Strasburg sparkles as Nats level NLDS with 4-2 win over Dodgers
Stephen Strasburg carried a perfect game into the fifth inning and struck out 10 batters in a dominant outing as the Washington Nationals leveled the best-of-five NLDS with a 4-2 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers Friday night.
The Nationals broke through before the Dodgers even batted, but had to settle for a single run after loading the bases with one out in the top of the first.
Washington put together a two-out rally in the second, with Adam Eaton singling home Victor Robles, then Anthony Rendon doubling Eaton home to stretch the lead to 3-0. The Nats hit three doubles in all off Kershaw, but did not score again against the Dodger starter.
Los Angeles crept closer in the bottom of the sixth, as Justin Turner’s sacrifice fly plated a run and got another runner to third base with two outs. But Strasburg escaped further damage by snagging a liner hit right back at him by A.J. Pollack to end the inning. He finished the night having allowed just the one run on three hits with no walks and 10 strikeouts.
Sean Doolittle came on in the seventh and allowed a one-out, first pitch home run to Max Muncy to cut the lead to 3-2. But the Nats pushed the margin back to two, as Ryan Zimmerman led off the top of the eighth with a double and scored on Asdrubal Cabrera’s one-out pinch-single.
Max Scherzer came out of the bullpen to strike out the side in the eighth inning on just 14 pitches, but manager Davey Martinez called on Daniel Hudson for the ninth. The righty gave up a leadoff, ground rule double to Turner and eventually loaded the bases with two outs before striking out Corey Seager to end the game.
The series shifts back to Washington for Games 3 and 4 Sunday and Monday. Max Scherzer will square off with Hyun-Jin Ryu in a battle of Cy Young contenders at 7:45 p.m. Sunday in Game 3 at Nationals Park.