But Jonathan India hit a leadoff home run in the first and Albert Almora Jr., homered with two outs in the second … two runs in the first two innings.
It was not to be. The Reds had only one more hit off Gonsolin and he retired the last nine in a row before leaving after five innings.
And the Dodgers, struggling offensively recently with the absence of injured Mookie Betts, opened up on Reds starter Tyler Mahle, four runs and 12 hits in six innings. The Dodgers finished the night with 17 hits.
LA catcher Will Smith homered with two outs in the first and India matched it with his 3-and-1 homer off a Gonsolin fastball to tie it, 1-1.
Almora homered with two outs in the second and the Reds had their first lead in a game in more than a week, 2-1.
That only lasted until the Dodgers came to bat in the top of the third and scored two runs on singles by Gavin Lux and Trea Turner and a two-run double by Freeman, pushing the Dodgers in front, 3-2.
They made it 4-2 with some old school baseball in the fourth. Justin Turner led off with a double. The Dodgers hadn’t executed a sacrifice bunt all season, but Eddy Alvarez bunted Turner to third, enabling him to score on a sacrifice fly by Lux.
From there it was a bullpen battle, and the Reds are vastly unarmed in that department.
After Gonsolin left, the LA bullpen held the Reds to no runs and two hits, both by Joey Votto. Over the last four innings, Evan Phillips, Phil Bickford, Brusdar Graterol and David Price retired 12 of the last 14 Reds.
After Mahle left, Reiver Sanmartin pitched a 1-2-3 seventh, but the game got away in the eighth. Sanmartin put two on with one out and was replaced by Luis Cessa.
Trea Turner rolled an excuse-me bleeder toward third for an infield hit to fill the bases. As Freeman does so often, he unloaded them with a three-run triple off the left center wall.
As Reds broadcaster and former closer Jeff Brantley said, “Ugly comes in a lot of different forms.” And this one was another in a long line of uglies.