Washington’s Nationals knocked Los Angeles Dodgers’ starter Kenta Maeda out early with a four-run third inning. Jayson Werth hit an RBI double, Bryce Harper hit an RBI single and Anthony Rendon hit a two-run home run as the visitors from the nation’s capital jumped out to a 4-1 lead after falling behind early in LA.
Dodgers’ catcher Carlos Ruiz, who hadn’t homered since April 27th, hit a two-run blast off Gio Gonzalez the fifth, however, making it a one-run game and ending Gonzalez’s outing.
It was Ruiz’s fourth home run of the year, his third against the Nationals and his second off of Gonzalez.
Gonzalez was out after 4 1⁄3 innings, but the Nats’ ‘pen made the one-run lead hold up with Sammy Solis, Oliver Perez and Shawn Kelley combined to keep it 4-3 through the eighth, and Jayson Werth homered to lead off the ninth and make it 5-3 Nationals.
Ryan Zimmerman drove in two runs with a one-out double later in the ninth inning and scored on a sac fly to make it an 8-3 game.
That’s how it ended.
Nationals lead NLDS, 2-1
Here’s how it happened:
Gio Gonzalez walked Justin Turner with one down in the bottom of the first today in Dodger Stadium and paid for it immediately when Corey Seager, who homered in his first at bats in Games 1-2 of the NLDS with the Nationals, doubled to right on a first-pitch curve, driving Turner in from first for an early 1-0 lead.
Trea Turner was 2 for 7 with 5 Ks in the first two games of the Division Series. He lined a 1-1 fastball back up the middle for a leadoff single in the Nationals’ third, then came around from first on an RBI double to right by Jayson Werth that tied things up at 1-1.
Werth scored one out later on an RBI single to right by Bryce Harper and the Nationals took a 2-1 lead. Harper swiped second and took third on a throwing error by Dodgers’ catcher Yasmani Grandal then scored the easy way when Anthony Rendon hit a 2-2 fastball to left for a two-run HR and a 4-1 lead.
Kenta Maeda’s Line: 3.0 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 4 Ks, 1 HR, 63 P, 41 S, 1/2 GO/FO
Gonzalez tossed three scoreless frames after giving up the early run, but Joc Pederson singled off the Nationals’ lefty with one down in the fifth and Carlos Ruiz followed with a two-run home run to right, taking a 3-1 fastball for a ride to get the Dodgers within one and end Gonzalez’s outing. 4-3 Nationals.
Gio Gonzalez’s Line: 4.1 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 4 Ks, 1 HR, 83 P, 48 S, 4/4 GO/FO.
Sammy Solis issued a two-out walk to Justin Turner after taking over on the mound, but retired Corey Seager to end the bottom of the fifth, then came back out with a scoreless frame in the sixth.
Oliver Perez took the ball in the Dodgers’ half of the seventh, with the Nationals still up by a run, and gave up a one-out single before he was replaced by Shawn Kelley, who recorded two quick outs to get the game to the eighth with the score still 4-3 D.C.
Kelley came back out in the bottom of the eighth and retired the side in order in a 13-pitch frame and Jayson Werth led off the top of the ninth with a solo bomb to left off Kenley Jansen that made it 5-3 Nationals. #FWAHHH
Daniel Murphy walked in the next at bat and Bryce Harper was hit by a pitch, and one out later, Ryan Zimmerman doubled off the right field wall to make it a 7-3 game and knock Jansen out, then scored on a sac fly. That’s how it ended. Ballgame. 8-3 final.
Nationals lead NLDS, 2-1
- According to Elias Sports Bureau (and the Nationals’ Game Notes), Jose Lobaton is just the second catcher in postseason history to hit a go-ahead home run with his team trailing by at least two runs, joining Jim Hegan, a catcher for the Cleveland Indians, who hit his go-ahead homer in the 1948 World Series.
- Washington’s three division titles since 2012 are the second-most in the majors, behind only the Los Angeles Dodgers’
fivefour division titles.
- Nationals’ skipper Dusty Baker played eight seasons for the Dodgers from 1976-1983, hitting .281 during his time in Los Angeles, with 144 home runs and 179 doubles.
- Nats’ first base coach Davey Lopes played for the Dodgers from 1972-1981, and he has the second-most steals in Dodgers’ franchise history (418).
- In 16 career postseason games, Daniel Murphy is 23 for 64 (.359 AVG) with two doubles, seven home runs and 14 runs scored.
- Gio Gonzalez is (3-1) with a 1.69 ERA in five career starts vs the Dodgers heading into this afternoon’s game.
- Gonzalez has a 3.21 ERA over 14 IP in three career postseason starts.
- Danny Espinosa was 0 for 5 with 5 Ks in the first two games of the NLDS. Asked if he considered a change at short before today’s game, Dusty Baker’s answer was a simple, “No.”
- Baker elaborated: “I've talked to him. I've talked to him throughout the year. I talk to all my guys, especially the guys that are struggling some. I just can't tell you what I talk to them about (laughter).
- The Dodgers were 53-28 at home in LA this season. Dave Roberts offered his thoughts on what was different at home for his team, which went 38-43 on the road: “When we were there in Nationals Park, it was loud. Those guys fed off that emotion. Those fans were great. And we've got the same thing here.”
Nationals lead NLDS, 2-1