The Los Angeles Dodgers again came from behind and pulled away late to defeat the Washington Nationals, extending their winning streak to a season-best nine games with a 5-1 victory in the early start on Fourth of July.
A bullpen game for the Dodgers began in shaky fashion as Garrett Cleavinger allowed a two-out double and issued a walk before getting through a scoreless first inning. That was all the Dodgers asked for from the southpaw in his first career start.
Phil Bickford got into the third inning before being removed after walking Josh Harrison with one out. Victor Gonzalez’s first pitch to Juan Soto was blooped into center field, and Starlin Castro followed that with an RBI base hit to give the Nationals a 1-0 lead.
Nationals starter Joe Ross pitched with his highest velocity of the season and struck out the first four batters faced. Chris Taylor and Mookie Betts singled in the second and third innings, respectively, but were stranded.
Matt Beaty pulled the Dodgers even with a leadoff home run in the fourth. It nearly included a blunder as Beaty had to turn back and touch first base before completing his home run trot. The long ball was Beaty’s fourth of the season and first since June 1.
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. 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. That came two batters after a scary moment in which Justin Turner was hit by a pitch in the left shoulder. That fortunately did slow some of the ball’s momentum as it then carried into Turner’s face and helmet.
Dodgers achieve first
With their victory on Sunday, the Dodgers completed their first four-game sweep of the Nationals. L.A. additionally finished 7-0 in the season series.
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