WASHINGTON (AP) Hanley Ramirez doubled to highlight at two-run 10th inning Saturday night, and the Los Angeles Dodgers used seven pitchers to again tame the tepid offense of the Washington Nationals in a 3-1 victory.
Adrian Gonzalez led off the 10th with a double off Craig Stammen (5-5). Ramirez followed immediately with an RBI double for his third hit of the night, then scored two batters later on Andre Ethier’s sacrifice fly.
Ethier won Friday’s game with a ninth-inning homer, and the first two games of the series yielded outcomes that kept the teams trending in opposite directions. The Dodgers have won seven of nine to close within striking distance of the NL West lead; the Nationals have lost seven of nine to fall into third in the NL East.
Starter Zack Greinke allowed the only Nationals run. Jose Dominguez, Paco Rodriguez, Ronald Belisario, J.P. Howell, Chris Withrow and Kenley Jansen did the rest against a Nationals team that went 1 for 12 with runners in scoring position and is 2 for 21 with RISP in the series.
Withrow (1-0) pitched the ninth, and Jansen handled the 10th for his 11th save as the Nationals fans, clearly running out of patience for a team that’s again fallen below .500, booed their team off the field.
Greinke and Gio Gonzalez, two pitchers on winning streaks, fought to a near draw through six innings. The only run allowed by either came on Greinke’s final pitch, when pinch-hitter Roger Bernadina hit an RBI single and was thrown out trying to advance to second, ending the inning. The run ended Greinke’s scoreless innings streak at 21, a Dodgers season-high.
Gonzalez, who had won four straight starts, matched a career-high with 11 strikeouts and allowed four hits. Greinke, who had won five consecutive starts, scattered seven hits and remained one shy of 100 career wins.
The seventh inning onward belonged to the relievers. Washington’s Drew Storen gave up a two-out pinch-hit double to Skip Schumaker, followed by Mark Ellis’ RBI single that tied the game at 1 in the seventh.
Then it was nothing but zeros until the 10th, although the Nationals squandered good chances in the seventh (first and second, one out) and eighth (first and third, one out).
It was consistent with a Nationals offense spent much of the game looking like a rock band that decided to play all of its worst hits on the same night. First inning: bases loaded, none out. Second inning: leadoff double. Third inning: pair of one-out singles. Fourth inning: leadoff single.
They failed to score each time.
The Dodgers, meanwhile, had trouble just getting men on base against Gonzalez. Ramirez and Greinke accounted for all four of the team’s hits through six innings, with Greinke raising his batting average above .400 with a double and a single.
Notes: Dodgers OF Matt Kemp (shoulder), eligible to come off the disabled list Sunday, hit in a simulated game for the second straight day and hit two home runs. … Nationals LHP Ross Detwiler didn’t complete a full bullpen session Saturday and will miss at least two more starts while dealing with a lower back strain. … Washington 1B Adam LaRoche missed his second consecutive game with the flu. … Dodgers LF Carl Crawford, a left-handed hitter who has been dealing with a stiff lower back, did not start vs. a lefty pitcher but entered the game as a pinch-hitter in the eighth. “I kind of feel like we’re always going to have to be a little bit careful with Carl, as far number of days in a row, kind of consecutive” manager Don Mattingly said. “I don’t think we’re ever going to see Carl play 150 games.” … Dodgers C A.J. Ellis also sat out on another muggy day in the nation’s capital. “There’s no way to ask him to catch three here in this stuff,” Mattingly said.