LOS ANGELES -- If Sunday night's 4-3 comeback win over the Nationals looked a little familiar to you, it looked familiar to the Dodgers, too. It looked a lot like the Dodgers looked last year."There was energy tonight," said manager Dave Roberts, whose club rallied from three runs down. "To
LOS ANGELES -- If Sunday night's 4-3 comeback win over the Nationals looked a little familiar to you, it looked familiar to the Dodgers, too. It looked a lot like the Dodgers looked last year.
"There was energy tonight," said manager Dave Roberts, whose club rallied from three runs down. "To be behind, but still keep fighting and get something going. There were signs of that ballclub, when we're doing things the right way. Hope there's more of those to come."
Down, 3-0, through 5 1/3 innings against soft-tossing Jeremy Hellickson after facing heaters from Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg the two previous nights, the Dodgers tied the game with a three-run sixth inning that included doubles by Chris Taylor, Yasmani Grandal (scoring two) and Cody Bellinger (tying the game). Heads-up baserunning by Austin Barnes set up the decisive run in the seventh inning that scored on Corey Seager's sacrifice fly.
It was the second comeback win of the season for the Dodgers, who piled up 47 of them during last year's 104-win season. And even with a slow start that has the Dodgers at break even (10-10), winning two of three games from the Nationals was an emotional lift.
"We're in a good spot right now, honestly," said Taylor, who followed his sixth-inning double with the single that sent Barnes on his first-to-third scamper and set up the winning run. "The last few games we've put together better at-bats. We're just playing better baseball. Even tonight, the bats were slow early, but [Hellickson] had his stuff working. We hung in there and took advantage later when he got tired."
While Seager walked between the sixth-inning double from Taylor and Grandal, as well as brought home the winning run with a scoring fly in the seventh, he said Grandal's two-run double that blistered inside first base swung the momentum.
"He's carried us a few games," Seager said of Grandal, who was doubled home by Bellinger to tie the game at 3. "To have him on a roll like this is really nice."
Grandal, in his free-agent year, is looking like the All-Star Grandal of 2015. He extended his career-high hitting streak to 11 games, during which he's driven in 13 runs with five doubles and two homers.
"Yasi is doing lot of good things at plate," said Roberts. "Most encouraging is he's taking the walk when they're giving it. But if you make a mistake, he makes them pay. Where he's at, on both side of the plate, makes me feel very comfortable putting him in the three[-hole]."
He got that trusted slot by default, as the injury to Justin Turner led Roberts to use Yasiel Puig, Matt Kemp, Seager and Kiké Hernandez there until elevating Grandal there for the last three lineups.
Roberts stressed to the media not to overlook the contribution of Barnes, who entered the game as a pinch-hitter in the sixth inning for starting pitcher Alex Wood. Barnes started the seventh-inning rally when he was hit in the back by a Trevor Gott curveball. Barnes hustled to third on Taylor's bouncing single to right field, just beating Bryce Harper's throw. Seager then sliced the tiebreaking sacrifice fly to left field.
"A lot goes into that play, it should get all the credit it deserves," Roberts said of Barnes' first-to-third scamper. "To see the ball in the hole, know the guy in right field has a cannon of an arm with accuracy. To get the jump, cut the corner, it's a bang-bang play. You need feel and instinct and Austin has both. And he's athletic and that created that inning for us."
Barnes said he had to hesitate to be sure he wasn't struck by the bouncing ball as it headed to the outfield.
"You've got to make something happen, grind runs in the late innings, it was worth a shot," he said. "Being aggressive, that's our kind of baseball, and over time it will pay off for us. We just have to remember what the recipe is for us, to grind through at-bats and be aggressive whenever we can."
• Jansen perseveres for another scoreless ninth
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Hit the cutoff: It took a long reach by shortstop Seager to flag down Puig's throw from right field that was trying to gun down Wilmer Difo going from first to third on Andrew Stevenson's single with no outs in the seventh. But Seager made the cut and erased Stevenson with a throw to second baseman Barnes. Difo had walked on four Josh Fields pitches, but Fields escaped by striking out Trea Turner and Howie Kendrick.
Couldn't hustle: One pitch after fouling a changeup off his foot, Harper bounced to second baseman Chase Utley with two outs in the fifth inning and a runner on second. First baseman Bellinger had to lunge well off the bag to save Utley's wide throw, but Bellinger had time to scramble back to the bag as Harper jogged down the line. Harper remained in the game.
YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
How'd that happen? During his fifth-inning at-bat, Utley faked a bunt and had a Hellickson pitch sail between his legs. Utley has been hit by pitches 200 times. More >
HE SAID IT
"We're starting to get rolling again, clicking on all cylinders." -- Seager
MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY
After Seager's sacrifice fly gave the Dodgers a 4-3 lead in the bottom of the seventh inning, Taylor was called safe on an attempt to steal second base. The Nationals challenged, and the call was overturned.
Top pitching prospect Walker Buehler gets the callup for his first Major League start on Monday night against the last-place Marlins and their hot rookie starter, lefty Jarlin Garcia. In his last start for Triple-A Oklahoma City last Monday, Buehler needed 80 pitches for four innings. First pitch is set for 7:10 PT at Dodger Stadium.
Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2001.