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Dodgers offense got their runs before the rains came to beat the Nationals

All the offense came before a 94-minute rain delay

MLB: Los Angeles Dodgers at Washington Nationals Reggie Hildred-USA TODAY Sports

The Dodgers offense went with a volume approach on Friday night, and the bats were loud with three home runs and two doubles in an 8-5 win over the Nationals in the series opener at Nationals Park in Washington D.C.

Sure there were some missed opportunities, but the Dodgers kept giving themselves enough opportunities, with 10 hits and nine walks off seven Washington pitchers. Much like a gambler at the casino dropping a few chips while rushing out the door, the Dodgers still managed to cash in plenty, scoring eight or more runs for the 41st time this season, most in the majors.

The game was delayed in the top of the seventh inning for 94 minutes due to inclement weather, which included rain and lightning in the area. It’s the eighth Dodgers road game delayed or interrupted by bad weather in the last 10 weeks.

The breakthrough came in a four-run sixth, an inning that saw two singles, three walks, a well-placed sacrifice bunt (by Miguel Rojas), and a two-run double by Chris Taylor to give the Dodgers their third lead of the night.

Taylor, who batted leadoff in place of Mookie Betts — who is likely to miss all weekend after fouling a ball off his left foot on Thursday in Miami — also walked twice and has eight RBI in his three games played so far in the road trip. Earlier in the day, Taylor was named the Dodgers nominee for the 2023 Roberto Clemente Award.

J.D. Martinez got things started in his very first at-bat back from the injured list, taking starter MacKenzie Gore out to right center for a two-run home run in the top of the first inning.

For Martinez, who missed 16 games on the IL but also played sparingly while limited with groin and hamstring tightness, this was his first home run since July 25, and his 26th of the season.

Martinez added a sacrifice fly in that four-run sixth inning as well.

Freddie Freeman reached base four times with three hits and a walk, and scored two runs. His fifth-inning double off Mason Thompson was Freeman’s 53rd of the season, breaking the Dodgers record for two-baggers in a season.

Freeman’s one out on the night was a 105.7-mph line drive to center in the eighth.

Kiké Hernández had two hits and a walk for his second multi-hit game in a row. His fourth-inning solo home run gave the Dodgers their second lead of the game.

Max Muncy couldn’t make a play on a short-hop grounder by Joey Meneses in the first inning, which was ruled a hit. Later in the frame Muncy didn’t make the tag on a throw that beat the stealing C.J. Abrams at third base. With those two runners on base, old friend Keibert Ruiz immediately cashed in, depositing a changeup by Emmet Sheehan over the wall in right center.

Ruiz, the former Dodgers top prospect who debuted with Los Angeles then was traded to Washington in the Max Scherzer/Trea Turner trade at the 2021 deadline, has four home runs in four games against his old team this season.

Muncy did tag a slider from MacKenzie Gore leading off the fourth inning, crushing a ball 408 feet and into the third deck.

Muncy has 10 extra-base hits in his last 15 games. This was his first since his team-record-tying nine-game extra-base hit streak was snapped a week ago. He also added an RBI single in the sixth inning,

Sheehan settled down after the Ruiz home run, pitching through the next three innings scoreless. But he allowed a double and home run to open the fifth, the latter hit by Abrams, giving Washington the lead right back. Sheehan’s night was done one out later, leaving in the fifth inning trailing by a run.

Both Nationals rallies off Sheehan came directly after a missed opportunity by the Dodgers. This time it was loading the bases with nobody out in the top of the fifth, but unable to add to their lead thanks to strikeouts by Martinez and Amed Rosario, surrounding an infield popout by Muncy.

But the offense was too voluminous for those failed chances to really hurt the Dodgers in this one.

Sheehan struck out his last batter in the fifth, then Alex Vesia, Victor González, Ryan Brasier, and Evan Phillips combined with Sheehan to retire the final 15 Nationals batters of the game.

After the rain delay, both teams combined to go 0-for-15 at the plate.

Friday particulars

Home runs: J.D. Martinez (26), Max Muncy (33), Kiké Hernández (9); Keibert Ruiz (17), C.J. Abrams (16)

WP — Alex Vesia (1-5): 1⅔ IP, 1 strikeout

LP — Robert Garcia (0-2): ⅔ IP, 1 hit, 2 runs, 1 walk, 1 strikeout

Sv — Evan Phillips (22): 1 IP, 2 strikeouts

Up next

Bobby Miller takes the mound on Saturday afternoon (1:05 p.m. PT, SportsNet LA), with right-hander Jake Irvin starting for the Nationals.