Ethier Hits Game-Winning HR In 9th To Beat Nationals 3-2
WASHINGTON (AP) — Andre Ethier homered off Rafael Soriano to lead off the ninth inning, and the Los Angeles Dodgers resumed play after the All-Star break Friday night with a 3-2 win over the Washington Nationals.
Ethier pulled a 1-2 slider just over the wall in right-center, his sixth homer of the year and the second ninth-inning homer allowed by Soriano (1-2) in three appearances.
Hanley Ramirez also homered for the Dodgers, who picked up where they left off before the break, winning for the seventh time in nine games and moving back above .500. They were 12 games below the break-even mark on June 21.
Ronald Belisario (4-5) faced only one batter to get the win, his 14th consecutive appearance without a run allowed. Kenley Jansen pitched the ninth for his 10th save.
The Nationals, hoping to make up ground in the NL East as they began a season-long, 11-game homestand, instead lost for the sixth time in eight games to fall back to .500.
The Nationals also resumed their habit of failing to support Stephen Strasburg, whose ERA dropped to 2.97 to go with his 5-7 record. He allowed two runs over seven innings in near-oppressive humidity, retiring the last 11 batters he faced.
The two-run shot Strasburg gave up to Ramirez in the third inning was a nice piece of hitting, with the Dodgers shortstop going the opposite way with a 95 mph fastball over the outside edge of the plate.
Ricky Nolasco, in his third start with the Dodgers, gave up two runs over 5 1-3 innings — escaping a bases-loaded, no-out jam along the way — against the same club that beat him 2-0 on opening day when he was with the Miami Marlins.
The Nationals scored in the second inning when Bryce Harper got a favorable call after he tagged up from second base on a fly ball to right. Yasiel Puig made a stunning on-the-fly throw, and third baseman Juan Uribe tagged the diving Harper on the left leg, but umpire Eric Cooper signaled safe. Harper then scored on a wild pitch.
The Nationals loaded the bases with two hits and a walk in the fourth, but Ian Desmond hit a soft grounder for a forceout at home, Chad Tracy flied out to shallow left, Wilson Ramos hit a comebacker to end the inning, and the crowd booed yet another bout of poor situational hitting by the home team.
Washington tied the game on Demond’s RBI single in the sixth, chasing Nolasco.
Notes: Puig had a highlight catch to go with his highlight throw, hanging on to a foul fly from Anthony Rendon while crashing into the wall to end the seventh inning. … Dodgers CF Matt Kemp took some at-bats in a simulated game Friday. He’s been on the disabled list since July 6 with joint inflammation in his left shoulder. “So far so good … We’ll see when I start playing,” he said. “Practice is totally different from the game.” … Los Angeles LF Carl Crawford batted leadoff after not starting for five straight games because of a sore back. … Nationals manager Davey Johnson said he’s “not hopeful” that LHP Ross Detwiler will return from the disabled list and start Tuesday as originally planned. Detwiler has been dealing with a lower back strain and was feeling sore Friday after throwing on flat ground Thursday. Taylor Jordan will remain in the rotation until Detwiler is healthy. … Washington 1B Adam LaRoche sat out the game with flu-like symptoms. Tracy took LaRoche’s spot in the lineup.