Washington's Nationals dropped four straight to the Chicago Cubs in Wrigley Field in early May, which was, until this week, their longest losing streak of the season.
With losses in back-to-back games to end their four-game set in San Diego and losses in the first two of three against the Dodgers in Los Angeles, Dusty Baker's Nats matched their previous season-high losing streak.
The Nationals had a chance to get back on the right track tonight in the series finale of their three-game set with the Dodgers in Chavez Ravine, and they took a 3-2 lead into the ninth before back-to-back singles by Howie Kendrick and Yasiel Puig and an error by Michael A. Taylor on Puig's hit gave the Dodgers a 4-3 win and a sweep of the three-game set. Five straight losses for the Nationals.
Here's how it happened:
On the mound for LA at the start was 19-year-old Dodgers' starter Julio Urias, who gave up 13 hits, nine runs, eight earned, five walks and seven Ks in 7 ⅔ innings pitched (9.39 ERA) in his first two major league outings, but settled in over his last three starts with 12 hits, three runs (1.87 ERA), three walks and 22 Ks in 14 ⅓ IP, over which he held opposing hitters to a combined .222/.263/.333 line.
Joe Ross took the mound tonight in Los Angeles with a streak of winless outings that stretched back over five starts to his May 26th turn in the rotation.
Since then the 23-year-old right-hander was (3-0) with a 3.77 ERA and a .218/.281/.382 line against in 31 IP.
The command wasn't there for Ross early, as he gave up back-to-back singles by Chase Utley and Joc Pederson to start the Dodgers' first.
Utley took third on a fly to center by Justin Turner and scored on a wild pitch with Adrian Gonzalez at the plate, 1-0 LA.
Ryan Zimmerman singled with one out in the third and moved up on a wild pitch and groundout before scoring on a two-out double to left by Nats' shortstop Danny Espinosa, who hit a 2-1 fastball off the top of the scoreboard/padded wall in left, inches shy of a home run, 1-1 game.
Joe Ross helped his own cause with an opposite field RBI double that brought Espinosa around, 2-1 Nationals.
Dodgers' shortstop Corey Seager tied it up with one swing in the third, however, sending an 0-1 sinker to center for a solo home run that made it a 2-2 game. Seager's 16th.
Urias was done after five innings and 94 pitches, striking six and giving up two runs on six hits.
It was still tied at 2-2 in the bottom of the seventh when Yasmani Grandal and Yasiel Puig hit back-to-back singles off Ross to start the home-half of the frame. A.J. Ellis bunted both runners into scoring position, ending Ross's outing.
Oliver Perez came on and got pinch hitter Kike Hernandez looking with an 0-2 slider, before popping Corey Seager up to end the frame. Still tied at 2-2.
Wilson Ramos stepped in with two down in the eighth against Dodgers' right-hander Pedro Baez and hit a 1-1 change out to left for a no-doubter of a go-ahead blast. 3-2 Nationals. Home run No. 12 for Ramos.
Felipe Rivero and Shawn Kelley combined for a scoreless bottom of the eighth inning, with Rivero retiring the first two batters before handing it off, and after the Nationals left the bases loaded in the top of the ninth, Kelley came back out for the bottom of the inning and gave up a one-out single by Howie Kendrick and a single to center by Yasiel Puig that got under the glove of Nats' center fielder Michael Taylor's glove for a walk-off winner... Really? 4-3 Dodgers.
Dodgers sweep. Nationals drop fifth straight.
Nationals now 43-30
- With wins in the first two games of this week's three-game set in Los Angeles, the Dodgers have a 41-26 record against Washington's Nationals since 2005.
- LA's wins in the first two games with Washington were the fourth and fifth-straight and the Dodgers have also won seven of their last eight and 13 of their last 16 in Dodger Stadium.
- Washington is just 9-25 in LA since 2005, for the lowest winning percentage of any NL team visiting Los Angeles.
- A win tonight would give the Dodgers their first sweep of a series with the Nationals since July of 2013 in D.C.
- Washington's 43-29 in the best mark in franchise history through 72 games, and the third-best record in the National League, behind on the San Francisco Giants (45-27) and Chicago Cubs (47-22).
- In 70 games played this season, Nationals' shortstop Danny Espinosa has hit 13 home runs, matching his home run output for the entire 2015 campaign, and seven behind his season-best of 21 set in 2011.
- In today's Nationals-themed "Fun with Arbitrary End Points" segment: Nats' catcher Wilson Ramos is 22 for 64 (.343 AVG) with three doubles, five home runs, five walks and 14 runs scored ... in his last 18 games.
- Ramos is currently third among NL catchers in the voting for the NL's starting roster in this summer's All-Star Game, but he leads all Major League catchers in AVG (.332), OBP (.378) and SLG (.548) and is tied for 2nd amongst all MLB catchers in HRs with 11.
- Nationals' hitters currently lead the NL in home runs after adding two last night. They have 98 total on the year to this point and they're fifth in the NL in runs scored (328), and fourth in walks (244).
- Dodgers' hitters have homered in 12-straight games heading into tonight's series finale with the Nationals.
- Nats' 2B Daniel Murphy started the night leading the majors in AVG (.352), with an NL-leading 29 multi-hit games.
Nationals now 43-30