Hyun-Jin Ryu

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Dodgers ride big sixth inning to 10-4 win over Nationals in NLDS Game 3

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The Dodgers got to Patrick Corbin in the sixth inning, but not in the way one would imagine upon first reading that phrase. They scored six runs off of Corbin coming out of the bullpen in the sixth inning and another one off of Wander Suero, who came in after Corbin. That provided the bulk of their offense in a 10-4 win over the Nationals in Game 3 of the NLDS, taking a 2-1 series lead.

The Nationals opened up the scoring against Cy Young candidate Hyun-Jin Ryu thanks to a two-run home run to straightaway center field by Juan Soto in the first inning. Meanwhile, starter Aníbal Sánchez was excellent, only relenting a run to the Dodgers in his final inning of work in the fifth when Max Muncy lifted a solo homer to right-center field.

Rather than rely on one of the many problematic traditional relievers in the bullpen, Nationals manager Dave Martinez called on Patrick Corbin in the sixth, working on three days’ rest after starting Game 1. Corbin was slated to face a handful of Dodger lefties at the top of the lineup, but he wasn’t able to take advantage of the platoon advantage. Cody Bellinger led off with a single, and pinch-hitter David Freese added a two-out single to spark a rally. Russell Martin crushed a Corbin slider out to deep left-center field, allowing Bellinger and Freese to score to take a 3-2 lead. The two-out rally continued as Chris Taylor walked and Kiké Hernández hit a two-out, two-run double of his own to bring home Martin and Taylor to make it 5-2. Martinez called for an intentional walk of Muncy before removing Corbin from the game in favor of Wander Suero. Suero, however, served up a no doubt, three-run home run to Justin Turner to extend the Nationals’ lead to 8-2, the cherry on top of the seven-run sundae of an inning.

To the Nationals’ credit, they didn’t take the shellacking in silence. They responded by loading the bases with no outs, on two walks and a single, to begin the bottom of the sixth against Joe Kelly. Kelly uncorked a wild pitch, allowing a run to score, then walked Yan Gomes to re-load the bases. Julio Urías entered to plug the leak. He did the job, but got some help from the Nationals. Asdrúbal Cabrera lifted a sacrifice fly to right field, which easily plated Soto to make it 8-4. However, Kendrick was caught trying to advance to third base, getting thrown out by Hernández rather easily. Michael A. Taylor popped out to end the threat.

Urías pitched a second inning of relief in the seventh, working around a two-out single in a scoreless frame. Manager Dave Roberts went to another lefty, Adam Kolarek, to face Juan Soto to begin the eighth. Kolarek has been on Soto duty and emerged successful again, ending the at-bat in a strikeout. In the NLDS so far, Soto is 0-for-3 against Kolarek. Kenta Maeda entered after that at-bat, getting two quick at-bats to send the game to the ninth inning.

Martin added some more offense in the top of the ninth with a two-run home run off of Hunter Strickland, who is no stranger to giving up home runs in the playoffs.

Roberts went to Kenley Jansen, making his 2019 postseason debut, in the bottom half of the ninth to protect the six-run lead. Jansen struck out Cabrera and Taylor before getting pinch-hitter to weakly ground out to shortstop to end the game. Dodgers win 10-4.

The Dodgers will attempt to close out the series in Game 4 Monday night in Washington, D.C. First pitch is scheduled for 6:40 PM ET. Max Scherzer will square off against Rich Hill. If the Dodgers win, they will advance to the NLCS for a fourth consecutive year, an impressive feat.