- The Washington Times
Sunday, July 28, 2019

Two early ejections and a growing injured list couldn’t stop the Nationals from thrashing the Los Angeles Dodgers 11- 4 Sunday in the series closer.

The victory was the Nationals’ first against the National League leaders this weekend, ending Washington’s three-game skid ahead of a home series against the Atlanta Braves.

The Nationals are 5½ games behind the Braves and split a four-game series in Atlanta earlier this month.

“You know what, right now I feel good,” Nationals manager Dave Martinez said Sunday. “Let’s come back tomorrow and we’ve got Pat (Corbin) pitching tomorrow for the first game, try to score a bunch of runs again and win that first game.”

Stephen Strasburg started on the mound Sunday afternoon, throwing seven innings and allowing one run. Strasburg leads the majors with 14 victories and has won his last seven starts.

“He’s been unbelievable, really,” Martinez said. “Everything about him this year has been amazing.”

Veteran lefty Patrick Corbin, who holds a lifetime 1.84 ERA against the Braves, is set to start against first-place Atlanta on Monday and right-hander Anibal Sanchez will start Wednesday against his former team. Tuesday’s pitcher is still listed as “TBA,” but Martinez said it probably won’t be Max Scherzer.

“He didn’t throw the bullpen today so we’ll reevaluate, see how he feels tomorrow,” Martinez said Sunday. “I have to say I am doubtful that he’ll make a start on Tuesday.”

Matt Adams left in the game in the top of the fifth after he was hit by a pitch in the second inning.

Martinez said Adams underwent X-rays on his right foot, but swelling made it difficult to identify an injury so soon, so he’ll undergo further testing Monday.

“He said he felt sore after he ran the bases, yeah, a lot worse than what it first originated,” Martinez said.

Anthony Rendon led the Nationals with three hits and three RBI. Victor Robles added two runs from the bench and three hits after he took over for the ejected Adam Eaton.

Brian Dozier finished with two hits and two RBI. After Matt Beaty’s RBI double in the fifth inning ended Strasburg’s shutout in the fifth inning, Dozier responded promptly with a two-run homer to mark the Nationals’ first lead in the last of the fifth.

“We got an important series coming up,” Dozier said. “We needed that today to avoid a sweep.”

The Nationals won without Eaton and Martinez who were both ejected after arguing a strike call with the home plate umpire Jeremie Rehak in the first inning.

“I’ve always said this,” Martinez said. “I don’t like arguing about balls and strikes but I’m going to go protect my players.”

It was Eaton’s first ejection since 2016 and Martinez’s third this season.

• Rina Torchinsky can be reached at rtorchinsky@washingtontimes.com.

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