LOS ANGELES -- In their first trip to Dodger Stadium since the Dodgers eliminated them from the 2016 postseason in the National League Division Series, the Nationals got a homer from Anthony Rendon and two RBIs from Matt Wieters and held on for a 4-2 win on Monday night in
LOS ANGELES -- In their first trip to Dodger Stadium since the Dodgers eliminated them from the 2016 postseason in the National League Division Series, the Nationals got a homer from Anthony Rendon and two RBIs from Matt Wieters and held on for a 4-2 win on Monday night in the first game of a three-game set.
"The key to the game was that we got a couple of big two-out knocks," said Nationals manager Dusty Baker. "A big two-out hit by Wieters and then a big two-out, RBI hit by [Bryce Harper]. That was the ballgame."
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Giovany Gonzalez stymied the Dodgers for five innings, before they broke through for two runs in the sixth behind Chris Taylor's RBI double and a RBI groundout from Franklin Gutierrez.
"I think that our guys are on the fastball, aggressive to the fastball," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. "And [Gonzalez] is a guy that commands probably his secondary better than his fastball. He pitched backward a lot tonight, threw the breaking ball for a strike when he needed to and implemented the change as well. A team like us, fastball-hitting team when you get into good counts. ... It makes it tough."
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In his second game back from his three-game suspension, Harper smacked an RBI single in the fifth off Dodgers starter Hyun-Jin Ryu, who retired five straight to begin the game but went on to give up four runs on seven hits. The lefty went seven innings for the first time since returning from 2015 shoulder surgery.
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The Dodgers have lost four of their last six to fall a game behind the first-place Rockies in the NL West. The Nationals, meanwhile, have won six of their seven games on their current West Coast road trip through San Francisco, Oakland and Los Angeles.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Double trouble: Rendon didn't have much trouble against Ryu, going 2-for-3 with a solo homer, and he missed another home run by a few feet. In the fourth, Rendon smacked a ground-rule double to right-center field that traveled 362 feet, per Statcast™. Wieters drove in Rendon and Daniel Murphy with a single in the next at-bat as the Nationals took a 3-0 lead.
"Rendon, he sees the changeup well, if you take those two pitches out right there, it's a different ball game," Roberts said.
Getting out of trouble: The Dodgers were in business in the sixth, with a runner on second with one out following Taylor's RBI double and Gutierrez's RBI groundout. Gonzalez, however, responded by inducing back-to-back groundouts to strand Taylor and keep the Nationals on top, 4-2.
"It's always a missed opportunity when you can't get the guy in. Tonight we had a lot of chances, just kind of missed that extra hit to kind of push the offense through." -- Corey Seager, on the Dodgers leaving seven men on base
"It's just one of those wins that you have to appreciate a little bit more. It's a tough team to beat, especially in their ballpark." -- Gonzalez
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Perez recorded his third save in 15 big league seasons and his first since July 5, 2013, at Cincinnati as a member of the Mariners.
Nationals: Ace Max Scherzer gets the ball Tuesday against the Dodgers as he looks to win his third straight start. Scherzer is 2-0 with a 1.02 ERA and 24 strikeouts across his last two outings. First pitch is scheduled for 10:10 p.m. ET.
Dodgers:Brandon McCarthy starts for the Dodgers, and he's looking to bounce back from a loss vs. the Cardinals in his last outing. The righty, who has battled finger blisters all season, is 5-2 with a 3.38 ERA. First pitch set for 7:10 p.m. PT.
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**Austin Laymance** is a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles. He covered the Nationals on Monday.
Joshua Thornton is a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles. He covered the Dodgers on Monday.