Rain may have delayed Wilson Ramos‘ return to the Nationals lineup, but it couldn’t stop it entirely. Ramos’ first game back since the season opener was all sunshine and bright blue skies as he drove in the game winning run in the Nats 3-2 win against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday afternoon.
Once again Stephen Strasburg (3-2) struggled through the first inning as the Dodgers plated two runs on four straight singles. Strasburg managed to escape the inning without giving up anymore runs, and he settled into a nice rhythm, inducing ground outs and pop ups with a scattering of strike outs. On the evening, Strasburg threw 7 1/3 innings, allowing seven hits and striking out six.
The Nats quickly answered the Dodgers early runs, scoring two runs of their own in the bottom of the first. Adam LaRoche drove in the two runs, narrowly missing his sixth home run of the season by only inches. Like his counterpart, Dodgers starter Dan Haren (4-1), a player Nats fans remember from last season, settled in after the first. Haren completed six innings with seven hits allowed and two strike outs.
Ramos was the story of the day, however. In his first at bat after breaking his hamate bone in the season opener, Ramos doubled, drawing an ovation from the excited fans in the stadium. Ramos then drove in the winning run in the fifth on a sacrifice fly. All told, Ramos finished his day going 1-for-2 with a walk.
The Dodgers threatened in the eighth after Strasburg left with runners on first and second with one out. Relievers Jerry Blevins and Tyler Clippard kept the Dodgers from scoring and Rafael Soriano recorded his seventh save with a perfect ninth.
On a day that seemed like trouble for Strasburg with 28 pitches thrown in the first inning became a clinic on pitching economically. Strasburg recorded 11 ground ball outs on the afternoon.
With another Marlins win this afternoon, the Nationals are now 19-15 and in a three-way tie for first as of press time. The series win against the Dodgers was the first for the Nationals in a series of three or more games since playing Miami in mid April.
The Nats now travel to Oakland to begin a three game weekend series AL West leading A’s.