutting down a team like that, it says a lot. I don’t think you can draw it up any better as far as what you want your young pitchers to emulate.”
The Dodgers finally broke through in the sixth when Barnes singled, advanced on a grounder and scored on Turner’s single to left.
Gonzales wasn’t intimidated by the Dodgers’ vaunted lineup, which leads the majors in runs.
“It doesn’t matter, man,” he said. “You can put any lineup in there and I’m going to stick to my Plan A and pitch to my strengths. It took me a long time to learn that in this league, to be on the attack and be aggressive, and that puts guys on their heels.”
Gonsolin was pulled before the seventh on 84 pitches, and Kyle Lewis drew a leadoff walk from Jake McGee before Kyle Seager doubled him to third. Lewis scored on a one-out groundout by Lopes.
Scott Alexander stopped the rally in the seventh, and he made a spectacular no-look, behind-the-back stop of Dee Gordon’s drive back to the mound in the eighth.
THE GREAT GONZO
Gonsolin has yet to yield an earned run in three starts this season for the Dodgers, who didn’t have him in their opening day rotation. He held the Mariners to two singles and no walks while matching the longest start of his career, striking out three and allowing no runners to reach third base.
“I’m just feeling a lot more comfortable up here,” Gonsolin said after his ninth career major league start. “Trying to go out there and take advantage of every opportunity I get. Part of that is my attitude behind all my pitches.”
Working quickly in the heat and hitting 98 mph with his fastball late, Gonsolin became the first pitcher to start a season with three straight scoreless starts of at least four innings apiece for this 131-year-old franchise since Wheezer Dell, who did it for the Brooklyn Robins in 1916.
After going deep in the bullpen Monday, Seattle recalled RHP Art Warren from the alternate training site and optioned OF Mallex Smith, who is batting just .133 this season. Warren made his major league debut with six relief appearances late last season.
Mariners: They transferred C Tom Murphy to the 45-day disabled list with a broken foot, sidelining him at least until September.
Dodgers: Rookie C Keibert Ruiz confirmed he was late to summer camp because he contracted COVID-19. He felt feverish and ill for three days, he said. Ruiz got called up last weekend to replace injured C Will Smith, and he homered on his first big league swing in Anaheim.
Both clubs went from Dodger Stadium to the airport for the two-hour flight to Seattle, where the Mariners will send out Taijuan Walker (1-2, 4.05 ERA) on Wednesday night against Los Angeles’ Julio Urías (2-0, 2.53).
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