The Los Angeles Dodgers bounced back and avoided a series sweep while pouring in six runs in the first inning during a 7-1 victory over the Washington Nationals on Wednesday afternoon at Dodgers Stadium.
Gavin Lux had three hits and drove in two runs, while Mookie Betts finished with two hits for the Dodgers, reaching base four times.
Los Angeles improved to 65-32 and currently hold the second-best record in baseball after winning 20 of their last 24 games. The major league-worst Nationals fell to 34-66 on the season and saw their two-game winning streak snapped with the loss.
The Dodgers 65th win of the season ended the season series with the Nationals at 3-3.
“Overall, from our side of things a solid game.” said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts. “Offensively I think we’re taking really good at bats… just to continue to try and manage guys’ workloads but keep that edge still.”
Dodgers starting pitcher Andrew Heaney returned to the lineup after a shoulder injury and threw four strikeouts through four innings while allowing only one hit before exiting on a pitch count.
“It’s pretty remarkable,” said Roberts. “When he’s healthy and out there, there aren’t many hits. He typically doesn’t walk guys, and there’s a lot of swing and miss. There’s a lot of good ingredients when he’s out there. Our expectation is that in six days, he’ll be right back out there.”
“It’s always fun watching him pitch,” said Lux on Heaney. “We haven’t gotten to see it much this year but when he’s been out there, he’s been nasty… nothing new for him today, he looked great and great to see him back.”
Heaney was limited to 71 pitches in his first start back and looks to gradually gain momentum as he continues to take the mound.
“I’m a little annoyed with myself for having a few long innings,” Heaney said. “That puts a strain on the bullpen. … I haven’t pitched more than two games in a row this year, so I want to get into that flow.”
Justin Turner also returned to the lineup after an abdominal injury and had an RBI single in the first inning.
“Getting those guys back is certainly helpful,” Roberts said.
Nationals starting pitcher Patrick Corbin struggled against his first 10 batters and gave up seven hits and a walk while making just two outs on 45 pitches.
“After the 40th pitch, I was getting a little worried,” Nationals manager Dave Martinez said. “I didn’t want him to get hurt. … He’s throwing the ball well, but he’s just not finishing.”
Corbin walked Will Smith after a Betts double and Turner tallied an RBI single to bring in a score. Trayce Thompson brought in Smith off another single and a double by Hanser Alberto allowed two more runs to reach home plate.
Austin Barnes then added on to the flurry of hits with a single of his own and Lux doubled to right field to bring in another run to give the Dodgers a commanding 6-0 lead.
Luis García drove in Washington’s lone run in the seventh with a ground-rule double off Dodgers right-hander Jake Reed.
The Dodgers went on to get some more insurance in the eighth after a Thompson lead-off walk and Lux connected on his third hit of the game for an RBI single to cap a 7-1 victory.
“Trying to stick to my plan and approach,” said Lux on his three-hit outing. “We had 11 hits; I always say hitting is contagious so that kinda happened again today.”
Los Angeles will next prepare for an eight-game road trip beginning with the Dodgers taking on the Colorado Rockies on Thursday at 5:40 p.m.