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Jose Lobaton hits second 3-run homer in Nationals’ playoff history

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On a day when the wind gusted through Nationals Park at an estimated 25 m.p.h., hitting left field and threatening to limit any potential damage by right-handed batters like Justin Turner and Jayson Werth, Jose Lobaton hit his first home run of the postseason.

Lobaton struck in the fourth inning on a 1-1 Rich Hill curveball, driving in Daniel Murphy and Danny Espinosa to take the lead 3-2 in the fourth inning. According to Statcast, the pitch was barreled 102.6 mp.h. off the bat, good for 394 feet in the left bleachers. Not only was it the first lead the of the Nationals’ 2016 playoff run, but it marked just the second time that a Nationals’ batter hit a three-run jack in postseason history.

The last and only batter to hit a three-run postseason homer for the Nationals was outfielder Jerry White. Tied 1-1 in the 1981 NLCS, White went yard in the sixth inning against Los Angeles hurler Jerry Reuss to clinch Game 3 for the Montreal Expos. The Expos went on to lose the NLCS in five games, while the Dodgers eventually clinched the World Series against the Yankees in six.

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The Nationals currently lead the Dodgers 4-2 in the sixth.

Donaldson ejected for kicking dirt on plate after home run

David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
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Minnesota’s Josh Donaldson managed to get ejected while hitting a home run.

Donaldson barked at plate umpire Dan Bellino for the second time in the sixth inning of a 4-3 loss to the Chicago White Sox on Thursday.

With the score 2-2, Bellino called a strike when the 2015 AL MVP checked his swing on a 2-0 pitch from Reynaldo Lopez.

Manager Rocco Baldelli came out to speak with Bellino, and Donaldson homered down the left-field line on the next offering. After rounding the bases, Donaldson kicked dirt at home plate as he crossed it.

Bellino ejected him immediately, and Donaldson, realizing he had missed home plate, returned to the plate to touch it and then argued as he kicked more dirt on it.

Donaldson also had argued with Bellino on a 1-1 breaking ball in the first inning that appeared to be high but was called a strike, leading to a strikeout.

“We need Josh on the field, out there playing, and at third base,” Baldelli said. “That’s when we’re at our best. And so that’s really the end of it. I think we can move past it at his point, and go from here.”

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