Dustin May impresses in Dodgers’ 2-1 loss to Diamondbacks


Dustin May did everything he could Friday night.

But after a nearly flawless season opener from the Dodgers the night before, not even May’s seven scoreless innings were enough to prevent a 2-1 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks.

There were wasted opportunities at the plate, with the Dodgers stranding 12 runners on base and going hitless in seven at-bats with men in scoring position.

There was a late blown lead from the bullpen, with Alex Vesia surrendering a go-ahead, two-run home run to Kyle Lewis in the top of the eighth moments after Mookie Betts had belted a solo blast to break a scoreless tie.

Even the pregame festivities turned into an awkward affair, with a crowd of 45,387 at Dodger Stadium loudly booing the showboating antics of first-pitch honorees Logan Paul and KSI — YouTube stars who also founded an energy drink company the Dodgers partnered with this offseason.

If Thursday’s performance showed the Dodgers at their best, Friday was a reminder of the kinks their new-look team has to work out — even on a night they were backed up by dominant starting pitching.

“Every day,” manager Dave Roberts said, “I’m trying to learn about guys even more.”

The most encouraging lesson from Friday came courtesy of May, who checked all the boxes the Dodgers were hoping to see from the 25-year-old flame-thrower in the longest and, perhaps, most complete outing of his young career.

Arizona's Kyle Lewis crosses home plate in front of Dodgers catcher Will Smith.

Arizona’s Kyle Lewis, right, crosses home plate in front of Dodgers catcher Will Smith after hitting a two-run home run in the eighth inning.

(Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)

He pounded the zone and worked quick off soft contact. He mixed all five of his pitches, from a 100-mph fastball to swing-and-miss curveball, while striking out four and yielding just three hits and one walk.

Most of all, the fiery right-hander kept his emotions in check — or, more importantly, funneled them in the right direction — as he strutted around the mound.

“[It went] very good,” May said. “Was getting ahead of a lot of guys, getting a lot of quick outs.”

Diamondbacks pitchers encountered a far different fate. While the Dodgers collected just five hits, they drew nine walks and had at least one baserunner in every inning. Starter Merrill Kelly was knocked out in the bottom of the fourth, and the team’s spotty bullpen faced jams the rest of the night.

Unlike Thursday’s opener, however, the Dodgers failed to take advantage of almost every opportunity.

Mookie Betts hits a solo home run off Arizona reliever Drey Jameson in the seventh inning Friday.

Mookie Betts hits a solo home run off Arizona reliever Drey Jameson in the seventh inning Friday. It was Betts’ first hit of the season.

(Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)

They stranded at least one man in all nine innings, and left two aboard in the first, fourth and eighth.

They suffered a baserunning blunder in the second, when David Peralta was caught attempting a steal on what had been his own decision (the call came down to a close video review) just hours after Roberts proclaimed the Dodgers were “not in the business of running into outs” even under MLB’s new baserunning-friendly rules.

And then, even after the Dodgers finally went ahead on Betts’ first home run of the year, they weren’t able to make the lead last.

Tasked with taking down a left-handed portion of the Diamondbacks lineup, Vesia instead faltered against a pair of right-handed pinch-hitters.

With one out, Evan Longoria laced a full-count fastball to left for a double. A batter later, Kyle Lewis turned on a 2-and-1 slider that went sailing into the left-field pavilion.

“Just one bad pitch,” said Vesia, who downplayed the impact MLB’s new pitch timer had on the inning. “I felt like I was in a decent rhythm.”

The Los Angeles Dodgers bring a vastly new look to the field for the 2023 season. Beat reporter Jack Harris and sports columnist Bill Plaschke talk about the upcoming season and how well the Dodgers might do.

Roberts pointed to some other unlucky moments for his team. After a leadoff walk in the third, Freddie Freeman, Will Smith and Max Muncy all flied out on well-struck swings.

With two outs in the eighth, Miguel Rojas stung a potential tying line drive that was snagged by shortstop Nick Ahmed.

And despite having the top of the order up in the ninth, and getting a runner to second base with two outs again, the Dodgers left one last opportunity to follow up Thursday’s win with a dramatic Friday night encore wasted.

“We had traffic, we squared some balls up,” Roberts said. “But unfortunately, it was right at those guys.”

Tony Gonsolin makes progress

Tony Gonsolin appears to finally be making strides in his recovery from a sprained ankle.

More than three weeks since getting hurt when he turned his ankle slowly trotting off a backfield at Dodgers spring training, Gonsolin has resumed throwing bullpens.

“Tony’s doing well,” Roberts said, a day after the right-hander threw about 30 pitches in a bullpen session at Dodger Stadium.

Roberts said Gonsolin will head back to the team’s Camelback Ranch facility in Arizona next week to face hitters Wednesday.

The team has been hoping to get Gonsolin back into its major league rotation by the end of April. In the meantime, Michael Grove is slated to get at least 2-3 starts in Gonsolin’s place.

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