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MLB: Yoshinobu Yamamoto’s 6 shutout innings helps Dodgers complete sweep, defeat Nats 2-1

AP Photo/Alex Brandon
Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto throws during the first inning of a baseball game against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park, Thursday, April 25, 2024, in Washington.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Yoshinobu Yamamoto pitched six shutout innings and the Los Angeles Dodgers defeated the Washington Nationals 2-1 on Thursday to complete a three-game sweep.

Teoscar Hernández homered for the Dodgers, who tied a season high with four straight wins.

Joey Meneses had three goals for Washington, which was swept for the first time this season. The Nationals scored four runs in the series, going 4 for 20 with runners in scoring position.

Los Angeles’ Shohei Ohtani went 0 for 4, halting a nine-game hitting streak and dropping his batting average from a major league-leading .371 to .358.

Yamamoto (2-1) didn’t allow a runner past second and allowed four hits and a walk while striking out seven. He didn’t have multiple runners on base until the sixth inning, when he gave up a pair of two-out singles before Keibert Ruiz’s inning-ending groundout.

I saw his fastball today in the bullpen and thought it was going to be a good day, Dodgers catcher Austin Barnes said.

Eddie Rosario opened the fifth with a liner just inches from Yamamoto’s head. The pitcher snapped the drive as he fell to the ground, then smiled as he stood up before manager Dave Roberts went to the mound to check on him.

He said he almost died, Roberts said. “That was quite funny. Just the fact that he had a little humor in the middle of a start was good for him to reset. That next pitch, to the next left-handed hitter, he threw a fastball down and away for a strike. He recovered well.”

Evan Phillips worked a 1-2-3 ninth and remained perfect in seven save opportunities.

Hernández made a 2-2 change in the visiting bullpen in left center to lead the second inning against MacKenzie Gore (2-2).

Gore left two men in the second, got double play grounders to end the next three innings, and capped his outing when Kiké Hernández’s fly to center was caught by a diving Jacob Young, who then threw to first base to double play Freddie Freeman.

Gore allowed one run and seven hits while striking out four in six innings.

Mookie Betts led off the eighth with a walk against Jordan Weems, stole second base and scored when Freeman poked a one-out single into the opposite field to left.

Meneses had an RBI single in the eighth off ex-Nats pitcher Daniel Hudson for Washington’s only run in the final 16 innings of the series.

“We’re struggling offensively right now, as a whole,” manager Dave Martinez said. “We can’t coordinate anything. MacKenzie did a great job giving us six strong innings. He threw really well, so we have to get our offense going again.”

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