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Wood, Dodgers bats overpower Nationals 7-0

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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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Whoa. Dusty Baker not returning as Nationals' manager. What comes next?

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Whoa. Dusty Baker not returning as Nationals' manager. What comes next?

The Washington Nationals announced Friday Dusty Baker will not return as manager of the club in 2018. 

Baker led the team to the first back-to-back division titles in franchise history, and the Nationals were 192-132 under Baker, but they failed to make it to an NLCS.

Baker is 14th in MLB history with 1,863 career wins.

The next Nationals' manager will be their seventh since they arrived in DC.

Only the Marlins have had as many.

"I'm surprised and disappointed," Baker told USA TODAY Sports. "They told me they would get back to me and I told them I was leaving town yesterday and they waited 10 days to tell me."

"I really thought this was my best year. We won at least 95 games each year and won the division back to back years but they said they wanted to go a different direction. It's hard to understand." 

The team also announced the contracts for the Major League coaching staff have also expired, and the search for a new manager will begin immediately.

RELATED: BRYCE HARPER THANKS NATIONALS' FANS FOR SUPPORT

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Nationals second baseman Daniel Murphy undergoes successful knee surgery

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Nationals second baseman Daniel Murphy undergoes successful knee surgery

While Nats fans were still digesting the news that Dusty Baker will not return as manager next year, the team released some more surprising news. 

Second baseman Daniel Murphy underwent knee surgery today, per an official team report. 

Washington Post reporter Chelsea Janes reported that the surgery is considered significant and the team won't put a timeline on the recovery process:

"The procedure, according to the statement released by the team, repaired articular cartilage in Murphy’s right knee. For those interested in the details, it was a debridement and microfracture surgery, and orthopedic surgeon Timothy Kremchek performed it."

"For those concerned with the implications of the procedure, those are still unclear. The statement clarified that Murphy’s rehab “will progress throughout the offseason,” as one would hope, and did not include a timetable.

RELATED: HARPER THANKS FANS FOR SUPPORT