Washington Nationals' right-hander Jordan Zimmermann was through 6 ⅓ scoreless when Carl Crawford doubled for the only extra base hit the Nats' starter surrendered to that point.
Los Angeles Dodgers' third baseman Justin Turner argued that he was hit by a 1-2 fastball inside from Zimmermann in the next at bat, but a review was inconclusive, so Turner remained at the plate and drove Crawford in with a two-run home run to center field in Dodger Stadium. 2-0 L.A.
That lead lasted for an inning before the Nationals scored three in the top of the ninth on a two-run home run by pinch hitter Adam LaRoche and an RBI single by Denard Span. 3-2 D.C.
The Nats' lead lasted until the bottom of the ninth when the Dodgers scored the tying run on a two-out error by Jayson Werth in right. 3-3.
The Nats' 35-year-old veteran outfielder tracked a fly to right off Turner's bat and dropped it, allowing Andre Ethier to score on an error an out after Rafael Soriano walked him with one down in the home-half of the ninth inning.
"The sun is tough as you're going toward the line and the ball gets lower and lower on the horizon," Nats' skipper Matt Williams told reporters a few hours after Werth's error sent the game into extra innings.
"It's difficult. And it looked like he'd lost track of it a little bit and tried to get out of the sun to catch it and ended up not catching it."
The Dodgers loaded the bases with one out in the tenth and eleventh innings, but failed to score as Craig Stammen, Xavier Cedeno and Aaron Barrett in the first instance and Jerry Blevins in the second worked into and out of trouble.
The Nationals scored two runs in the top of the twelfth on a bases-loaded single by LaRoche, but Carl Crawford hit a two-out, two-run home run off Tyler Clippard in the bottom of the inning to tie it back up again.
The series finale in Los Angeles went to the fourteenth tied at 5-5 before Ian Desmond reached on an error and scored on a groundout and Asdrubal Cabrera hit the fourth two-run home run of the game. 8-5.
"We've been doing this all year and making it exciting and here was another game where it's not over until you get the last out," Zimmermann said afterwards.
"After the ninth inning it was kind of a roller coaster game and I'm glad that we came out on top."
"They just kept fighting," Williams said. "Really quiet early and then we had to use Adam when we didn't want to and he ended up hitting a two-run homer to get it tied, and then it was just back and forth from there."
The back-and-forth, extra inning, roller coaster ride was "very entertaining" as Zimmermann put it, but Williams said it was not an enjoyable experience in the dugout.
"It's not fun," he said. "You try to set it up. We matched up. We used a lot of matchups today to try to get out of innings and they were able to do it. The home run by Crawford there, we could have folded there, but they didn't. They didn't fold and that's a good sign."
"It just goes to show you that you have to play until the last one is made," the first-year skipper reiterated.
"The last out will send you home, but until then you never know, so you just keep playing."
After the Nationals dropped three straight to the Phillies to start the nine-game road trip, they took two of three in Seattle and two of three in Los Angeles and headed home twenty games over .500 with a 7.0-game lead in the division.
• We talked about the Nationals' marathon win and more on last night's edition of Nats Nightly: