WASHINGTON -- The Dodgers have had their patience tested for much of this relatively young season. Now, the reigning National League champions are finally starting to produce like winners.Yasmani Grandal, Enrique Hernandez and Yasiel Puig homered, and Alex Wood earned his first win of the season as the Dodgers finished
WASHINGTON -- The Dodgers have had their patience tested for much of this relatively young season. Now, the reigning National League champions are finally starting to produce like winners.
Yasmani Grandal, Enrique Hernandez and Yasiel Puig homered, and Alex Wood earned his first win of the season as the Dodgers finished off a three-game sweep of the Nationals with a 7-2 victory on Sunday afternoon at Nationals Park.
Trailing 2-1 in the fifth, the Dodgers jumped in front as Hernandez launched a two-run homer off Nationals starter Stephen Strasburg. Los Angeles has won four in a row after dropping six consecutive games.
"They've been busting their tails, and it just hasn't shown fruits, but now it's paying off," manager Dave Roberts said. "It's a byproduct of those at-bats, guys sticking together. It was a big series. It was good for the guys to win three here."
Wood (1-4) allowed Trea Turner's two-run homer in the third, but otherwise, he kept the Nationals off the scoreboard while scattering three hits and recording four strikeouts.
Wood pitched six innings and needed only one more out for his longest outing since going eight in his season debut on March 30. The left-hander went to the mound for warm-up tosses in the bottom of the seventh after stealing his first career base in the top of the inning, but he exited because of cramps in his left hamstring. He said cramps were also an issue in his May 9 outing against Arizona.
"I think after I showed off my speed on the bases," Wood joked, "and hung out there for a little while that inning and then went back out, just cramped on my last [warm-up] pitch that I threw. Nothing to write home about."
Grandal also homered off Strasburg (5-4), who allowed three runs and five hits in 6 2/3 innings. Puig's two-run blast in the eighth off reliever Wander Suero pushed the margin to three runs. Joc Pederson and Cody Bellinger added insurance in the two-run ninth.
Los Angeles' shorthanded bullpen finished off Washington over the final three innings. Roberts said pregame that closer Kenley Jansen, who saved both ends of Saturday's doubleheader, and Pedro Baez were unavailable.
Tony Cingrani returned from the disabled list on Saturday, and he promptly allowed three runs in one-third of an inning during the second game of the doubleheader. He entered in the seventh inning on Sunday, relieving Wood, and despite the rushed appearance, the left-hander struck out the side to preserve a one-run lead. Josh Fields, the last of three relievers used, retired the final four batters for his second save.
Saturday's split doubleheader clinched the season series over Washington. The Dodgers took two of three at home against the Nationals from April 20-22.
Bryce Harper went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts. He finished 1-for-10 with five strikeouts and an RBI in the three-game series.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Fields entered in the eighth with two outs, runners on first and second and the tying run at the plate. Anthony Rendon lined a shot up the middle, but it found Fields' leg rather than safe territory. The ball ricocheted directly to first baseman Player Page for Max Muncy, who fielded the carom and stepped on the bag for the out.
Hernandez has two career home runs in eight at-bats against Strasburg.
HE SAID IT
"I was just trying to be aggressive. If he leaves a fastball over the heart of the plate, put a good swing on it and try to do some damage. Sure enough, he left the ball over the plate." -- Hernandez, on his two-run, go-ahead homer in the fifth
Walker Buehler (2-1, 1.67 ERA) starts the opener of the Dodgers' 10-game homestand Monday against Colorado's German Marquez at 7:10 p.m. PT. The right-hander allowed five runs (four earned) over five innings with seven strikeouts in a no-decision at Miami on Wednesday.
Ben Standig is a contributor to MLB.com based in Washington.