Dodgers beat Angels in Freeway Series opener behind Tony Gonsolin.

First, Tony Gonsolin walked off the mound mid-inning by accident, thinking the second out in the third inning was the third.

Gonsolin vacated the rubber again in the seventh. No mix-ups this time. After 6 1/3 scoreless innings, manager Dave Roberts pulled him.

The Dodgers beat the Angels in the opener of a two-game Freeway Series at Dodger Stadium, 2-0, thanks to a bases-loaded walk from Angels starter Noah Syndergaard, a solo home run by Mookie Betts, and a save by closer Craig Kimbrel.

Going 8-0 with a 1.42 ERA, Gonsolin was the most important element in the win. His ERA was the lowest in the majors at the time.

He's "as confident in his own ability" as he's ever been, Roberts said. Some truly good things are being scratched by him.

Roberts' decision to remove Gonsolin with one out in the eighth and Gonsolin's enraged response best reflected the present situation of the Dodgers' season.

The Dodgers are in desperate need of a starting pitcher capable of pitching like an ace in the absence of Walker Buehler, who has a flexor strain in his elbow.

So far, Gonsolin has looked every bit the part, tossing a one-hitter with two walks and six strikeouts in the first inning against the Angels.

Gonsolin: "I'm attacking guys." "In spring training,  I threw strikes and saw what happened. Give whoever's hitting my best.”

The Dodgers are trying to maximise short-term output while conserving their arms for the long haul, so the governor hasn't been entirely lifted for Gonsolin or anybody else in the rotation.

Even though Gonsolin had thrown only 86 pitches and the Angels (29-34) failed to get a runner in scoring position against him, Roberts removed him with one out in the seventh.

Gonsolin seemed unhappy as he reluctantly handed over the ball and walked back to the dugout. "I wanted to remain out," he remarked.

Roberts knew Gonsolin hadn't pitched a full season since 2019 and had already surpassed his MLB innings best of 63 1/3.

The Dodgers will likely have more nights such as Tuesday’s, as they try to compensate for Buehler’s absence. 

As Tuesday's game illustrated, the Dodgers will have to cover a gap while keeping the workloads of the rest of their staff in check.