Yoshinobu Yamamoto's 6 shutout innings help Dodgers finish sweep, defeat Nats 2-1

WASHINGTON (AP) — Yoshinobu Yamamoto pitched six shutout innings, and the Los Angeles Dodgers defeated the Washington Nationals 2-1 on Thursday to complete a three-game sweep.

Teoscar Hernández homered for the Dodgers, who matched a season high with four straight wins.

Joey Meneses had three hits for Washington, which was swept for the first time this season. The Nationals scored four runs in the series and went 4 for 20 with runners in scoring position.

Los Angeles designated hitter Shohei Ohtani was 0 for 4, stopping a nine-game hitting streak and dropping his batting average from a major league-leading .371 to .358.

Yamamoto (2-1) didn’t allow a runner past second and allowed four hits and a walk while striking out seven. He had multiple runners on only in the sixth, when he gave up a pair of two-out singles before Keibert Ruiz’s inning-ending groundout.

“I saw his fastball in the bullpen today and thought it was going to be a good day,” Dodgers catcher Austin Barnes said.

Eddie Rosario led off the fifth with a liner just inches from Yamamoto’s head. The pitcher snared the drive as he fell to the ground, then smiled as he got up before manager Dave Roberts went to the mound to check on him.

“He said he almost died,” Roberts said. “That was pretty funny. Just for him to have a little humor in the middle of a start was good for him to reset. That next pitch, to the next left-handed hitter, he threw a fastball down and away for a strike. He rebounded well.”

Evan Phillips worked a 1-2-3 ninth to remain perfect in seven save chances.

Hernández drove a 2-2 changeup into the visiting bullpen in left-center leading off the second against MacKenzie Gore (2-2).

Gore stranded two men in the second, got double-play grounders to end the following three innings and closed his outing when Kiké Hernández’s fly to center was caught by a diving Jacob Young, who then threw to first to double up Freddie Freeman.

Gore allowed one run and seven hits while striking out four in six innings.

Mookie Betts led off the eighth with a walk against Jordan Weems, stole second and scored when Freeman poked an opposite-field, one-out single to left.

Meneses had an RBI single in the eighth off ex-Nats pitcher Daniel Hudson for Washington’s only run in the final 16 innings of the series.

“We’re struggling right now offensively, as a whole,” manager Dave Martinez said. “We can’t put anything together. MacKenzie did great and gave us six strong innings. He pitched really well, so we have to get our offense going again.”

TRAINER’S ROOM

Nationals: Washington activated Ruiz (influenza) from the 10-day IL and optioned C Drew Millas to Triple-A Rochester. … 3B Nick Senzel was scratched less than an hour before the game because of illness. … OF Stone Garrett (left ankle) was reinstated from the 10-day IL and optioned to Rochester. … Martinez said RHP Josiah Gray (elbow) could start throwing off a mound when the Nationals are in Texas early next week.

UP NEXT

Dodgers: RHP Gavin Stone (1-1, 6.00 ERA) starts Friday night’s three-game series opener at Toronto.

Nationals: RHP Trevor Williams (2-0, 2.91) starts Friday as Washington begins a four-game series at Miami.

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