Published November 20, 2014
WASHINGTON (AP) — Russell Martin lined a two-out RBI single off Miguel Batista in the 13th inning, Casey Blake threw out the potential tying run at home in the bottom half after homering twice Saturday and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Washington Nationals 4-3.
Batista (0-2) entered in the 11th and retired the first two batters in the 13th. But Rafael Furcal singled, stole second, and scored on Martin's hit to center on a full count.
Carlos Monasterios (1-0), Los Angeles' seventh pitcher, threw the final 2 2-3 innings. In the 13th, he allowed Ivan Rodriguez's single, then Nyjer Morgan's double, putting runners at second and third with one out. But third baseman Blake threw out Rodriguez at home on Ian Desmond's fielder's choice grounder.
Monasterios then got Cristian Guzman to fly out to shallow left to end the game after 4 hours, 20 minutes.
The score had been stuck at 3-all since Washington tied it in the eighth with an unearned run, aided by catcher Martin's throwing error while trying to stop Adam Kennedy on a steal attempt at second base. That allowed Kennedy to take third, and he scored on Morgan's single to left off closer Jonathan Broxton.
The Nationals finished with 14 hits, and were helped by two errors, but they failed to score much because of baserunning blunders. Morgan was thrown out trying to stretch a double into a triple, negating what would have been one run, and Desmond later got caught in a rundown between third and home.
Blake drove in the Dodgers' first three runs with a two-run homer in the second and a solo shot in the seventh. It's the ninth multihomer game of his career and first since June 2008.
Batista was Washington's fourth pitcher and got two nice plays from right fielder Willie Harris. First, Harris jumped against the wall while backpedaling to catch a deep drive by Martin leading off the 11th. Harris tumbled to the warning track, knocking his cap off, and appeared to limp a bit when he got back to his feet.
Harris made another nice grab for the second out in the 13th, this time charging forward and diving to snare a sinking liner off the bat of Reed Johnson.
But Martin came through soon thereafter, dropping the Nationals to 9-9. They failed in their bid to climb two games above .500 for the first time since they were 3-1 in April 2008.
Both of Blake's deep shots came off Craig Stammen, who went seven innings, giving up those three runs.
Stammen produced two hits of his own at the plate: a double in the fourth, and a two-out RBI single in the sixth. The latter tied the score at 2-2, and the next batter, Morgan, hit a ball over left fielder Xavier Paul's head. As Stammen chugged toward home, Morgan tried to stretch his double into a triple but was thrown out at third on a play scored 7-4-5 for the final out.
The umpire standing at home immediately ruled that Stammen did not cross the plate before Morgan was tagged, meaning the run didn't count.
In the seventh, the Nationals might have run themselves out of a run — or more — again. Desmond led off with a double off reliever Hong-Chih Kuo, then took third when Guzman reached on shortstop Furcal's fielding error. After Adam Dunn struck out, righty reliever Ronald Belisario entered to face Josh Willingham, who dribbled a grounder to third.
Desmond took off for home. So Blake threw to Martin, who chased Desmond back toward the bag and eventually tagged him out.
Los Angeles starter Clayton Kershaw worked around eight hits, three walks, a balk and a wild pitch, managing to limit Washington to two runs in his six innings.
Nationals closer Matt Capps — 7 for 7 in save chances and working in a non-save situation for only the second time — struck out four in two scoreless innings. He got out of a second-and-third jam in the ninth, getting Paul to fly out to the warning track in center to end the inning, then breezed through a 1-2-3 10th.
NOTES: Washington's starting lineup was missing 3B Ryan Zimmerman (right hamstring) and C Rodriguez (lower back tightness, although he was supposed to get the day off, anyway). Alberto Gonzalez filled in at third base and made a diving stop to smother a shot by Kershaw in the third inning and throw him out. ... The Dodgers sent OF Manny Ramirez (15-day DL, strained right calf) home to Los Angeles to get treatment.