The Los Angeles Dodgers invaded the nation’s capital for a double headed due to a rain out the previous day, and lot the first game due to lack of run support. Game two would provide much more excitement, runs and last inning heroics from a struggling superstar.
The Dodgers starter Josh Beckett battled the Nationals John Lannan throughout several innings without giving up a single run.
That would all change in the top of the third inning, Adrian Gonzales walked with the bases loaded with Mark Ellis and Matt Kemp. It was time for Hanley Ramirez to step up and connected on a single to right center that scored both Ellis and Kemp for the 2-0 lead. Andre Either singled to right that allowed Gonzales to score for the 3-0 lead. Red hot hitter Luis Cruz came up short as he struck out to end the inning.
Shane Victorino was hit by a wild pitch in the fourth inning, and once again Kemp showed up and singled to left that scored Matt Treanor and gave the Dodgers the 4-0 lead. With one out and runners in scoring position, Nationals manager Davey Johnson decided it was time for a change and brought in reliever Chein Ming Wang.
Wang displayed terrible control thanks to a wild pitch, Victorino scored from third base, Kemp moved to third and Gonzales advanced to second base. Ramirez connected on a fielders choice to third that scored Matt Kemp, and tagged Gonzales at second base to end the inning. The Dodgers led the Nationals 6-0.
The Nationals continued to struggle offensively until the eight inning where Michael Morse homered deep to right off Josh Beckett for their first score of the game. The Nationals would exploded in this inning as Stephen Lombardozzi connected on a two run hone run deep to right, Nats still down 6-3. Later on in the inning rookie sensation Bryce Harper connected on an infield RBI single to third base that scored Corey Brown.
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly decided he needed another change with Ronald Belisario replacing Randy Choate.
Morse singled to right field Harper and DeRosa scored that tied the game 6-6.
The Dodgers could not afford to lose another game and still stay in the Wild Card race. Kemp has struggled and hasn’t hit a home run in many weeks, ended that drought as he connected deep to center for his 19th homer that gave the Dodgers the 7-6 lead.
Dodgers closer Brandon League had a solid inning as DeRosa grounding out to third base for the final out as the Dodgers held on for the 7-6 victory. League picked up his third save on the season.
Ronald Belisario (7-1) picked up the victory pitching 2/3 innings on two hits and one strike out. Dodger starter Josh Beckett pitched seven inning, on five hits, two strikeouts, and two home runs.
Nationals Tyler Clippard (2-5) picked up the loss in one inning of work on two hits, one home run and one strike out.
“It looked pretty close. I actually probably should have been running just forward and not looking back. I don’t know if I quite made it or not,” Matt Kemp said, before asking whether reporters if they saw a replay.
“Kemp wasn’t running. He just wasn’t running. The tag play was before. Obviously they missed it, but you’d think when the three of them got together somebody would’ve been paying attention that Kemp was not at home” said Nats manager Davey Johnson.