Dodgers strike early, avoid sweep with 7-1 win over Nats

Jul 27, 2022, 3:19 AM | Updated: 4:21 pm

Los Angeles Dodgers' Hanser Alberto points to the dugout after driving in two runs with a double du...

Los Angeles Dodgers' Hanser Alberto points to the dugout after driving in two runs with a double during the first inning of a baseball game against the Washington Nationals, Wednesday, July 27, 2022, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

(AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Washington Nationals’ hopes of pulling off one of the most improbable series sweeps in recent baseball history pretty much evaporated in the first inning.

After a two-day stumble, the Dodgers are back on track — and they’re getting healthier, too.

Hanser Alberto had a two-run double during the Dodgers’ six-run first inning, and Los Angeles emphatically avoided an improbable sweep by the majors’ worst team with a 7-1 victory Wednesday.

Gavin Lux had three hits and drove in two runs, while Mookie Betts reached base four times for the NL-leading Dodgers. Los Angeles had won 19 of 21 before curiously losing twice this week to the struggling Nationals.

“The first two games didn’t go how we wanted, but to get it rolling early (today) gave us a lot of momentum,” Lux said.

Justin Turner had an RBI single in the first inning of his return from an abdominal injury, and Los Angeles got even better injury news from the mound. Andrew Heaney threw four innings of scoreless, one-hit ball in his return from a lengthy absence for the finale of the Dodgers’ 5-2 homestand after hosting the All-Star Game.

“Getting those guys back is certainly helpful,” manager Dave Roberts said.

Although Heaney’s control wasn’t sharp after he cooled off during his teammates’ huge first inning, both the left-hander and Roberts were encouraged. Heaney had pitched just once since April 17 due to shoulder problems, but he has been outstanding when healthy in his first season with the Dodgers: He lowered his ERA to 0.47 with three walks and four strikeouts while on a strict pitch count.

“I’m a little annoyed with myself for having a few long innings,” Heaney said. That puts a strain on the bullpen. … I haven’t pitched more than two games in a row this year, so I want to get into that flow.”

The Dodgers chased Nats starter Patrick Corbin when their first 10 batters combined for seven hits — two by Betts — and a walk while making just two outs on 45 pitches. Los Angeles scored all of its runs in the inning with two outs, and the rally continued when Victor Robles and Juan Soto allowed Lux’s fly ball to fall between them in right-center for a double.

Corbin (4-14) had the shortest start of his 11-year major league career, failing to get out of the first inning for the first time in his 250 starts.

“After the 40th pitch, I was getting a little worried,” Nats manager Dave Martinez said. “I didn’t want him to get hurt. … He’s throwing the ball well, but he’s just not finishing.”

Maikel Franco’s infield single leading off the third inning was the Nationals’ only hit until the seventh, when Luis García drove in their lone run with a ground-rule double.

Juan Soto went hitless amid another round of “Future Dodger!” chants in Chavez Ravine as Washington capped its six-game West Coast road trip by falling just short of its first four-game winning streak of the season.

“I’m proud of the team,” Martinez said. “Today we fell behind early, but we had a good series. We’ll come back and continue to play good, hard baseball.”

One day after the second-place Padres made up a game in the NL West race for the first time since July 3, the Dodgers calmly pushed their lead right back to 11 1/2 games as they head out on an eight-game road trip.

Alex Vesia (3-0) pitched a scoreless sixth for LA.


The Dodgers’ rally began with a leadoff double off the wall by Betts, who missed hitting a leadoff homer for the second consecutive day by a few feet. After the Washington outfielders’ big mistake, Betts beat out an infield single, forcing Martinez to pull Corbin.


Dodgers shortstop Trea Turner extended his hitting streak to 14 games with a double in the fourth. The All-Star has a hit in 83 of his 97 games this season.


Dodgers: RHP Brusdar Graterol (right shoulder) will throw a bullpen session this weekend in Colorado, Roberts said. … RHP Tommy Kahnle (right elbow) is unlikely to return before September. RHP Blake Treinen (right shoulder) could return in August, before the rosters expand. … Freddie Freeman singled and drew a walk before Jake Lamb replaced him at first base in the fifth inning to rest the six-time All-Star selection.


Nationals: After a day off, Aníbal Sánchez (0-2, 6.30 ERA) takes the mound Friday when Washington opens a three-game weekend home series against St. Louis.

Dodgers: All-Star Tyler Anderson (10-1, 2.79 ERA) takes the mound at Coors Field on Thursday to open a four-game series with the Colorado Rockies.


More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Associated Press

Ex-Packer Guion gets 1 year for domestic violence assault

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Former Green Bay Packers defensive tackle Letroy Guion was sentenced to one year in jail after pleading no contest in a domestic violence assault at his home last fall. Brown County Circuit Court Judge Thomas Walsh also ordered Guion on Tuesday to serve three years’ probation and complete a domestic […]

1 year ago

Joe Jarzynka...

Associated Press

Durant eager for Suns debut vs. Hornets after knee injury

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Kevin Durant has been through quite a bit during his 15-year NBA career — but joining a new team midway through the season is a new one for the 13-time All-Star. The 34-year-old Durant doesn’t seem all that worried. Durant makes his highly anticipated Phoenix Suns debut on Wednesday night against […]

1 year ago

FILE - Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores stands on the sideline during the second half of an N...

Associated Press

Judge: NFL coach can press discrimination claims in court

NEW YORK (AP) — NFL Coach Brian Flores can pursue some of his discrimination claims against the league and its teams in court rather than through arbitration, a judge ruled Wednesday. The written decision by Judge Valerie Caproni in Manhattan was issued months after lawyers for the league tried to get the lawsuit moved to […]

1 year ago

Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Alex Stalock cools off in the first period during an NHL hockey game ...

Associated Press

Kane trade reinforces hard reality of Blackhawks rebuild

CHICAGO (AP) — After days of speculation, the harsh reality of the Chicago Blackhawks’ situation was reinforced by one move in a flurry of transactions ahead of the NHL trade deadline. Showtime is over, at least in Chicago, and a seemingly bright future is, well, way off in the distance. The reverberations of Chicago’s decision […]

1 year ago

FILE -  Yves Jean-Bart, president of the Haitian Football Federation, wearing a protective face mas...

Associated Press

Disgraced ex-Haitian soccer president announces he’s back

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Haiti’s former soccer federation president whose lifetime ban from sport over sexual abuse allegations was overturned last month announced Wednesday that he is reclaiming his position. Yves Jean-Bart’s defiant announcement could lead to a standoff with FIFA, which already has appointed an emergency management committee to lead the Haitian Football Association […]

1 year ago

FILE - Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers walks off the field after an NFL football game against the ...

Associated Press

Rodgers says decision on future will come ‘soon enough’

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Aaron Rodgers says he will make a decision on his future “soon enough” as the four-time MVP quarterback ponders whether to play next season and if his future remains with the Green Bay Packers. Rodgers, 39, discussed his future while speaking on an episode of the “Aubrey Marcus Podcast” that […]

1 year ago

Dodgers strike early, avoid sweep with 7-1 win over Nats