WASHINGTON -- The Dodgers know plenty of work remains to fix their 42-game start. With Kenley Jansen saving both ends of their doubleheader sweep, Saturday was a very good two steps in the right direction.Pinch-hitter Matt Kemp delivered a two-run double in the ninth as the Dodgers rallied past the
WASHINGTON -- The Dodgers know plenty of work remains to fix their 42-game start. With Kenley Jansen saving both ends of their doubleheader sweep, Saturday was a very good two steps in the right direction.
Pinch-hitter Matt Kemp delivered a two-run double in the ninth as the Dodgers rallied past the Nationals, 5-4, on Saturday night at Nationals Park.
"It felt good," Kemp said about his go-ahead hit off Nationals closer Sean Doolittle. "It's a buildup. We haven't been playing as good as we're capable of playing. Today we beat two good pitchers in one day. That's a pretty big day for us."
Jansen, one of seven Dodgers relievers used in the nightcap after starter Rich Hill left following two pitches because of a blister, retired all six batters he faced in both contests. The final three earned him his eighth save; No. 7 came in the opening 4-1 victory. Jansen became the second pitcher this season to save both ends of a doubleheader, following Pittsburgh's Felipe Vazquez on April 1.
The Dodgers (19-26) trailed, 4-2, after Washington scored four in the sixth but came up with three runs after Nationals starter Max Scherzer left in the seventh. Cody Bellinger homered in the eighth.
Rain washed out Friday's opener, remained in the area until shortly before the doubleheader began and reappeared briefly in the second game.
Hill also appeared briefly in the second game. It's not that Hill didn't record an out. It's that he technically never faced a batter. He left due to a blister on his left middle finger. Los Angeles won its first game without the starting pitcher recording out since May 31, 1981. The last MLB team to have its bullpen get all 27 outs in a win was the Tigers on Sept. 5, 2017, against the Royals.
From there, manager Dave Roberts sent a parade of relievers to the mound. Washington didn't have a hit through five innings. Los Angeles had the big knocks late in its third consecutive win after losing six in a row.
"I honestly had a really good feeling about tonight," Roberts said. "Obviously, we couldn't have predicted Rich's stint. ... Just the way we were preparing for today, I just had a good feeling. To the last out, our guys fought. The guys in the 'pen did a fantastic job."
Erik Goeddel (1-0), activated for the second game after being claimed off waivers Friday from Seattle, pitched a scoreless eighth in his Los Angeles debut.
Player Page for Max Muncy had an RBI single in the first and a solo home run in the fifth off Scherzer, who struck out 13 and allowed two runs and five hits in seven innings.
Two other pitchers not on the Dodgers' active roster 24 hours prior -- Yimi Garcia and Tony Cingrani -- were charged with all four runs. Garcia, added for the second game of the doubleheader as the 26th man, allowed Trea Turner's leadoff double. Turner scored on Mark Reynolds' double off Cingrani, who was activated off the disabled list Saturday after dealing with left shoulder inflammation.
The third reliever in the inning, Daniel Hudson, allowed two-out singles by pinch-hitter Matt Adams and Scherzer. Washington had four hits, an intentional walk and hit batter in the inning. In the other eight innings, zero hits.
"They did a tremendous job," Hill said of the relievers. "Unfortunately, I don't have answers at this time for the blister issue."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Kemp's double off Doolittle (1-2) came after Austin Barnes and John Forsythe led off the ninth with singles.
The first innings of both games were eerily similar. Joc Pederson led off both games with an extra-base hit -- triple in the opener, double in the finale -- and scored the first run. In the bottom of the inning, the Dodgers retired the side with three strikeouts. Trea Turner was caught looking twice.
Left-hander Alex Wood (0-4, 3.35) closes out the series for Los Angeles against Washington's other All-Star starter, right-hander Stephen Strasburg (5-3, 3.28). Wood received a no-decision in a 4-3 win over the Nationals on April 22 after allowing three runs (two earned) and six hits in six innings.
Ben Standig is a contributor to MLB.com based in Washington.