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Puig's 5 RBIs help Greinke and Dodgers beat Nationals 5-0


Puig's 5 RBIs help Greinke and Dodgers beat Nationals 5-0

LOS ANGELES -- Yasiel Puig drove in a career high-tying five runs with a homer and a triple, Zack Greinke pitched six sharp innings and the Los Angeles Dodgers defeated the Washington Nationals 5-0 Tuesday night to snap a season-worst four-game skid.

Greinke (12-2) allowed six hits, struck out six and walked four to remain unbeaten in his last 10 starts, going 7-0 in that span. He lowered his major league-leading ERA to 1.65.

Puig homered into the left-field pavilion in the fourth to score Andre Ethier, whose leadoff triple stood up after the Dodgers challenged the call. Replays showed third baseman Yunel Escobar didn't tag Ethier's leg before he reached the bag.

Puig struggled Monday in the Dodgers' 8-3 loss in the series opener, going 0 for 4 with two strikeouts. In his first at-bat against rookie Joe Ross, he flied out to center with two runners on in the second.

Puig extended the lead to 5-0 in the fifth with a bases-loaded triple that right fielder Clint Robinson misplayed. It scored Jimmy Rollins and Alberto Callaspo, who reached on singles, and Yasmani Grandal, who walked. That chased Ross (3-4), who gave up five runs and six hits in 4 2/3 innings. He walked four and struck out one.

It was Puig's second five-RBI game, equaling his performance on June 14, 2013, in his second major league game.

Greinke bounced back from a struggle in his last start at Philadelphia, where he allowed five runs before retiring a batter but eventually earned the victory.


Nationals: OF Bryce Harper was held out of the lineup with a sore left knee. He hurt it while making a sliding catch Monday and it swelled up overnight, limiting his mobility.

Dodgers: RHP Joel Peralta went on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to Monday, with a right neck sprain. He has appeared in 25 games this season, going 2-1 with a 5.40 ERA and three saves. "I can't finish my pitches and the release point is an issue," Peralta said. "I haven't been able to command the fastball and the split-finger." ... INF Justin Turner, on the 15-day DL with a skin infection on his right thigh, returned to Los Angeles from Arizona, where he took live batting practice. The team hopes he will be back in the lineup by this weekend.


Nationals: RHP Jordan Zimmermann (8-7, 3.44 ERA) was 1-0 with a 2.57 ERA in 2013 and 2014 at Dodger Stadium. He never allowed more than two earned runs and pitched into at least the seventh inning every time.

Dodgers: LHP Clayton Kershaw (9-6, 2.51) had his 37-inning scoreless streak snapped in the first inning of his last start against Pittsburgh. He is 8-2 with a 2.31 ERA in 12 career games against the Nationals.

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What to make of the Strasburg-Scherzer shouting match in the Nationals' dugout

USA Today Sports

What to make of the Strasburg-Scherzer shouting match in the Nationals' dugout

Stephen Strasburg and Max Scherzer had a heated exchange in the Nationals dugout Friday night.

It was another not-so-great moment in an otherwise unspectacular season for the Nats so far.

Things like this often appear worse than they are based on what we can see, not hear, on television. In any case, it has fans and pundits talking about a perceived off-the-field issue instead of the actual game. There's nothing "good" about this, but there are important factors that are "bad" and ones that are "not bad."

Davey Martinez, Strasburg and Scherzer already said this has been settled and wasn't a big deal in the first place, but for a manager who's already faced some scrutiny this year for how he manages his pitchers, having two of them go at it in the dugout isn't ideal.

It also doesn't present the best optics for a team that came out of the All-Star Break 5.5 games back of the division-leading Philadelphia Phillies. The Nationals need to build some momentum heading into the dog days of summer, and after a lackluster first half, this isn't how anybody would want to start the second half.

This was also Strasburg's first start back from a month-long stint on the disabled list. Ryan Zimmerman just rejoined the club as well. Things are shaping up to make for a solid second-half run, but all this does is detract from that.

The Nationals also just hosted the first All-Star Game in Washington since 1969. Having something like this happen in the dugout where everybody can see it takes away from some of that good publicity.

But there are also positives, or at least non-negatives, to take from this. Scherzer has always been ultracompetitive, and as the best pitcher on the staff, he needs to harness that into leadership. With Strasburg coming off a rough inning, Scherzer may have thought he needed a little tough love from a veteran. There's nothing wrong with that. Strasburg, to his credit, has never been one to focus too much on himself, so if there's anyone who can take something like this constructively, it'd be him.

This isn't Jonathan Paplebon fighting Bryce Harper for not running out a pop fly the day after the Nats were eliminated from playoff contention. These are two veteran guys who play the same position who are both competitive and want to win. It's akin to an older brother pushing his younger brother to do better. Strasburg even hinted at the family aspect after the game.

In the end, there's really nothing to see here. Frustration is part of the game. Talking it out is a part of remedying the frustration.

What really matters is tracking down the Braves and the Phillies. The Nationals can get started on that Sunday in the second game of a rain-shortened two-game series against the Braves.


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Saturday's Nationals game rained out, to be postponed

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Saturday's Nationals game rained out, to be postponed

Following a dicey matchup between the Nats and Braves Friday night which featured a heated argument between Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg, the Nationals are getting a much-needed opportunity to regroup.

The Washington Nationals' official Twitter account announced that Saturday evening's matchup will be postponed due to inclement weather just after 2 p.m. Saturday afternoon.

The Nationals had planned to host "JMU Night" at the ballpark as a part of their "College Day" series, and due to more forecasted inclement weather Sunday, the Nationals decided to call the game off sooner rather than later.

The Nationals have yet to announce when the game will be made up.

If Sunday's game is played as scheduled, Max Scherzer will start.

This post will be updated when more information regarding a makeup date has been announced.