It took something the Dodgers hadn’t done in 19 days to get Alex Wood his first win of the season, completing a weekend sweep of the Nationals with a 7-2 win on Sunday in Washington D.C., the fourth consecutive victory for Los Angeles.
Kiké Hernandez and Yasiel Puig each hit home runs with a runner on base, something the Dodgers hadn’t done even once in their last 16 games.
Yasmani Grandal homered in the second inning for the first run of the game, and the 17th consecutive solo home run by the Dodgers. But the streak was snapped just four shy of a major league record thanks to Hernandez taking Stephen Strasburg deep for the second time this season, in the fifth inning after a Logan Forsythe walk to give the Dodgers a 3-2 lead.
“After my first at-bat my Dad Chase told me to use his bat, and I did, and first pitch I hit a homer,” Hernandez told Alanna Rizzo on the SportsNet LA broadcast. “It’s Dad’s bat.”
It was the first home run with a runner on base for the Dodgers since Cody Bellinger hit a two-run shot against Arizona on May 1. In between those two home runs the Dodgers had 290 plate appearances with runners on base and hit .210/.306/.263 with 13 doubles.
Puig added some insurance after a Matt Kemp walk in the eighth inning, taking Wander Suero over the left field wall for his fourth home run in his last six starts.
Wood was solid yet again, striking out four in his six innings, allowing only two runs on a home run by Trea Turner in the third inning.
Wood only threw 82 pitches through six innings and was out for the seventh inning but during his warmup pitches cramped up and was stretching his legs. After yet another Dodgers training visit to the mound in 2018, Wood was removed from the game.
One day after pitching 12 innings in the doubleheader, including recording all 27 outs in the nightcap, the Dodgers bullpen was asked to pitch three innings on Sunday, and was up to the task.
Tony Cingrani had his best outing since his dead arm game three weeks ago, striking out all three batters he faced. Erik Goeddel, who got the win in his Dodgers debut on Saturday, got the first two outs in the eighth before allowing a single and a walk.
With closer Kenley Jansen unavailable after saving two games on Saturday, Josh Fields was brought in to face Anthony Rendon, representing the tying run. Rendon grounded a ball off Fields, but it caromed directly to Max Muncy at first for the very fortunate final out of the frame.
After two insurance runs in the ninth, including Joc Pederson driving home a run with a double and scoring on a ground out, Fields worked around a walk to finish the bottom of the frame and complete the sweep.
At the plate Wood tried to sacrifice in the seventh inning, but instead bunted weakly into a force out at second base.
Wood then took off against Strasburg, getting a great jump to steal second base without a throw. It was the first stolen base of Wood’s career, and the first by any Dodgers pitcher since Zack Greinke on May 27, 2015.
There have been three stolen bases by pitchers in the majors this season, with Wood joining Greinke and Max Scherzer.
This stolen base for Wood was in the half inning before he cramped up on the mound.
The Dodgers are back home beginning Monday night, starting a three game series with the Rockies at Dodger Stadium, a 7:10 p.m. PT start. Walker Buehler is on the mound in the opener, facing German Marquez for Colorado.
Home runs: Yasmani Grandal (8), Kiké Hernandez (6), Yasiel Puig (4); Trea Turner (6)
WP - Alex Wood (1-4): 6 IP, 3 hits, 2 runs, 1 walk, 4 strikeouts
LP - Stephen Strasburg (5-4): 6⅔ IP, 5 hits, 3 runs, 4 walks, 7 strikeouts
Sv - Josh Fields (2): 1⅓ IP, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts