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Lobaton longball helps Nationals even NLDS with Dodgers

Wally Skalij | TNS
Wally Skalij | TNS
ashington Nationals' Jose Lobaton hits a three-run home run against Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Rich Hill in the fourth inning in Game 2 of the NLDS on Sunday, Oct. 9, 2016, at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C.

WASHINGTON — Jose Lobaton put his team ahead with a three-run homer, Daniel Murphy had three hits and drove in two runs and the Washington Nationals beat the Los Angeles Dodgers, 5-2, in Game 2 of the National League Division Series on Sunday at Nationals Park.

Game 3 will be Monday in Los Angeles with the best-of-five series tied 1-1.

Nationals left-handed reliever Sammy Solis retired Adrian Gonzalez on a fly to left to end the top of the sixth with two runners on base. Winning pitcher Blake Treinen retired all four batters he faced, lefty Oliver Perez sat down both batters he saw in the eighth and closer Mark Melancon pitched the ninth for the save.

Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner singled with one out in the ninth but Gonzalez struck out and Josh Reddick ended the game on a groundout to Murphy.

Murphy had an RBI single in the seventh to make it 5-2 as he drove in Jayson Werth, who had doubled with two outs off Grant Dayton.

Murphy had an RBI single to drive in Trea Turner (two hits) in the fifth to give the Nationals a 4-2 and drive Dodgers starter and Game 2 loser Rich Hill out of the game.

The Dodgers loaded the bases for the third time in the game in the fifth inning. But pinch-hitter Howie Kendrick lined out to left for the third out as lefty reliever Marc Rzepczynski escaped the jam.

Lobaton, a switch-hitter with little power from the right side, went deep on a curveball from Hill in the fourth to give the Nationals a 3-2 lead. The No. 8 hitter in the order smashed the two-out shot into the Dodgers bullpen in left after Murphy drew a leadoff walk and Danny Espinosa was hit by a pitch with two outs.

Lobaton last hit a postseason home run on a walkoff homer for Tampa Bay against Boston in Game 3 of the 2013 ALDS. Lobaton got the start because regular catcher Wilson Ramos is out for the season with a torn ACL. Rookie catcher Pedro Severino started Game 1 for the Nationals.

Hill struck out seven and yielded six hits and four runs in 4 1/3 innings. Reddick had two hits for the Dodgers, including an RBI single in third to make it 2-0.

On the second pitch of the game, Washington starter Tanner Roark threw a pitch near the head of Corey Seager. Then on a 3-0 count Seager hit a solo homer into the seats in right to give the Dodgers a 1-0 lead. Seager also homered in the first inning of Game 1 on Friday.

The Dodgers had the bases loaded in the third with one out but catcher Yasmani Grandal hit into a double play to end the threat. It was a near replay of the bottom of the second when Washington loaded the bases. But Lobaton swung at the first pitch and grounded back to Hill, who started a home-to-first double play to end the inning.

The Dodgers also left the bases loaded in the second as Chase Utley grounded out to end the threat. Roark, in his first postseason start, gave up seven hits and two earned runs in 4 1/3 innings and did not figure in the decision.

NOTES: Dodgers LHP Rich Hill previously started at Nationals Park was May 22, 2009, when he was with the Baltimore Orioles. He went 5 2/3 innings and gave up two runs and three hits and did not figure in the decision as the Orioles won 4-2. He last pitched in the playoffs in 2007 with the Chicago Cubs, one year after he played for manager Dusty Baker with the Cubs. Baker is in his first year as the Washington manager. … Baker played for the Dodgers from 1976-83 and hit a career-high 30 homers in 1977. … Washington 1B coach Davey Lopes stole a career-high 77 bases while playing for the Dodgers in 1975. … Washington RHP Tanner Roark, the Sunday starter, last threw in the playoffs out of the bullpen for the Nationals in 2014. He came out of the bullpen in Game 2 of the NLDS and gave up the game-winning homer to 1B Brandon Belt of the San Francisco Giants in the 18th inning in Washington. … Washington RHP Tanner Roark was the losing pitcher on June 21 at Los Angeles as the Dodgers won 3-2. … Dodgers RHP Kenta Maeda (16-11, 3.48 ERA) will face Nationals LHP Gio Gonzalez (11-11, 4.57 ERA) in Game 3 on Monday in Los Angeles.


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