The Dodgers are coming off last night's 3-2 victory in 10 innings, as James Loney singled home Ronnie Belliard for the game-winning run. Matt Kemp plated a run on a sacrifice fly and starter Hiroki Kuroda pitched seven innings of two-run ball in the no-decision.
Closer Jonathan Broxton posted the win with two scoreless innings of relief.
"It would have been a downer if we didn't pull this one out. Kuroda did a great job. He was electric after the first inning," Dodgers manager Joe Torre said after his club pulled within six games of San Francisco for the wild card lead and seven games of frontrunning San Diego in the NL West.
Dodgers shortstop Rafael Furcal missed the game with a strained lower back, and could be in the lineup Sunday.
Los Angeles has won three of five games since losing six in a row. It hopes to stay in the win column with Ted Lilly on the hill Sunday, and the newcomer won his Dodger debut in Tuesday's 2-1 win over the rival Padres. Lilly lasted seven innings and gave up just a run and two hits with five K's.
Lilly, who was acquired from the Cubs before the trade deadline, is 4-8 with a 3.56 earned run average this season and will face Washington for the eighth time in his career. The left-hander is 3-3 with a 2.20 ERA against the Nats.
Washington has alternated wins and losses over its last eight games and suffered a hard-luck loss last night at Dodger Stadium.
Ryan Zimmerman belted a two-run homer in the first inning to provide the scoring for the Nationals, who got a strong start from veteran starter Livan Hernandez. Hernandez was reached for two runs -- one earned -- and five hits through seven innings of work. Sean Burnett fell to 0-6 in relief when he permitted Loney's game-winning single.
"Hernandez continues to give us seven innings. It wasn't that we lost it defensively. We had a chance to win it, we couldn't score enough runs," said Nationals manager Jim Riggleman.
Jason Marquis hopes the Nats will put some runs across the scoreboard when he takes the hill today. Marquis hasn't taken the mound since April 18 versus Milwaukee after having surgery to remove bone chips in his throwing elbow. The right-hander wasn't able to get an out against the Brewers and yielded seven runs and four hits.
Marquis has yet to pitch past 4 1/3 innings in three starts this season, and is 0-3 with a 20.52 ERA. In 12 career matchups (11 starts) with Los Angeles, Marquis owns a decent 5-2 mark to go along with a 2.29 ERA.
The Nationals took two of three at home over the Dodgers back on April 23-25 and have won eight of the last 13 meetings overall.