(The Sports Xchange) – Corey Seager hit a solo homer in the first and Justin Turner had a two-run shot in the third – both off Max Scherzer – as the Los Angeles Dodgers defeated the Washington Nationals 4-3 on Friday in Game 1 of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park.
Game 2 is slated for Saturday afternoon in Washington, with rain in the forecast.
Dodgers starter and winner Clayton Kershaw was also hit hard as he allowed three runs and eight hits with seven strikeouts in five innings. He threw 101 pitches before Joe Blanton took over in the sixth.
Closer Kenley Jansen came on with one out in the eighth and gave up a two-out pinch-hit double to Clint Robinson. Jansen struck out pinch-hitter Chris Heisey looking for the third out, and set down the side in the bottom of the ninth for the save after he fanned for the last out in the top of the frame with the bases loaded. Jayson Werth struck out to end the game.
Scherzer took the loss, giving up four runs and five hits in six innings with five strikeouts before he was lifted for pinch-hitter Wilmer Difo in the sixth after tossing 91 pitches. Sammy Solis pitched a scoreless seventh and eighth for Washington, and closer Mark Melancon pitched the ninth.
Anthony Rendon and Ryan Zimmerman each had two hits for the Nationals, who lost five of six games to the Dodgers during the regular season. Turner and Yasmani Grandal had two hits apiece for the Dodgers.
Washington’s Trea Turner had a sacrifice fly to drive in fellow rookie Pedro Severino, who had doubled, to cut the Dodgers lead to 4-3 in the fourth.
The Nationals broke through against Kershaw in the third as Rendon had a two-run, two-out single to left to trim the margin to 4-2.
The Dodgers scored three runs in the third to make it 4-0.
Chase Utley had an RBI single and Turner lofted a two-run homer into the Dodgers bullpen in left that barely eluded the jump of right fielder Werth. The hit by Utley scored Andrew Toles, who led off with a single and took second on a sacrifice bunt by Kershaw.
Seager, the likely NL Rookie of the Year, gave the Dodgers a 1-0 lead with a solo homer with one out in the first off Scherzer, who gave up 31 homers during the season.
Scherzer did not face Los Angeles during the 2016 regular season. Kershaw was 12-4 with a 1.69 ERA this year after spending time on the disabled list in July and August with a mild herniated disc in his lower back. He entered the game 2-6 with a 4.59 ERA in the postseason.
(Editing by Andrew Both)