LOS ANGELES — The Dodgers dug themselves a hole with a disappointing start by Kenta Maeda, then the comeback effort was torpedoed by a late imploding, falling 8-3 to the Nationals in Game 3 of the National League Division Series on Monday afternoon at Dodger Stadium.
The second straight loss puts the Dodgers down 2-1 in the series and on the brink of first-round elimination for the third straight year.
Maeda continued the Dodgers’ run of subpar starts from their pitchers in this series, lasting just three innings in Game 3. He allowed four runs, all in the third inning, on five hits.
“He was missing some pitches close, and made some mistakes,” manager Dave Roberts told Jon Morosi during his interview in-game interview after the third inning.
One of those mistakes was dead red down the middle to Anthony Rendon, who slugged a two-run home run to center field.
The other Nationals agitator against Maeda was Jayson Werth, who singled to end a nine-pitch at-bat in the first inning, then doubled home Trea Turner in the third and later scored.
The nine pitches to Werth were part of a 28-pitch first inning for Maeda, who escaped a bases loaded jam with no runs, but the laboring contributed to Maeda needing 63 pitches to get through his three innings.
In the first three games of the series, Clayton Kershaw, Rich Hill and Maeda have combined to allow 11 runs on 19 hits in 12⅓ innings (an 8.03 ERA), with two home runs allowed, five walks and 18 strikeouts.
Carlos Ruiz provided hope with a two-run pinch-hit home run to drive Gio Gonzalez from the game in the fifth, but the Dodgers for a third straight game failed to score against the Nationals bullpen.
On Monday, Sammy Solis and Shawn Kelley each recorded five outs, with Oliver Perez mixing in an out in between. Mark Melancon closed out the Dodgers in the ninth, though with a five-run lead did not get a save.
The Washington bullpen has 12⅓ scoreless innings in the series, with 14 strikeouts and six walks.
The Dodgers’ bullpen allowed only one run in the series entering the ninth, when Kenley Jansen was brought in trying to keep the Dodgers down one run.
It did not go well.
Jansen allowed a home run to Werth, then a walk, a hit by pitch and a double, helping to add four runs to Washington’s ledger, and put away the game.
Game 3 particulars
Home runs: Carlos Ruiz (1); Anthony Rendon (1), Jayson Werthh (1)
WP - Sammy Solis (1-0): 1⅔ IP, 1 hit, 1 walk, 1 strikeout
LP - Kenta Maeda (0-1): 3 IP, 5 hits, 4 runs 2 walks, 4 strikeouts