Tony Gwynn Jr. doubled in two go-ahead runs in the top of the ninth, helping the Los Angeles Dodgers to a 7-4 win over the Washington Nationals in the first game of a doubleheader Thursday in Washington D.C.. The Dodgers' bullpen was fantastic, allowing no hits and no runs in 6 2/3 innings, striking out six while walking three.
The Dodgers scored two runs in both the first and the third innings in eerily similar fashion. In each inning, Dee Gordon and James Loney got hits, Gordon was erased on a ground ball to third base by Matt Kemp, then Juan Rivera doubled in Loney and Kemp.
Since getting activated from the disabled list on September 1, Gordon has multi-hit games in five of his last seven contests, with 16 hits in his last 31 at-bats. He had three hits in the first game of the doubleheader on Thursday.
Chad Billingsley continued his second-half slide with another poor outing. The Dodgers were up 4-0 but Billingsley couldn't get out of the third inning. He was pulled after allowing four consecutive extra-base hits and four runs. By recording just seven outs, Billingsley on Thursday had the shortest start by a Dodger in 2011. He has allowed 33 runs in his last 43 innings over his last eight starts.
Mike MacDougal pitched a scoreless eighth inning for his third win of the season. Javy Guerra recorded his 16th save of the year with a perfect ninth inning. Dana Eveland and Ross Detwiler start the second game of the doubleheader.
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