The Los Angeles Dodgers successfully navigated another bullpen game and earned a 5-1 comeback win on Sunday to sweep the Washington Nationals. The Dodgers extended their winning streak to a season-best nine games, swept the Nationals in a four-game series for the first time and finished 7-0 in their head-to-head meetings this year.
Nationals starter Joe Ross pitched with his highest velocity of the season and struck out the first four batters faced. Chris Taylor ended that with a single in the second inning, and Mookie Betts had a base hit in the third, respectively, but both were stranded.
Matt Beaty then tied the game with a leadoff home run in the fourth. It nearly was a blunder as Beaty had to turn back and touch first base before completing his home run trot.
That was all Ross allowed until running into trouble in the seventh inning. Gavin Lux led off with a hustle double and came around to score the go-ahead run on Albert Pujols’ pinch-hit single.
Tie game, Beaty. pic.twitter.com/p7dfYC7Xc3
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) July 4, 2021
Max Muncy was THIS close to a grand slam. ⬇️ #Dodgers pic.twitter.com/bccp4QlRmP
— SportsNet LA (@SportsNetLA) July 4, 2021
Pujols was pinch-run for with Tony Gonsolin, and the decision paid off as he scored from first base on Max Muncy’s double to right-center field. Muncy drove more in when he hit a two-run double with the bases loaded in the ninth inning.
Dodgers bullpen answers bell
After Garrett Cleavinger tossed a scoreless first inning as the opener, the Dodgers used seven relief pitchers to finish out the game. The eight pitchers combined for 11 strikeouts and held the Nationals to one run on eight hits.
“Bullpen was fantastic,” manager Dave Roberts said after the win. “All hands on deck and I think we used seven or eight guys. It was special. Each guy embraced their lane, their role, got huge outs for us.
“Game started at 11 o’clock on Independence Day, made a really special day that much greater.”
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