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Dodgers erase 3-run deficit to get back to .500

MLB: Washington Nationals at Los Angeles Dodgers Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

The Dodgers stage a pair of late rallies to beat the Nationals 4-3 on Sunday night, fighting back from a three-run deficit for their largest comeback victory of the year.

Keep in mind it was also just their second comeback win in 2018, but the Dodgers will take any victory at this point, moving now to 10-10, at .500 for the first time since they were 2-2.

The Dodgers got doubles from each of the first four hitters in their lineup, including three in the sixth inning to knot things up after a 3-0 deficit.

The go-ahead run came in the seventh, when Austin Barnes was hit by a pitch then advanced to third on a single by Chris Taylor and scored on a sacrifice fly by Corey Seager.

The Dodgers are now 1-8 when the opponent scores first this season.

Jeremy Hellickson had the Dodgers off balance for most of his night, retiring 14 straight at one point. The offensive highlight for LA in the first five innings was probably this pitch that somehow went through Chase Utley ‘s legs.

A double by Taylor snapped the Hellickson string of outs, then after a walk to Seager the Dodgers tied things up on back-to-back doubles, the first by Yasmani Grandal off Hellickson, then a line drive off the wall in right center field by Cody Belinger off lefty Sammy Solis to score the equalizer.

Bellinger finished his double with a slide into second base complete with a swim move to avoid the tag.

Those three runs in the sixth inning technically came with Alex Wood still the pitcher of record at the time, though he was pinch hit for earlier in the frame. They ballooned Wood’s run support this season to a whopping seven runs total in his five starts when he is in the game.

Thorn in the side

Michael Taylor was the key cog in the Nationals offense on Sunday, homering in the fourth inning to widen Washington’s lead to 2-0. Then he fell behind 0-2 but yanked a double down the left field line with one out in the sixth. A frustrated Wood tried a pick off move at second but threw wildly into center field to advance Taylor to third, which allowed Taylor to score on a sacrifice fly.

It would be easy to be frustrated since that was the third straight hit for Taylor against Wood on Sunday. Taylor improved to 8-for-14 (.571) lifetime against Wood, including seven hits in his last nine at-bats dating back to 2015.

Taylor also walked against a wild Pedro Baez in the eighth inning, then stole second base with a nifty slide at second base — it was a night for swim moves at Dodger Stadium — to avoid the tag of Seager, who fielded a strong through from Grandal a few feet in front of the bag for some reason. But Baez was able to strand Taylor at second base to keep the lead at one.

Dominant start

Tony Cingrani struck out Bryce Harper to open the eighth inning, Cingrani’s only batter faced on Sunday. The Dodgers left-hander has faced 29 batters this season and struck out 15 of them, with no walks.

Back-to-back outings

Kenley Jansen entered the ninth inning, pitching on back-to-back days for just the second time this season. After allowing back-to-back singles to open the frame he struck out Andrew Stevenson and Trea Turner, then got Howie Kendrick to fly out to center field, collecting his third save of the season.

Up next

The Dodgers resume their homestand with a series against the Marlins, with Walker Buehler on the mound to make his first major league start in Monday night’s opener, a 7:10 p.m. PT start. Southpaw Jarlin Garcia starts for Miami.

Sunday particulars

Home run: Michael Taylor (1)

WP - Josh Fields (2-0): 1 IP, 1 hit, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts

LP - Trevor Gott (0-1): 1 IP, 1 hit, 1 run, 2 strikeouts

Sv - Kenley Jansen (3): 1 IP, 2 hits, 2 strikeouts