As the Los Angeles Dodgers keep shuffling their starting rotation deck, rookie right-hander Tony Gonsolin continues to get opportunities to show what he can do with the playoffs looming.
With the Dodgers' magic number for clinching the National League West at four, they could bring a spot in those playoffs a little bit closer Saturday.
Los Angeles failed to get any closer to a division title Friday, losing 5-4 to the San Francisco Giants while the Arizona Diamondbacks -- second in the NL West -- won 7-5 in Cincinnati. On the bright side for the Dodgers, A.J. Pollock did have a three-homer game.
Gonsolin will make his sixth career start Saturday night against the visiting Giants, with another opportunity perhaps dependent on what he shows in his first career outing against his team's biggest rival.
Big rotation changes already have been announced. Walker Buehler was in line to start Sunday's series finale, but he will be moved into an outing Tuesday against the Baltimore Orioles. Hyun-Jin Ryu, the staff's steadiest performer up until three weeks ago, will have his next start skipped.
Rich Hill, who is returning from a forearm flexor strain, will make his first appearance since June when he takes the mound next week. Julio Urias will start Sunday and will be given a chance to earn a spot in the postseason rotation behind Clayton Kershaw, Ryu and Buehler.
Gonsolin (2-1, 2.89 ERA) has shown he belongs in some capacity by not giving up more than two runs in any of his four August starts. But his postseason spot is not guaranteed. He is coming off an outing on Aug. 30 against the D-backs in which he gave up two earned runs over five-plus innings, finishing with five strikeouts and a career-high three walks.
"I try not to think about October," Gonsolin told reporters after his most recent start. "Ideally, we get there. And then, there comes about getting a roster spot, and that, it's up to them. I've just got to go out every day and do what I can do."
He already has his manager's attention and can continue to help his own cause Saturday.
"This is one of those things where you throw a guy into the fire and (have him) kind of learn on the run, and he's doing a great job of getting better every time out," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said.
The Giants will counter with rookie right-hander Tyler Beede (3-9, 5.61 ERA), who could use a change of fortune after going 0-3 with a 7.05 ERA over his past eight starts. The Giants have lost all eight of those games.
Beede's only previous start against the Dodgers came June 17, and it was impressive. He gave up just one run over six innings to earn his first career victory, 3-2 at Dodger Stadium.
Expect Bedee to open with a sense of urgency against the Dodgers. He has given up 18 first-inning runs in 18 starts this season.
"I have to come out of the gates and have a little bit of a more efficient first inning that sets the tone for me going forward," Beede said, according to MLB.com. "But there's a lot of things that I can control, and I think just continuing to go out and attack will be my goal and plan of focus moving forward."
--Field Level Media
Dodgers look lower magic number vs. Giants