Los Angeles pinch hitter Matt Kemp ripped a two-run double off Washington closer Sean Doolittle in the ninth inning to propel the Dodgers to a thrilling 5-4 come-from-behind victory over the Nationals on Saturday at Nationals Park to complete the sweep of a day-night doubleheader.
Kemp’s double came after singles to lead off the inning by Austin Barnes and Logan Forsythe and made a loser out of Doolittle (1-2), who suffered his first blown save of the season.
The Dodgers’ comeback denied Max Scherzer’s bid to became the major league’s first eight-game winner. Scherzer left with a 4-2 lead after seven innings of two-run, five-hit pitching, in which he struck out 13 and walked three in his 121-pitch outing.
Scherzer now has 104 strikeouts on the year, becoming the fastest pitcher ever to reach 100 K’s in a season. He did it in 63 innings.
Erik Goeddel (3-0), the seventh of eight Los Angeles pitchers, earned the win via an inning of no-hit, one-strikeout, one walk work. Kenley Jansen earned his eighth save of the season, and second of the day, with a perfect ninth that included one strikeout.
Dodgers starter Rich Hill lasted just two pitches as he was pulled with an 0-2 count to Washington’s leadoff hitter Trea Turner with a recurrence of the blister problem that has already put him on the disabled list twice this season.
Scott Alexander replaced Hill and went two hitless innings before leaving in favor with Pedro Baez, who also hurled two innings without allowing a hit. Yimi Garcia came on in the fifth and worked through a walk and an error.
Max Muncy, who had two RBIs in the afternoon game, continued his big day by singling home Joc Pederson in the first inning off Scherzer to grant the Dodgers a 1-0 lead. He added a home run over the center field fence in the fifth inning to push Los Angeles’ lead to 2-0.
Washington finally got to Garcia in the sixth as Turner led off the inning with a double for the Nationals’ first hit and came home on a double by Mark Reynolds off Tony Cingrani. Matt Adams then singled home Bryce Harper and Reynolds, and Adams sprinted across on a single by Scherzer that gave the Nationals a 4-2 lead.
The Dodgers pulled to within 4-3 on a solo home run by Cody Bellinger in the eighth off Washington setup man Sammy Solis.
Los Angeles will send left-hander Alex Wood (0-4, 3.35 ERA) to the mound for the series finale while Washington will counter with right-hander Stephen Strasburg (5-3, 3.28).
—Field Level Media