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Yasiel Puig's drive for 5 leads Dodgers over Nationals

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

LOS ANGELES -- Yasiel Puig came alive on Tuesday night, tying a career high with five runs batted in, leading the Dodgers to a 5-0 win over the Nationals on Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium, snapping a season-worst four-game losing streak.

On the same day news broke that Puig was placed on waivers last week, then claimed and pulled back by the Dodgers, he had one of his best games of the year.

It was much needed production from Puig, who since the start of July was hitting .186/.238/.345 in 33 games, though it should be noted he also drove in 19 runs during that span.

"He's been swinging good. It seems like that pitch he hit was the same ball he hit out in Philly, the breaking ball," manager Don Mattingly said. "It's good for his confidence. But I'm not sure if he ever loses confidence, honestly."

Andre Ethier opened the fifth inning with a triple to center field, though he was initially called out at third base thanks to a tremendous throw from Michael Taylor.

"I knew his arm was good, but I didn't know it was that good," Ethier said.

The out call was overturned on replay, which added another run to the Dodgers' ledger one out later when Puig homered to left field.

Puig's home run was hit off a slider, which was a rarity for Nationals starter Joe Ross.

Ross had been magnificent to date this season in his first seven major league starts, with 47 strikeouts in 45 innings to go with just four walks. But on Tuesday night, Ross only struck out one and walked four.

The last of those walks came on four pitches to Yasmani Grandal with two outs in the fifth inning, loading the bases for Puig.

Puig hit a low line drive down the right field line that old friend Clint Robinson, subbing in for an injured Bryce Harper, couldn't corral on a slide. Once the ball got by Robinson, all three runs scored easily and Puig made it to third base standing up.

"I had the same type of swing, I have just been having trouble connecting," Puig said. "What I've been working on is just being able to pick better pitches."

Puig joins Juan Uribe (on July 5, 2013) as the only Dodgers in the last 11 seasons to have a bases-loaded triple and a home run in the same game.

For Puig, it was his first five-RBI game since June 4, 2013, his second major league game.

"If anyone gets going, it's good," said Zack Greinke. "But maybe his level of getting hot is better than some other guys."

All that was more than enough offense for Greinke, who struck out six in his six scoreless innings for his 12th win. Greinke has allowed 14 runs in 13 home starts this season.

Fresh arm Yimi Garcia gave the rest of the Dodgers bullpen some relief, pitching two scoreless innings in his first day back with the club, throwing 31 pitches.

Luis Avilan closed out the win with a scoreless ninth, securing the Dodgers' 16th shutout this season, most in the majors.

Tuesday particulars

Home run: Yasiel Puig (9)

WP - Zack Greinke (12-2): 6 IP, 6 hits, 1 walk, 6 strikeouts

LP - Joe Ross (3-4): 4⅔ IP, 6 hits, 5 runs, 4 walks, 1 strikeout