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Dodgers forced to take another beating, this time by the Nationals

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Brett Anderson had to take one for the team on Monday night, for no good reason.
Brett Anderson had to take one for the team on Monday night, for no good reason.
Harry How/Getty Images

LOS ANGELES -- Different night, roughly 2,429 miles away, but the story was the same for the Dodgers, who watched a big inning end the competitive phase of a baseball game. On Monday, five-run sixth inning proved the Dodgers' undoing in an 8-3 loss to the Nationals on Monday night at Dodger Stadium.

The Dodgers lost their fourth straight game, their longest losing streak since Sept. 13-16, 2013.

But what was frustrating about this loss was the repetition of the pattern. On Monday, Brett Anderson was the pitcher hung out to dry on the mound. Already down 2-0, he faced seven batters in the sixth inning, and retired none. There was nobody even warming up in the bullpen until the fifth hit to open the inning was followed by a mound visit from pitching coach Rick Honeycutt.

This came one night after Jim Johnson was left in to face 10 batters, allowing eight runs in a fateful, nine-run seventh inning in a 13-6 loss to the Pirates, in part because manager Don Mattingly said he was shorthanded in the bullpen on Sunday.

"Yesterday we were at a point where we couldn't use all of our pieces. We had guys down, and were at a point where we couldn't make any changes," Mattingly said before Monday's game. "You just have to sit there and wear it, pretty much. You know where you're at. We've been in that situation 10-12 times this year when we know a guy has to go deep for you."

The Dodgers made no roster moves regarding the bullpen before Monday's game. For the club to need Anderson to complete six innings at almost any cost makes one wonder how in the hell the club was shorthanded with a seven-man bullpen two days in a row, and why nothing was done about it.

That could change before Tuesday.

"We're talking. Farhan [Zaidi, general manager is] in there," Mattingly said after the game. "So we'll make a decision later."

The Dodgers once led Sunday's game 5-1, but held no such lead on Monday.

Ryan Zimmerman and Ian Desmond were at the heart of the Washington attack. Zimmerman doubled, then Desmond homered in the second inning for a 2-0 lead, and both had hits in the five-run sixth.

Desmond homered again in the eighth inning to pad the Nats' lead.

But hey, Kenley Jansen got to pitch in the ninth inning down 8-0, so at least there is that.

Carl Crawford made sure the Dodgers didn't get shutout with a three-run home run in the ninth, but the rally ended there.

Monday particulars

Home runs: Carl Crawford (2); Ian Desmond 2 (14)

WP - Gio Gonzalez (9-4): 8 IP, 7 hits, 1 walk, 6 strikeouts

LP - Brett Anderson (6-7): 5+ IP, 10 hits, 7 runs, 3 walks, 1 strikeout