Washington, DC (SportsNetwork.com) - Wilson Ramos returned to the lineup and helped Washington beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 3-2 in the rubber match of a three-game set at Nationals Park.
Activated from the 15-day disabled list prior to Wednesday's tilt, Ramos broke a 2-2 tie in the fifth inning with a sacrifice fly. The Nationals catcher had been sidelined with a hamate fracture in his left hand, an injury he suffered on Opening Day.
The remaining four runs were all scored in the first inning. Washington starter Stephen Strasburg and former National Dan Haren each settled down after the rough frame.
"Every time out I want to go as deep as I can and keep it close," Strasburg said.
Strasburg (3-2) pitched into the eighth inning, but was done after Dee Gordon led off with a bunt single and Hanley Ramirez drew a one-out walk. Jerry Blevins relieved Strasburg and Adrian Gonzalez popped out in foul territory before Yasiel Puig lined out to center field against Tyler Clippard.
Rafael Soriano tossed a flawless ninth to earn his seventh save.
Haren (4-1) absorbed his first loss of the season after allowing three runs on seven hits and two walks in six innings.
"Besides the first inning I held them down," Haren said.
Rain delayed the start of the series finale for one hour, 40 minutes, and both starters took a little time to round into form.
Strasburg gave up four straight one-out singles in the first, with Gonzalez and Puig each driving in a run. Puig was back in the Dodgers' lineup after missing two games following a collision with the wall in Miami on Sunday.
The Nationals quickly countered in their first at-bat. Denard Span led off with a single and Jayson Werth hit a one-out double before Adam LaRoche tied the game with a single to right field.
Ramos then doubled and Ian Desmond walked to load the bases, but Haren struck out Danny Espinosa and retired Kevin Frandsen on a popup to avoid further damage.
The score remained the same until the fifth, when Washington loaded the bases and Span hustled home on Ramos' fly ball to right.
Strasburg allowed seven hits, walked two and struck out six ... Haren pitched for the Nationals last season, going 10-14 with a 4.67 ERA ... Soriano has tossed 25 consecutive scoreless innings ... The Nationals optioned pitcher Blake Treinen to Triple-A Syracuse to open a roster spot for Ramos.