The Washington Nationals (58-53) started off their ten game West Coast trip tonight when they took on the Los Angeles Dodgers (62-50) at Dodger Stadium. Washington had come into tonight’s game scoring 24 runs in their last four games. Tonight, they were able to get eight runs on the board and a pair of home runs from Ian Desmond to support Gio Gonzalez (9-4, 3.50 ERA) as the Nats defeated by the Dodgers by a final score of 8-3.
The scoring began in the top of the second inning for the Nationals. Ryan Zimmermann would lead off the inning with a double. Two batters later, Ian Desmond hit a two-run shot over the left field wall to give the Nats an early 2-0 lead against Brett Anderson (6-7, 3.43).
The Nats would end up breaking the game open four innings later as they scored five runs in the inning, with the first four runs coming before the Dodgers could record an out. After back-to-back singles by Anthony Rendon and Bryce Harper, Zimmerman hit a double off the wall in left to score Rendon and make the score 3-0. With that RBI, Zimmerman has now driven in a run in eight straight games, which is the second longest streak in the team’s history.
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Later in the inning, Michael Taylor’s RBI single scored Werth to make it 6-0, which would end Brett Anderson’s night. Anderson went five innings, gave up seven runs on ten hits, walked three, and struck out one on 89 pitches in the loss. The scoring in the sixth would end when Yunel Escobar grounded into a fielder’s choice against Pedro Baez to make it 7-0.
As for Gio Gonzalez, he was able to go deep into this game and keep the Dodgers from getting on the scoreboard. The Nats’ left-hander went eight innings, gave up no runs on seven hits, struck out six, and walked one on 117 pitches (76 strikes) in the win. Even though Gonzalez got into a little bit of trouble at times, the Dodgers were 1-for-6 with runners in scoring position against him and left eight men on base.
Desmond’s great night would continue in the top of the eighth when he led off the inning with a solo shot to left center off of J.P. Howell to increase the lead to 8-0. It was the Nats’ shortstop’s second home run of the game and 14th of the season. Desmond went 3-for-4 with three RBI’s on the night.
For the bottom of the ninth inning, Matt Williams went to Doug Fister, who made his first relief appearance of the season. Fister struck out Alberto Callaspo looking to begin the inning. Then, Alex Guerrero would reach first base on a throwing error from Ian Desmond, his 22nd of the year, and A.J. Ellis worked a walk.
Fister struck out Joc Pederson looking, but Carl Crawford would make the Nats pay for the error with a pinch-hit three run home run to right field to cut the lead to 8-3. Crawford’s second home run of the season would not be enough for Los Angeles as Jose Peraza would strike out swinging to end the game.
Next Game: The Washington Nationals will continue their three game series against the Los Angeles Dodgers tomorrow night at Dodger Stadium. You can catch the game on MASN at 10:10 PM ET. Joe Ross (3-3, 2.80) gets the start for the Nats against Zack Greinke (11-2, 1.71) for the Dodgers.