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Luis García homers late to lift Washington Nationals in 8-3 win over Los Angeles Dodgers

Make it three straight overall, with back-to-back wins over the Dodgers in LA...

Washington Nationals v Los Angeles Dodgers Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

Gray vs LA Round Two:

There were all kinds of emotions involved in going up against his former team when Josiah Gray took on LA in D.C. back in late May, and the 24-year-old right-hander let them get the best of him by his own admission after he gave up five hits, three walks, and seven earned runs in a three-inning start at home in Nationals Park.

Acquired from the Dodgers (who’d acquired him from the Cincinnati Reds who drafted Gray in the 2nd Round in 2018) in the deal which sent both Max Scherzer and Trea Turner to Los Angeles, Gray was frustrated with the results, acknowledging he struggled to keep all those emotions in check. His manager, Davey Martinez, said he’d tell his pitcher to put the outing behind him.

“I’ll talk to him tomorrow and tell him to put this one aside,” Martinez said. “He’s been doing well, he’s very — we’ll go back and we’ll look at some of the video of tonight, and we’ll do some corrections, but like I said, he works really hard, and he always wants to get better, so he’ll come back in five days, and we’ll straighten him out and he’ll go out and compete again.”

In eight starts between outings against Los Angeles, he put up a 3.35 ERA, a 4.53 FIP, and a .211/.288/.380 line against in 45 23 IP before taking on the Dodgers again tonight, and he took the mound up 2-0, and gave up a home run on his fourth pitch, with Mookie Betts hitting a 95 MPH 2-1 fastball 404 ft. to center in Dodger Stadium for his 23rd HR of 2022, 2-1.

A leadoff walk to Jake Lamb, wild pitch which moved him up, and a one-out walk to Max Muncy brought pitching coach Jim Hickey out for a chat with Gray, after which he got a couple quick outs to strand both runners in a 24-pitch frame in the second.

Trea Turner doubled with one out in the Dodgers’ third, but was stranded two outs later, and Gray was up to 53 pitches overall following the 14-pitch inning, and an 18-pitch, 1-2-3 fourth, in which he picked up two Ks, had him up to 71, but his 72nd, a first-pitch fastball to Dodger center fielder Cody Bellinger went 361 feet to right for a leadoff home run in the fifth, 2-2 in LA.

Trayce Thompson, in the at-bat after Bellinger’s homer, and Trea Turner, one out later, hit a pair of singles off Gray, and Thompson moved up to second on a Mookie Betts’ groundout, before taking third on Turner’s single, and scoring on a Freddie Freeman sac fly that broke up the tie, 3-2 LA in the fifth.

Josiah Gray’s Line: 5.0 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 6 Ks, 2 HRs, 94 P, 53 S, 4/3 GO/FO.

White vs Gray:

Mitch White, 27, and a 2016 2nd Round pick by the Dodgers, debuted for LA in 2020’s 60-game COVID campaign, and made 21 appearances (four starts) last season, and so far in 2022, he’d made 14 appearances, nine starts, with a 3.35 ERA, a 4.41 FIP, and .219/.297/.355 line against in 40 23 IP since he moved into the rotation in May.

Going into tonight’s game, the Dodgers’ right-hander was coming off five strong against the Giants in which he allowed just one hit and no runs, but he gave up two in the first inning of the second of three with the Nationals in Chavez Ravine.

Victor Robles and César Hernández singled to start the first, and groundouts by Juan Soto and Josh Bell advanced the runners, with Robles scoring Bell’s grounder to third, 1-0, early, and 2-0 when Yadiel Hernández hit a two-out RBI single to left field, 2-0.

White held the Nationals off the board in the second and third, working around a two-out hit by Lane Thomas in the second, and two-out double by Josh Bell in the third, but Luis García hit a line drive to left with one out in the fourth and Dodgers’ left fielder Trayce Thompson’s all-or-nothing diving attempt came up nothing, allowing García to speed around to third for a one-out triple, but he was stranded at there two outs later.

Robles singled to start the Nats’ fifth, stole his 12th base in 13 attempts this season, and then got thrown out trying to score on a two-out single to right field by Josh Bell when Mookie Betts made a perfect throw home to beat him to the plate for out No. 3 of an 11-pitch fifth for White.

A 14-pitch sixth, in which he stranded a two-out single by García left White with a total of 98 pitches overall.

Mitch White’s Line: 6.0 IP, 9 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 4 Ks, 98 P, 69 S, 8/1 GO/FO.

Bullpen Action:

Jordan Weems retired the Dodgers in order in a 17-pitch bottom of the sixth, to keep it a 3-2 game in LA’s favor.

Yancy Almonte got the seventh for the home team, and worked around a leadoff single by Lane Thomas.

Weems got one out in the bottom of the seventh, but his outing ended at 25 pitches after he gave a one-out walk to Trayce Thompson.

Erasmo Ramírez took over and got two quick outs to keep it a 3-2 game in the Dodgers’ favor after seven.

Lefty Garrett Cleavenger got two outs after Josh Bell reached base on an error to start the Nats’ seventh, and he got two strikes on Luis García, but gave up a two-run home run that put the Nationals up 4-3 on a 1-2 slider García hit 397 feet to right field for his 3rd of 2022.

Victor Arano gave up a leadoff single by Freddie Freeman, and Jake Lamb reached on a one-out grounder to first, when Josh Bell fielded it and threw wide of second, pulling García off the bag. With two on and one out, Max Muncy stepped in and popped to left and Gavin Lux grounded out to second.

Lane Thomas (2 for 3, BB) walked and Victor Robles (3 for 5) singled to start the top of the ninth, and they both moved up a sac bunt by César Hernández, before Juan Soto got hit, loading them up in front of Bell, who hit a sac fly to center for a 5-3 lead, before Nelson Cruz lined a two-run double to left-center field to chase Cleavenger with the score, 7-3 in LA.

Keibert Ruiz drove Cruz in with an RBI single, 8-3.

Hunter Harvey got the ninth for the Nationals and retired the side in order to end it. Two in a row for the Nats in LA. Final Score: 8-3.

Nationals now 34-65