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Wood, Dodgers bats overpower Nationals 7-0


Wood, Dodgers bats overpower Nationals 7-0

WASHINGTON -- The Los Angeles Dodgers aren't so blue anymore.

Alex Wood threw six shutout innings, Corey Seager hit a three-run homer during a five-run second and the Dodgers' rebound continued with a 7-0 win over the Washington Nationals on Friday.

Wood (15-3) allowed three hits with eight strikeouts and one walk for Los Angeles, which has won three in a row after losing 11 consecutive games and 16 of 17. The Dodgers lowered their magic number to clinch the NL West to six. They also took another step toward feeling like the monster team that sat 55 games over .500 on Aug. 25.

"We got challenged, we got beat up over there for a couple of weeks," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. "It was nice for us to come into this environment against a club like that and to play well."

The teams entered the highly anticipated three-game series having clinched playoff berths and owning the top two records in the National League.

Justin Turner and Yasiel Puig homered in the Dodgers' first Washington appearance since winning Game 5 of the NL Division Series last October.

Los Angeles starting pitchers have allowed one earned run over 19 innings during the winning streak.

"In those 11 games, things didn't seem to work out," Puig said. "The pitchers are (now) getting outs in the precise moments and we're getting hits in the precise moments."

The NL East champion Nationals fell six games back of Los Angeles in the chase for home-field advantage in the playoffs.

"It's kind of like recon," Nationals right fielder Jayson Werth said of the potential playoff preview. "Good to see these guys if you do play them. ... Outside chance we can get home field advantage throughout."

Relievers Pedro Baez and Brock Stewart kept the shutout intact against the NL's top-scoring team.

The Dodgers scored all seven runs over the first three innings against Edwin Jackson (5-6).

Turner hit his 20th homer of the season in the first. Los Angeles battered Jackson for four extra-base hits in the second, starting with Puig's solo homer and ending with Seager's 3-run blast to center.

Andre Ethier was credited with a RBI ground-rule double in the second. His fly ball bounced into the stands after Werth lost track of its flight. Chase Utley had a run-scoring groundout in the third.

Jackson only lasted 2 1/3 innings, surrendering seven runs and six hits in his third consecutive loss.

"They didn't miss any fastball that I threw," Jackson said. "They were able to put it in play and get big hits off of it."

Wood also entered with back-to-back losses as his breakout season took a wrong turn during the Dodgers' slide. The All-Star left-hander had allowed nine runs in 11 innings over his previous two starts.

Wood struck out All-Star Daniel Murphy three times, including in the third with two outs and two runners on.

"I felt good about tonight," Wood said. "Those bats came alive early. I just wanted to put zeroes after we scored all those runs."

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The sound of Bryce Harper's first spring training HR is beautiful


The sound of Bryce Harper's first spring training HR is beautiful

It's that wonderful time of year again — when baseball teams flock to warmer climates for spring training and the regular season is practically around the corner — and Bryce Harper is already killing it.

It took the Washington Nationals a few games to brush away their offseason cobwebs and get back into gear, but since the beginning of March, they're riding a five-game win streak as of Sunday the 4th.

They are 6-4-1 in spring training going into Monday's matchup against the St. Louis Cardinals.

Since Thursday, the Nats have taken down — in order — the Atlanta Braves, New York Mets, defending World Series champion Houston Astros, the Detroit Tigers and the Mets again. Sunday's 6-2 win against the Tigers was in large part thanks to Harper's bat, as the star of the team drilled his first home run of spring training. 


Turn up the volume for this one because the sound of Harper's contact with the ball is just beautiful — and perhaps enough to get you pumped for the March 29 opener.

Harper blew this ball away in the bottom of the third for a two-run homer with Howie Kendrick on base. He also had a single in the fourth and finished the game with three RBI.

Gio Gonzalez was the winning pitcher for the Nats. 


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Per usual, Max Scherzer strikes out Tim Tebow on three pitches


Per usual, Max Scherzer strikes out Tim Tebow on three pitches

We are fortunate enough to live in a world where we can watch a former Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback (attempt to) hit against a three-time Cy Young pitcher in a Major League Baseball preseason game.

Max Scherzer took less than a minute to strike out Tim Tebow, who was batting cleanup for the Mets in a spring training game Friday. You can watch the whole at-bat here:

It looks like Tebow and Scherzer are starting to develop a pattern - last year’s matchup between the two went down the exact same way.

Tebow was able to redeem himself later in the game with his first hit of the year against Nats prospect Erick Fedde. He will likely begin the season with the Double-A Binghamton Rumble Ponies, but Mets GM Sandy Alderson said he believes Tebow will eventually see some at-bats in the Majors.