Yasmani Grandal’s 3-Run Home Run Lifts Dodgers Off The Mat In 8th Inning
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Looking to extend their winning streak to a season-high five games, the Los Angeles Dodgers saw the return of outfielder Yasiel Puig from the disabled list. Puig started in right field and hit seventh in the lineup against the Washington Nationals.

After retiring the first two batters faced in the game, Scott Kazmir gave up an opposite-field solo home run to Bryce Harper. Tanner Roark made quick work of the Dodgers in the bottom of the first, retiring the side in order on just eight pitches.

Anthony Rendon doubled down the right field line with two outs in the second. However, he was stranded as Danny Espinosa grounded out. Similarly, Joc Pederson was stranded by Yasiel Puig in the bottom half of the inning after his double.

Kazmir’s trouble after recording two outs in an inning continued in the third, with Jayson Werth pulling a double down the third base line. Harper couldn’t make Kazmir and the Dodgers pay, as he popped out to end the inning.

Roark fielded a pair of comebackers and got Chase Utley to fly out for another 1-2-3 inning of work. Ryan Zimmerman doubled with one out in the fourth, only for it to be followed by consecutive groundouts.

Corey Seager led off the bottom of the fourth with a base hit into center field. After a Justin Turner fly out, Adrian Gonzalez went down swinging as part of a strike ’em out, throw ’em out to end the inning. Espinosa hit a leadoff home run in the fifth to give the Nationals a little breathing room at 2-0.

Roark followed with a grounder that rolled all way to the wall in right-center field for a double. He was then thrown out by Utley on his attempt to advance to third base on a grounder to the right side of the infield.

Werth’s single put two on with one out, and an intentional walk of Daniel Murphy loaded the bases with two outs. Kazmir worked his way out of the jam by getting Zimmerman to strikeout on a pitch outside of the zone. Roark erased Pederson’s one-out base hit in the bottom of the fifth by getting Puig to ground into a double play on the first pitch.

Kazmir gave up a two-out single to Espinosa in the sixth before ending the inning with his fourth strikeout of the game. Kazmir’s night came to an end at 97 pitches over six innings and two runs allowed.

The Dodgers weren’t able to cut into the their deficit in the bottom half of the inning, with Yasmani Grandal, pinch-hitter Will Venable, and Utley going down in order. Harper lined a two-out single off Adam Liberatore in the seventh and proceeded to easily steal second base.

In what’s been a recurring issue, Grandal was unable to get a grip on the ball to throw down to second base. Murphy rolled a grounder over to first base and the Nationals lead remained 2-0. Gonzalez found a hole in the shift for a two-out double in the bottom of the seventh. But Howie Kendrick followed with a groundout.

Puig took a poor route in right field, which resulted in a one-out double for Wilson Ramos in the eighth inning. Louis Coleman struck out Rendon, then intentionally walked Espinosa to put two on with two outs. Roark was left in the game to bat for himself in a decision that nearly paid off.

He singled to left field, but Kendrick made a strong throw to nail Ramos at home plate for the third out. After Pederson led off the bottom of the eighth with a walk, Puig lined a base hit off Espinosa’s glove.

Roark then saw his 97th pitch of the game crushed by Grandal for a line-drive home run to straightaway center that put the Dodgers ahead 3-2. His home run gave the Dodgers a 12th consecutive game where a player hit a homer, which is their most since 2002.

Kenley Jansen, who began warming up prior to Grandal’s blast, entered in the ninth and shut the door in the Dodgers’ 3-2 victory.