The Los Angeles Dodgers again were struggling to put the ball in play before managing to turn the tide against Patrick Corbin for an 10-4 win over the Washington Nationals that gave them a 2-1 advantage in the 2019 National League Division Series.
The Nationals’ decision to start Anibal Sanchez and push Max Scherzer back to Game 4 got off to a bumpy start as the Dodgers loaded the bases in the first inning. Sanchez’s steady dose of offspeed pitches got him out of trouble and largely flummoxed the Dodgers through five innings.
Justin Turner improved to 2-for-2 with a double off the wall with two outs in the third inning, but all other Dodgers up to that point were a combined 0-for-6 with 10 strikeouts. Max Muncy’s solo home run in the fifth represented the Dodgers’ only production against Sanchez.
He exited with a 2-1 lead, giving way to Patrick Corbin. Despite facing a southpaw, Cody Bellinger put together one of his better at-bats of the NLDS and was rewarded with a leadoff single for his first hit of the postseason.
After Corbin struck out Corey Seager and A.J. Pollock, he struggled to put away David Freese and the inning was extended with a base hit. Russell Martin then propelled the Dodgers to a lead with a two-run double into the left-center field gap.
Chris Taylor’s walk was followed by a pinch-hit, two-run double from Kiké Hernandez, and Turner landed the knockout punch with a three-run homer. All of the Dodgers’ seven runs in the sixth came with two strikes and two outs, marking a first in MLB history for a postseason inning.
Additionally, the Dodgers’ seven runs set a franchise high for most in a single inning of a postseason game. Martin later added a two-run home run to again break the game open.
While they stormed ahead to a comfortable lead, Joe Kelly immediately allowed the Nationals to cut into their deficit. Kelly started the bottom of the sixth with consecutive walks and a single to load the bases.
A wild pitch allowed a run to score and Kelly issued his third walk of the inning before being removed. Julio Urias benefitted from Howie Kendrick running into a double on a sacrifice fly, thus limiting the damage to just one run.
As Hyun-Jin Ryu awaited run support, he held the Nationals to Juan Soto’s two-run home run in the first inning. Ryu retired seven in a row after the homer and stranded a pair of singles in the fourth.