The Los Angeles Dodgers, even while short-handed, might be starting to round into the form that carried them to 111 wins last year
Their 8-7 comeback win Tuesday on the road against the Pittsburgh Pirates was their third in a row, and a win Wednesday would give them their first four-game winning streak of the season
The Dodgers erased a five-run deficit Tuesday, with Chris Taylor's three-run homer in the eighth capping the comeback. He is one of the Dodgers off to a slow start; even in going 3-for-4 Tuesday, he's hitting .163
"It's no secret I've been grinding a little bit," Taylor told SportsNet LA. "Just to help the team out, it felt really good."
So did the game in general for the Dodgers
"Very good team win," Los Angeles manager Dave Roberts said.
The Dodgers played without infielder/outfielder Max Muncy (paternity leave) -- the reigning National League player of the week -- and designated hitter J.D. Martinez, who tweaked his back Sunday
Roberts said he is hopeful Martinez will be OK to play Wednesday.
Sometime before Wednesday's game, the Pirates are expected to formally announce a new contract for outfielder Bryan Reynolds
Multiple reports say Reynolds and the Pirates have agreed to an eight-year, $106.75 million deal that will kick in next season. Reynolds has missed the past two Pittsburgh games while on bereavement leave but is expected to play Wednesday
"Bryan Reynolds having the ability to be here long-term, I think, is really important and it means a lot to us," Pirates manager Derek Shelton said of the 28-year-old
The deal comes after contentious talks, with Reynolds at one point asking to be traded.
Now he could be a main cog for years to come on a team that has been one of the surprises of the first month of the season. Reynolds leads the team with a .294 average and is one of three Pirates with a team-best five home runs
Pittsburgh, a doormat in recent seasons, had won seven straight before Tuesday. Despite the loss the Pirates still lead the National League Central
Wednesday, Los Angeles right-hander Tony Gonsolin (0-0, 0.00 ERA) is expected to be activated from the injured list and start opposite Pittsburgh right-hander Roansy Contreras (2-1, 4.57).
Gonsolin would make his season debut in what could be a boon to Los Angeles. He sustained a left ankle injury the second week of spring training.
Roberts confirmed Tuesday that Gonsolin will start Wednesday, with a target of four innings and 60 pitches.
Gonsolin was a first-time All-Star last year, going 16-1 with a 2.14 ERA, although he missed all of September because of a forearm strain.
In two career starts against the Pirates, Gonsolin is 1-0 with a 1.35 ERA
Contreras, who has never faced the Dodgers, has given up three runs in 12 2/3 innings over his past two starts. That includes Thursday when he gave up one run and struck out eight in 6 2/3 innings in a win over the Cincinnati Reds
Coming off a strong rookie season in 2022, Contreras this season has a more-developed slider.
"I feel pretty comfortable with the slider right now as my second pitch," Contreras said through an interpreter. "That's given me the confidence to throw it any time in any count."
--Field Level Media