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Chris Taylor hit a three-run homer and Zach McKinstry made big plays with his bat and glove as the Los Angeles Dodgers defeated the Washington Nationals 9-5 Saturday night.
AJ Pollock also drove in three runs for the defending World Series champions, who are off to a 7-2 start that includes wins in four of their last five games. Julio Urías (2-0) allowed three runs in 5 2/3 innings.
Juan Soto homered twice and Ryan Zimmerman had three hits for the Nationals, who remain without four players due to coronavirus cases and quarantines.
Taylor’s two-out drive to left field off Patrick Corbin (0-1) was the key hit during a five-run second. Taylor’s first home run of the season came two batters after McKinstry’s single plated a pair of runs to give the Dodgers a 2-1 lead.
McKinstry, playing right field with Cody Bellinger on the injured list, made a big defensive play to end the top of the first when he threw out Zimmerman at third after a bloop RBI single by Starlin Castro.
Pollock came up big in the seventh, clearing the bases with a two-out double to left. Andrew Stevenson tried to make a diving grab but missed, with the ball rolling to the wall before it was retrieved by Castro.
Washington pulled to 6-3 in the sixth when Soto lined a drive into the bleachers in right field and Yan Gomes had an RBI single. The Nationals had the bases loaded with two outs but Jimmy Nelson struck out Stevenson.
Soto struck again in the ninth with a two-run shot to right for his eighth career multi-homer game.
Corbin, reinstated from the injured list Saturday after clearing COVID-19 protocols, retired the Dodgers in order in the first on 12 pitches but had control problems in the second. He walked the first three batters in the inning before Will Smith was forced out at home on Gavin Lux’s grounder to first. Then came McKinstry’s single and Taylor’s homer.
The left-hander struck out four straight Dodgers in the fourth and fifth before being chased when Corey Seager got aboard on a single and came home on Justin Turner’s double to give the Dodgers a 6-1 lead. Corbin ended up allowing six runs on six hits and struck out five.
Urías retired 11 straight from the second to the sixth before surrendering Soto’s solo shot. The left-hander allowed nine hits and struck out three.
The Dodgers honored late Hall of Fame manager Tommy Lasorda before the game. The video tribute featured Lasorda singing Frank Sinatra’s “My Way” during spring training in 2013 during a montage of highlights. Lasorda passed away on Jan. 7 at age 93 due to a heart attack.
Nationals: RHP Will Harris (right hand inflammation) has progressed to long tossing at the team’s alternate training site in Fredericksburg, Virginia. … RHP Kyle McGowin was moved to the taxi squad after Corbin was brought off the injured list. … INF Adrián Sanchez has been sent to the alternate training site.
Dodgers: OF Mookie Betts (lower back stiffness) was held out of the lineup for a third straight game but did some hitting pregame. Manager Dave Roberts said he does not foresee Betts being placed on the injured list. … RHP Brusdar Graterol (non-injury related) threw 15 pitches in a simulated inning. … RHP Tony Gonsolin (right shoulder inflammation) will throw a bullpen Sunday.
The series finale features a pair of three-time Cy Young Award winners as Nationals righty Max Scherzer (0-0, 6.00 ERA) opposes Dodgers left-hander Clayton Kershaw (1-1, 4.26).
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