The Dodgers slugged three home runs on Saturday night to even the series against the Washington Nationals. Two of the three home runs (Joc Pederson, Enrique Hernandez, Cody Bellinger) came against opposing starter Stephen Strasburg. Two of the three blasts were solo shots (Pederson, Hernandez) and Bellinger’s was a two-run blast. Joc’s home run came on his birthday, and the second inning homer gave the Dodgers a 1-0 lead.
Hernandez’s was a pinch-hit home run in the seventh inning and Bellinger’s two-run shot nearly cleared the pavilions in the bottom of the eighth. The long balls backed another brilliant performance from Hyun-jin Ryu. The Korean left hander tossed seven shutout innings allowing just two hits and striking out eight as he improved his record to 3-0. To make the night even better, Kenley Jansen turned in a scoreless ninth inning, (his velocity was back up to 96) and the Dodgers won 4-0.
Strasburg was impressive as well, but the solo home run from Pederson put him and the Nationals down 1-0 in the second frame. The Dodgers led by a run until Hernandez hit the solo home run in the seventh. Strasburg pitched seven innings allowing just the two home runs and struck out 10 Dodger batters. He walked two and made only 60 pitches. Ryu made 80.
Nationals 0 2 0
Dodgers 4 7 0
The Nationals had the bases loaded in the top of the third when Trea Turner singled, Bryce Harper and Ryan Zimmerman walked. But Ryu got out of it by getting Moises Sierra to ground out to end the inning and the threat. The Dodgers had the bases loaded in the bottom of the sixth inning with nobody out, but didn’t score either. In that frame Chris Taylor singled, Corey Seager walked and Yasmani Grandal was hit by a pitch. There was also a wild pitch mixed in. Unfortunately Bellinger, Pederson and Matt Kemp all struck out.
Then the Dodgers extended their lead in the seventh inning with Strasburg still on the mound when Hernandez blasted his second home run of the season. That put the Dodgers up 2-0. After Tony Cingrani pitched a scoreless eighth, the Dodgers added two more runs in the bottom of the eighth. After Grandal reached on a walk, Bellinger launched a massive home run that almost landed in the parking lot.
Kenley entered in the top of the ninth and immediately got back-to-back pop outs from Harper and Zimmerman. There was a walk to pinch-hitter Matt Adams, but veteran catcher Matt Wieters struck out to end the game. Not only was it a good night for the Dodgers, it was also a good night for me in Oscar’s monthly poker game. I won six hands throughout the night including getting four queens in the biggest pot. It was a productive night for everyone.