Dodgers can’t keep up with Nationals in 6-4 loss

A.J. Ellis,  Anthony Rendon
Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis, left, tags out Washington Nationals baserunner Anthony Rendon at home plate during the seventh inning of the Dodgers’ 6-4 loss Monday.
(Gus Ruelas / Associated Press)

KEY MOMENT: After the teams traded first-inning home runs, Denard Span and Asdrubal Cabrera hit home runs one batter apart in the third inning, erasing a one-run deficit and putting the Nationals ahead to stay. But it wasn’t always comfortable. The Dodgers sent rookie Joc Pederson to the plate representing the go-ahead run in the ninth but he struck out looking.

AT THE PLATE: Six of Washington’s nine hits went for extra bases, including two home runs by Span, matching his season total coming in, and a double by pitcher Gio Gonzalez, who was hitting .083. Jayson Werth also homered for the Nationals and Matt Kemp and Juan Uribe each had two hits for the Dodgers. One of Kemp’s was a home run.

ON THE MOUND: Roberto Hernandez faced Washington twice when he was with Philadelphia and didn’t give up an earned run in 15 1/3 innings. On Monday the shutout was over after three batters as Hernandez gave up five runs, including four home runs, in 4 1/3 innings. Yimi Garcia made his big league debut a memorable one, pitching two scoreless innings for the Dodgers. Gonzalez gave up only one hit in six innings, getting 12 of the 18 outs on the ground.

EXTRA BASES: With big league rosters expanded for the final month of the season, the Dodgers called up three players from triple-A Albuquerque — Garcia, infielder Alex Guerrero and catcher Tim Federowicz — and selected the contract of Pederson, also from Albuquerque. Pederson, whom the Dodgers consider the best center fielder in their organization, was the Pacific Coast League’s most valuable player and rookie of the year this season after batting .303 with 30 steals and a league-leading 33 home runs. The team also reactivated right-hander Chris Perez from the disabled list and are expected to make another round of promotions Tuesday, likely adding infielders Miguel Rojas and Erisbel Arruebarrena and pitcher Carlos Frias.


UP NEXT: Left-hander Clayton Kershaw (16-3, 1.73 ERA) continues his pursuit of the Cy Young and National League MVP awards when he takes on the Nationals and right-hander Doug Fister (12-5, 2.55) on Tuesday at 7 p.m. at Dodger Stadium. Kershaw has lost only once in his last 16 starts. He has faced the Nationals once this season, shutting them out for seven innings in May in his return from the disabled list. Fister has lost his last two starts, posting a 6.17 ERA in 112/3 innings. Tuesday’s game will mark his first career appearance against the Dodgers. On the air: TV: SportsNet LA. Radio: 570, 1020.

Get our weekly Dodgers Dugout newsletter