The Los Angeles Dodgers will try to close out their National League Division Series against the Washington Nationals Monday evening in Washington with left-hander Rich Hill pitching for the fourth time since June 20.
Hill was placed on the injured list June 20 because of a left forearm strain, one day after leaving a start against the San Francisco Giants after one inning.
Hill returned to the mound Sept. 12, but left the interleague game against the Baltimore Orioles after two-thirds of an inning because of a knee injury. He next pitched Sept. 24, pitching two hitless innings against the San Diego Padres. He pitched three shutout innings against the Giants Sept. 29.
The 39-year-old Hill was 4-1 with a 2.45 ERA in 13 starts in the regular season. He faced Washington once, allowing three runs in five innings in a 6-0 loss May 9 he was the losing pitcher.
Right-hander Max Scherzer is the scheduled starter for the Nationals. He had been scheduled to start Game 3 Sunday, but pitched one inning of relief, throwing 14 pitches, in Friday night’s 4-2 victory over the Dodgers at Dodger Stadium in Game 2 of the best-of-five series.
Scherzer said getting an additional day of rest will probably allow him to pitch longer Monday.
Scherzer was 11-7 with a 2.92 ERA in the regular season. In his only appearance against the Dodgers, he allowed two runs and five hits in seven innings, striking out seven, walking two and hitting two batters in a 5-2 victory May 11 he was credited with the win.
Scherzer is among 10 pitchers in major league history to win the Cy Young Award at least three times, winning the American League version in 2013 and National League version in 2016 and 2017.
Of the eight eligible pitchers who have accomplished the feat, all but Roger Clemens are in the Hall of Fame.
The Dodgers took a two games to one lead in the best-of-five series with a 10-4 victory Sunday as Turner hit a three-run home run after Russell Martin and Kike Hernandez hit two-run doubles during a seven-run sixth inning.
Seven consecutive Dodger batters reached base after there were two outs in the sixth inning, as they overcame a 2-0 first-inning deficit
The Dodgers were scoreless for the first 4 2/3 innings, limited to three hits by right-hander Anibal Sanchez, who struck out nine batters before Max Muncy hit an 0-2 fastball over the right-center field fence for a home run.
Nationals manager Dave Martinez said he pinch-hit for Sanchez in the bottom of the fifth because he had thrown 87 pitches and “gave us all he had.”
Left-hander Patrick Corbin, the Game 1 starter, replaced Sanchez to start the sixth in his first relief appearance since Sept. 29, 2017, with the Arizona Diamondbacks, who were preparing for the National League wild card game.
Corbin allowed a single to the first batter he faced, Dodger MVP candidate Cody Bellinger, who had been hitless in eight at-bats in the series, with five strikeouts. Corbin then struck out the next two batters, Corey Seager and A.J. Pollock.
Pinch-hitter David Freese began the rally with a single. Martin followed with a double, driving in Bellinger and Freese. Hernandez doubled in Martin and pinch-hitter Chris Taylor, who walked. Corbin intentionally walked Max Muncy to put runners on first and second with two out.
Martinez replaced Corbin with right-hander Wander Suero to face Turner, who hit a full-count cutter over the left-center field fence before a crowd at Nationals Park announced at 43,423.
Following Freese’s hit “it just seemed like our guys were just locking in and trying to compete and keep the line moving and get a good pitch,” Dodger manager Dave Roberts said. You don’t plan for seven-run innings but after the first five … and to see us kind of get back to what we do best was really good to see.”
Corbin was charged with the loss, allowing six runs and four hits in two-thirds of an inning.
Dodger left-handed starter Hyun-Jin Ryu was credited with the victory, allowing two runs on a first-inning home run by Juan Soto, and four hits over five innings, striking out three and walking one.
Joe Kelly, the first Dodger reliever, failed to retire any of the four batters he faced, walking Anthony Rendon and Soto and allowing a single to Howie Kendrick to load the bases. Rendon scored on a wild pitch. Yan Gomes walked on a full count to reload the bases.
Roberts decided to replace Kelly with Julio Urias. Pinch-hitter Asdrubal Cabrera drove in Soto with a sacrifice fly, with the run charged to Kelly. Hernandez, the Dodger right fielder, threw out Kendrick trying to advance to third.
Michael A. Taylor popped out to end the inning.
Urias and the next three Dodger relievers — Adam Kolarek, Kenta Maeda and Kenley Jansen — combined to shut out Washington over the final 3 2/3 innings, allowing just one hit.
Martin hit a two-run homer in the ninth off Hunter Strickland, the last of six Nationals pitchers.
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