It started off like it would be a wild game, filled with the unexpected. Washington Nationals ace Stephen Strasburg and the Dodgers’ undefeated Dan Haren were all over the plate.
Both pitchers gave up a pair of first-inning runs. Command was a rumor.
Only then came an unlikely string of zeroes, the game’s only other run coming off a sacrifice fly in the fifth inning and leading Washington to a 3-2 victory Wednesday at Nationals Park.
That ended the Dodgers’ nine-game trip with a 5-4 mark, not bad, but still somewhat disappointing considering they opened with a three-game sweep in Minnesota.
Haren ended up going decent six innings, giving up the three runs on six hits and a pair of walks. He struck out six but it all took 102 pitches.
Strasburg (3-2) opened the game battling his control. After Carl Crawford and Hanley Ramirez singled with one out, Adrian Gonzalez knocked a base hit to right to score one and Yasiel Puig bounced one into left to score another.
But after allowing four of his first five hitters to single, Strasburg found his control and the Dodgers' offense went poof. Not getting to Strasburg early when they had the chance would prove costly.
The Nationals quickly tied it up in the bottom of the first when Haren (4-1) struggled back in his former home park. Denard Span singled and Jayson Werth doubled him to third with one out. Adam LaRoche singled both in with a ball that hit the top of the fence in right.
It was pretty quiet after that. The Dodgers had only two batters reach second the rest of the game. After their four consecutive singles in the first inning, the Dodgers managed only three more hits.
The Nationals did not fare much better, but they were able to push a run across in the fifth after Span again led off with a single. Washington loaded the bases with one out on a Werth single and a Haren wild pitch, followed by an intentional walk to LaRoche.
Catcher Wilson Ramos lifted a fly to right to sacrifice Span in for what held up as the winning run.
For all their offense, the Dodgers are not proving a comeback team. When trailing after the sixth, the Dodgers are now 0-12.
The game’s start was delayed an hour and 50 minutes because of rain.