The Washington Nationals have found an ideal combination of a stingy bullpen and a hot Victor Robles at the top of the order, and they will try to use the plan again Wednesday afternoon to earn a three-game road sweep over the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Robles had three hits in his second game in the leadoff spot and Luis Garcia hit a go-ahead home run in the eighth inning Tuesday as Washington topped Los Angeles 8-3. The National League-worst Nationals improved to 3-2 against the NL-best Dodgers this season.
“These guys have worked really hard, especially Victor trying to revamp his swing,” Washington manager Dave Martinez said of his .243 hitter who is now on a four-game hitting streak. “It’s paying dividends for him now. When he gets on base, he’s a guy that brings that energy for us.”
Nationals left-hander Patrick Corbin (4-13, 6.02 ERA) will get the start as Washington searches for its first series sweep of the season.
It’s been a rough July for Corbin, who is 0-3 with a 5.87 ERA over four starts. His past three outings have been particularly rough, as he has yielded 15 runs (14 earned) in 16 innings.
But pitching at Dodger Stadium always has appealed to Corbin, who has allowed three earned runs or fewer in nine of his 12 career starts in Los Angeles, where he has a 3.60 ERA.
His last outing in Los Angeles was not one of those solid starts. In his 2021 season debut, Corbin gave up six runs on six hits with three walks and five strikeouts in 4 1/3 innings.
While the talk at the start of the current series was how Nationals right fielder Juan Soto could be traded soon, with the Dodgers a possible destination, Washington has managed to shift the narrative with two days of success against Los Angeles.
Washington is even winning of late without much input from Soto. He went 0-for-4 and was hit by a pitch on Tuesday, and he is just 3-for-18 (.167) since winning the Home Run Derby at Dodger Stadium.
Los Angeles will welcome back left-hander Andrew Heaney for the Wednesday game. Heaney made two starts in April to begin his Dodgers career, then went on the injured list due to shoulder inflammation. The 31-year-old returned June 19 but lasted just one outing before returning to the IL with continued shoulder issues.
His departure opened a rotation spot for fellow lefty Tyler Anderson, and in one of the feel-good stories of the year, Anderson parlayed that opportunity into a spot on the National League All-Star team.
Now Heaney (1-0, 0.59 ERA) will get a chance to show his value. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts anticipates the veteran can go 75 pitches on Wednesday.
Heaney’s return will give the Dodgers six starters for the time being, although a new role could be ahead for right-hander Mitch White.
“We’re going to talk about it and see what direction we go,” Roberts said.
Heaney has faced the Nationals just twice (one start), with both outings back in 2014. He did not have a decision and posted a 5.14 ERA in seven innings.
Also expected back is Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner, who has not played since Thursday because of a strained rib cage.
“He feels good,” Roberts said, “and I have him starting at third base (Wednesday).”
–Field Level Media