On a night Dodger Stadium honored the late Tommy Lasorda, whose number two is retired by the team, the Dodgers picked the second inning for their largest inning of the season, helping them run their win streak to two, beating the Nationals 9-5 on Saturday night.
It was a team effort on offense for the Dodgers, who saw all eight starting position players score at least once. Eight Dodgers also scored in Monday’s win in Oakland, though that was a game that included the designated hitter, and only seven starters scored.
Patrick Corbin was activated from the injured list to start on Saturday, and his first inning of his first 2021 start was perfect. But it all went south in a hurry in the second, thanks to three walks to start the inning.
With one out, Zach McKinstry singled home a pair of runs to give the Dodgers the lead, then with two outs, Chris Taylor delivered the big blow, a three-run homer that gave the Dodgers their highest-scoring inning of the season to date.
That all five runs in the frame were driven in by the Dodgers’ right fielder and center fielder isn’t normally a surprise, though perhaps more so with Cody Bellinger on the injured list with a left calf contusion and Mookie Betts missing his third straight game with back tightness.
McKinstry, who has started the Dodgers’ last four games in right field, threw out Ryan Zimmerman at third base in the first inning on Saturday, and made a sliding catch in the to rob Hernan Pérez in the fifth.
“He’s getting better. Every inning he plays, he’ll get more comfortable,” manager Dave Roberts said before the game. “I trust him out there.”
Corbin was chased with two more hits in the fifth, including an RBI double by Justin Turner, who has driven in a run in three straight games and has reached base in 39 consecutive regular season games dating back to last year. Turner doubled twice on the night, has an extra-base hit in five straight games, and leads the team in doubles (five), extra-base hits (seven), RBI (nine), runs scored (seven), and is tied for the lead with two home runs while hitting .412/.447/.735.
The Dodgers have made opposing starting pitchers work this season, to the tune of a 6.75 ERA and just 4.3 innings per start on average.
On the other end of the spectrum was Julio Urías, whose 5⅔ innings on Saturday tied for the shortest outing by a Dodgers starting pitcher this season in what has been a productive beginning to the season for the rotation.
Washington bunched their hits together against Urías, including three hits for a run in the first inning. But the left-hander recovered to retire 11 straight batters at one point, until Juan Soto launched a ball 407 feet into the right field pavilion in the sixth inning.
The Nationals followed with three more singles off Urías for another run, snapping a string of seven straight starts by Dodgers of at least six innings. That cut the lead to 6-3, and after Jimmy Nelson hit his first batter in relief, he struck out Andrew Stevenson to end the threat in the sixth, then tacked on a scoreless seventh to boot.
The Dodgers busted it open by loading the bases against reliever Sam Clay in the seventh inning, followed by A.J. Pollock clearing the bases with a three-run double off Kyle Finnegan.
Soto struck again in the ninth inning with a two-run shot off Scott Alexander, one batter after a replay review overturned a potential game-ending double play, which caused a premature start to “I Love LA” over the Dodger Stadium speakers. But two batters later, the song played for real, and the Dodgers have another series win.
Home runs: Chris Taylor (1); Juan Soto 2 (2)
WP — Julio Urías (2-0): 5⅔ IP, 9 hits, 3 runs, 3 strikeouts
LP — Patrick Corbin (0-1): 4⅓ IP, 6 hits, 6 runs, 3 walks, 5 strikeouts