Stephen Strasburg provided a wonderful opening act, but the Dodgers won the main event thanks to Andre Ethier and Rod Barajas, giving the Dodgers a 7-3 win over the Nationals on a rain-soaked night in Washington DC.
Juan Rivera singled with one out in the top of the eighth inning, then pinch runner Tony Gwynn Jr. stole second base. The rally looked dead when Gwynn was erased at third base on Andre Ethier's ground ball to shortstop, but Aaron Miles singled to extend the inning for Barajas. The catcher, who turned 36 on Monday, lined a ball down the left field line to score both Ethier and Miles, rather easily as both were running off the bat with two outs.
Ethier, who already had a two-run single to tie the game in the sixth inning, drove in two more in the ninth inning to blow the game open. It may have been a three-run double for Ethier, but Rick Ankiel and Danny Espinosa both fired lasers to throw out Gwynn at the plate, Gwynn's second out on the bases in as many inning.
The Nationals had four different players make their major league debut on Tuesday night, all of whom were called up earlier in the day. Brad Peacock allowed one run on four hits, including the game-tying two-run single by Ethier in the sixth inning, in 1 1/3 innings. Southpaw Atahualpa Severino struck out James Loney, the only man he faced, to end the seventh inning. Infielder Stephen Lombardozzi walked to lead off the bottom of the eighth inning in his first major league plate appearance, but was stranded on third base thanks largely to Justin Sellers, who made a tremendouse leaping grab of a would-be RBI single by Chris Marrero.
The play by Sellers saved Mike MacDougal's ERA yet again, and prompted two nearly simultaneous tweets, proving that great minds think alike:
What a sweet leaping grab by Justin Sellers. Saved some Mike MacDougal bacon
Justin Sellers jsut saved Mike MacDougal's bacon there.
The fourth Nationals MLB debut was made by Corey Brown, who flew out with the bases loaded to end the game. Javy Guerra, who hadn't pitched since Saturday, was brought in for a non-save situation, with a 7-3 lead in the ninth inning, and he made it interesting, loaidng the bases. However, Guerra struck out Jayson Werth and Mike Morse before retiring Brown to finish it.
Eugenio Velez grounded out in the ninth inning, running his Dodgers totals to 0-for-31, and extending his overall futility streak to 0-for-40 dating back to last season, just five at-bats shy of tying the major league record for a position player.
Dodgers pitchers combined for 17 strikeouts Tuesday night, a new season high, surpassing the 15 punchouts against Arizona on May 13.
WP - Kenley Jansen (2-1): 1 IP, 1 HBP,3 strikeouts
LP - Henry Rodriguez (3-3): 1 IP, 3 hits, 2 runs