Gio Gonzalez wasn’t particularly sharp in the series opener in Los Angeles, but he did manage to retire 11-straight Dodgers’ batters between the second and sixth, and he held LA to two runs on four hits over seven innings of work on the mound in Chavez Ravine, in what ended up a 4-2 win.
Gonzalez received four runs of support from the Washington Nationals’ offense while he was on the mound, and he handed the bullpen a two-run lead.
Anthony Rendon homered in the second, hitting his 11th blast of the season to left field off lefty Hyun-Jin Ryu, Matt Wieters drove in two with a two-out RBI single to center, and Bryce Harper drove in a run with an opposite field single off in the Nats’ half of the fifth as the visiting team jumped out to a 4-0 lead early.
Enny Romero tossed two scoreless on 31 pitches, to get the Nationals to the ninth, and Matt Albers and Oliver Perez combined for a scoreless inning of work to finish off the Dodgers, 4-2 final.
Nationals now 36-20
HERE’S HOW IT HAPPENED:
• Dodgers’ left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu retired the first five batters he faced in tonight’s series opener in Los Angeles, and he got up 0-2 quickly on the sixth, Anthony Rendon, but Rendon worked the count full and took a 3-2 changeup for a ride, sending a solo shot to left for HR No. 11 of 2017. 1-0 Nationals.
• Gio Gonzalez popped Ryu up with a 3-1 fastball with runners on second and third and two out in the Dodgers’ half of the second, leaving opposing hitters 1 for 26 with two outs and runners in scoring position when the lefty is on the mound this season.
• Matt Wieters added to the Nationals’ lead with a two-out, two-run single to center in the fourth, taking a 1-2 fastball back up the middle to put the Nationals ahead, 3-0.
• Trea Turner reached on a grounder toward third that bounced off the bag, took second on a wild pitch from Ryu and third on a groundout by Ryan Raburn before scoring on a two-out, opposite field single by Bryce Harper, 4-0.
Harper beat the shift with a grounder to left-center for his first hit in three at bats.
• Gio Gonzalez was up to 11-straight Dodgers set down after he retired the side in order in a 14-pitch fifth.
• Gonzalez’s streak of retired Dodgers ended with a leadoff walk to Logan Forsythe in the first at bat of the sixth, and Corey Seager followed with a single to right that put runners on the corners with no one out.
Chris Taylor followed with an RBI single to left field on a 1-2 fastball, 4-1, and Gonzalez fell behind Franklin Gutierrez, who hit a groundout to third to bring in the Dodgers’ second run, 4-2.
Gonzalez limited the damage to two runs and finished a 25-pitch frame at 107 overall.
• Gio Gonzalez’s Line: 6.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 5 Ks, 107 P, 63 S, 8/1 GO/FO.
• Enny Romero took over on the mound in the Dodgers’ seventh and worked around a leadoff walk, striking out two batters in a 16-pitch frame.
• Hyun-Jin Ryu’s Line: 7.0 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 0 BB, 4 Ks, 1 HR, 102 P, 74 S, 12/4 GO/FO.
• Romero came back out for the eighth and gave up a leadoff double on a first-pitch slider to Corey Seager, who drilled a slider to right-center field, but was stranded at second three outs later.
• Dusty Baker turned to Matt Albers in the ninth, with closer Koda Glover apparently unavailable, and Albers retired the first two batters he faced before giving up a hard-hit double to center by Cody Bellinger.
• Baker went to left-hander Oliver Perez with the runner on second and two down, turning Yasmani Grandal around (.179/.273/.308 vs LHPs vs .301/.352/.504 vs RHPs) and Perez got him looking with a 2-2 slider.
• Ballgame. 4-2 Nationals final.
NATIONALS PREGAME NOTES:
- Washington’s 35-20 record heading into tonight’s game in LA was the NL’s best and the second-best in the majors, behind only the Houston Astros (41-16).
- The Los Angeles Dodgers led the all-time series with the Washington Nationals (44-27) heading into the three-game set, after the Nationals dropped five of six in the regular season last year, then fell to the Dodgers in the NLDS.
- Washington’s offense started the series in LA leading the majors in run scored (314), AVG (.279), OBP (.348), SLG (.481), extra base hits (209), and RBIs (307).
- LA was 21-8 in Dodger Stadium this season before tonight, tied with the Arizona Diamondbacks for the best home record in the majors.
- Nationals’ first baseman Ryan Zimmerman started the night leading the majors in AVG (.374), RBIs (48), and extra base hits (34), and he was second in the majors in SLG (.713), and total bases (139).
- Daniel Murphy started the series in LA 14 for 28 on the Nationals’ road trip, with three doubles, a home run and five runs scored in six games.
- Gio Gonzalez took the mound in Dodger Stadium (3-1) in five regular season starts against Los Angeles, with a 1.69 ERA in 32 IP, with one earned run allowed in his last two regular season starts against the Dodgers.
Nationals now 36-20