Dodgers escape elimination from the MLB postseason with a victory over the Nationals

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Photo courtesy of Dodgers.com.

Dodgers' third base coach waves in Andrew Toles for the winning run in Tuesday's game against the Nationals.

Ramon Alvarado, Staff Writer

The MLB postseason has produced plenty of close and exciting games in its first two rounds. The Dodgers and Nationals added another one to the list Tuesday afternoon when they battled out game four of the NLDS at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. The Dodgers were able to escape elimination with a 6-5 victory over Washington, tying up the series at 2-2.

It was win or stay home for the Dodgers on Tuesday as they trailed two-games-to-one in the best-of-five series against the Washington Nationals. The Boys in Blue did not want to give their LA crowd a disappointing ending two days in a row, and they definitely did not want their season to end in front of them.

Nationals second baseman Daniel Murphy gave the LA crowd reason to worry right away. After Washington’s Trea Turner led off the game with a base hit, Dodgers’ pitcher Clayton Kershaw walked one of the best hitters in the league, Bryce Harper.  This gave Murphy a chance to bring in a run in the very first inning of the ball game, and he did just that. Murphy singled to right field, bringing in Turner, giving the Nationals an early 1-0 lead.

Kershaw got away from a jam in the top of the first and the Dodgers took their first ups. After two quick outs, LA first baseman Justin Turner was able to get on base, giving Adrian Gonzalez a chance to bat. Gonzalez made Nationals’ pitcher Joe Ross pay for leaving a pitch high over the plate with a two-run home run, putting the Dodgers in front.

The Nationals tied the game up after a sacrifice fly brought in Turner for a second time, but Kershaw provided a spark with his bat in the third inning. Kershaw came up with a leadoff double to start off the inning perfectly for the Dodgers. After a couple more base hits and a player hit by a pitch, the Dodgers suddenly found themselves ahead 4-2. In the fifth inning, a Joc Pederson double to left field brought in a run once more, giving them a comfortable 5-2 lead.

Kershaw had pitched solid for six innings, but in the seventh he gave up a couple hits and walked another batter, leaving the bases loaded for the Nationals. This forced Dodgers’ manager Dave Roberts to take him out of the game and bring in reliever Pedro Baez. Baez hit Washington’s Jayson Werth with the first pitch he threw, bringing in a run for the Nationals and leaving the bases loaded once again.

Luis Avilan was put in the game for the Dodgers after Baez hit Werth with the only pitch he threw, but Avilan did not help. He gave up a base hit to the first batter he faced, and the Nationals tied the game up at five-a-piece.

After watching their team blow a three-run lead, it was time for panic for Dodger fans. A loss meant their team’s elimination from the postseason, but Andrew Toles and Chase Utley wanted none of that.

In the bottom of the eight inning, Toles came up with a base hit, and after a single by Andre Ethier, found himself in scoring position. This gave the veteran Utley the chance to bring in the go-ahead run. Utley capitalized on the opportunity with a single to right field. The Dodgers took the 6-5 lead and kept it the rest of the night.

The Dodgers’ victory now gives them the chance to play game five in Washington, with the winner moving on to the National League Championship Series. The win-or-go-home game for the Dodgers and Nationals will take place on Thursday at five o’clock p.m. The MLB world will, no doubt, be watching to see who advances and moves another step closer to the World Series.

 

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