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Washington Nationals avoid sweep with 7-1 win over Los Angeles Dodgers: Ryan Zimmerman homers twice in finale in D.C.

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Ryan Zimmerman tied his previous career high in home runs with the second of his two blasts in tonight’s 7-1 win over the Dodgers in Nationals Park.

MLB: Los Angeles Dodgers at Washington Nationals Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Stephen Strasburg’s streak of scoreless innings ended at 35-straight on a two-out RBI double to center by Logan Forsythe in the second inning of tonight’s game. Michael A. Taylor tracked the ball to deep center field but had it bounce off his glove, so instead of out No. 3, it was a two-base hit that drove Yasiel Puig in from third base for the only run Strasburg allowed in six innings of work in what ended up a 7-1 Washington win.

It was 1-0 Los Angeles until the sixth, with Dodgers’ lefty Hyun-Jin Ryu throwing 4 23 scoreless against the Nationals, before Anthony Rendon walked and Daniel Murphy singled in front of Ryan Zimmerman with reliever Ross Stripling on in the bottom of the sixth.

Zimmerman hit a 3-1 slider over the out-of-town scoreboard in right-center for a bomb of a three-run blast that put the Nats on top.

It was Zimmerman’s 32nd of the season, one shy of his previous career-high set back in 2009.

Anthony Rendon drove in a run with a two-out RBI double in the home-half of the seventh, and Zimmerman homered again in the eighth, sending another oppo-blast to right to help the Nationals avoid a sweep as they salvaged the series finale with the Dodgers. Adam Lind got in on the action as well, with a two-out, two-run home run that made it 7-1 Nats.

Final Score: 7-1 Nationals.

Nationals now 90-59

HERE’S HOW IT HAPPENED:

Yasiel Puig reached base on a broken-bat single in the top of the second, in spite of some efforting by Daniel Murphy up the middle. Puig then stole second base (for the second steal off Stephen Strasburg and Matt Wieters in two innings), took third on a fly to deep right, and scored on a two-out fly to center by Logan Forsythe that Michael A. Taylor tracked down but couldn’t catch. The ball bounced off Taylor’s glove for what was ruled a double that ended Strasburg’s streak of scoreless innings at 35-straight. 1-0 LA.

Strasburg worked his way out of a two-on, one-out jam in the third (after a HBP and a single), striking Cody Bellinger out with a 95 mph 2-2 fastball up high, outside, and getting an inning-ending force at second on a grounder to third to keep a 1-0 game.

Hyun-Jin Ryu, in his first start since September 5th, limited the Nationals to three hits in four scoreless, striking out four on 68 pitches.

Strasburg was up to 79 pitches and seven Ks after he struck out two in a 15-pitch top of the fifth inning. Also, he took a nine-pitch, two-out walk from Ryu that the crowd in Nationals Park loved. Trea Turner took a second-straight walk from Ryu, who threw 30 pitches total in the fifth, and was up to 98 overall when Dodgers’ skipper Dave Roberts went to the bullpen.

Ross Stripling took over for LA with two-on, and two-out and Jayson Werth at the plate, and got up 0-2, but Werth lined the 94 mph 0-2 fastball he got to left and it landed just inside the line for —- a foul ball? It was ruled a foul initially, and the call stood upon review. Werth stepped back in and sent a fly to center for out No. 3.

• Hyun-Jin Ryu’s Line: 4.2 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 5 Ks, 98 P, 56 S, 3/2 GO/FO.

Curtis Granderson walked with two down in the sixth, and stole second base (LA’s third stolen base of the game), but Strasburg caught Yasmani Grandal looking with a 2-2 curve that ended a 15-pitch frame that pushed him up to 94 total on the night.

• Stephen Strasburg’s Line: 6.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 8 Ks, 94 P, 59 S, 3/3 GO/FO.

Anthony Rendon walked (77 BB/78 Ks on the season at that point) and Daniel Murphy hit his second single of the night up the middle in the first two at bats of the bottom of the sixth, and Ryan Zimmerman stepped in next and sent a 3-1 slider to center for an opposite field, line drive home run that cleared the out-of-town scoreboard and gave the Nationals a 3-1 lead. Zimmerman’s 32nd of 2017. #TKCHZ

Brandon Kintzler took over on the mound in the seventh and retired the Dodgers in order in a 10-pitch frame.

Walker Bueller hit Jayson Werth with a 97 mph 3-1 fastball with two out in the Nats’ seventh, and Anthony Rendon lined an 0-1 change down the line in left in the next at bat to give the Nationals a three-run lead, 4-1 in the seventh.

Ryan Madson took the mound in the eighth, working around a single/E:9 to strand a runner at third base and keep the Nationals ahead by three.

Sean Doolittle came on in the ninth with a 7-1 lead, after Zimmerman went deep to right again off Dodgers’ righty Josh Ravin, and Adam Lind took Ravin deep to left on an 0-2 sinker for his 12th of 2017, a two-run blast that followed a Matt Wieters’ walk.

Doolittle, who had been warming for save No. 18 in 18 opportunities in a Nationals uniform, came on anyway and worked around a one-out single and walk for a scoreless frame. Ballgame. Final Score: 7-1 Nationals.

NATIONALS PREGAME NOTES:

  • With back-to-back wins in the first two games this weekend, the Los Angeles Dodgers held a 47-29 advantage in the all-time series with the Washington Nationals heading into tonight’s game, and LA was 3-2 in the season series with the Nats.
  • Dusty Baker was still one win shy of reaching 90 wins for the 10th time in his career as a manager heading into tonight’s series finale. He got the win. Congrats, Dusty.
  • Anthony Rendon has already set career highs in home runs (24), RBIs (93), and walks (76), and the Nationals’ third baseman was two doubles from tying his career high (39) before tonight’s game.
  • Rendon started the night leading the NL in fWAR (6.6) as well, and was second overall in the majors, behind only Houston Astros’ infielder Jose Altuve (6.9 fWAR).
  • Dodgers’ rookie Cody Bellinger hit his 38th HR of the season yesterday and he was tied with Wally Berger (1930) and Frank Robinson (1956) for the most homers in a season by a National League rookie heading into tonight’s game.
  • Ryan Zimmerman started the night one double shy of a 30-HR/30-double season after hitting his 29th in the series opener with LA on Friday night.
  • Stephen Strasburg started the night with a 2.82 ERA in six career starts against the Dodgers, and he was facing LA for the second time this season.

Nationals now 90-59