Matt Kemp had a pinch-hit, two-run double in the ninth inning, and the Los Angeles Dodgers survived a sterling performance by Max Scherzer to beat the Washington Nationals 5-4 on Saturday night and sweep a day-night doubleheader.
Scherzer struck out 13 in seven innings, and Washington led 4-3 entering the ninth. But closer Sean Doolittle (1-2) allowed singles to Austin Barnes and Logan Forsythe, and Kemp then hit a line drive to the wall in left field to score them both.
Erik Goeddel (3-0) worked a scoreless eighth in his Dodgers debut. He was acquired off waivers on Friday from the Seattle Mariners, for whom he was 2-0 in five appearances. Kenley Jansen worked the ninth for his eighth save in 10 opportunities and his second on the day.
The Dodgers used eight pitchers. Starter Rich Hill threw just two pitches before leaving with a recurrence of the blister on his left middle finger that has already put him on the disabled list twice this season.
In the first game, Ross Stripling struck out a career-high nine in six strong innings and Max Muncy drove in two runs as the Dodgers won 4-1. The Nationals lost left fielder Howie Kendrick to a right Achilles tendon injury in the eighth inning of the opener.
Scherzer became the fastest pitcher in major league history to amass 100 strikeouts in a season, reaching the milestone in 63 innings. He has fanned 104 batters total and struck out 10 or more batters for the seventh time in 10 starts. He has allowed two or fewer runs in 13 consecutive starts, tying a franchise record set by Pedro Martinez when the team played in Montreal.
Washington didn’t have a hit until the bottom of the sixth, when Trea Turner opened with a double off the wall in right-center — his only hit in nine at-bats on the day — to kick off a four-run rally.
Mark Reynolds had an RBI double and pinch-hitter Matt Adams smacked a two-run single before Scherzer squeezed a grounder up the middle to make it 4-2. He is hitting .292 with three RBIs.
Scherzer came back out for the seventh, and it was the only inning in which he didn’t strike out a batter. He induced a double-play grounder from Muncy on his 121st and final pitch.
Muncy drove in both of Los Angeles’ runs off Scherzer with a solo homer in the fifth and an RBI single in the first.
Cody Bellinger hit his seventh homer this season in the eighth, a blast to center off Sammy Solis that cut Washington’s lead to one run.
A PROPER DEBUT
Catcher Spencer Kieboom made his season debut and first major league start for Washington in the opener. He got his first career hit on the first pitch he saw. Kieboom’s only previous major league appearance was in the final game of the 2016 season, when he walked in his only plate appearance.
Nationals: The team did not detail the extent of Kendrick’s Achilles injury. Manager Dave Martinez said Kendrick would have an MRI, and the veteran was in uniform in the dugout during the nightcap, wearing a protective boot on his right foot. … OF Rafael Bautista, who appeared in nine games for Washington this season, suffered a serious left knee injury during a collision in the outfield while playing for Triple-A Syracuse on Wednesday night, Martinez said. Bautista will have surgery and miss the rest of the season. … IF Adrian Sanchez was brought up from Syracuse to be the 26th man for the second game.
Dodgers: LHP Clayton Kershaw (left bicep tendinitis) will be back “in the near term,” Roberts said. Stripling said the Dodgers’ ace, whose spot in the rotation he has been occupying, was “set to throw a bullpen here pretty soon.” … LHP Tony Cingriani (left shoulder inflammation) was activated from the 10-day disabled list, and LHP Adam Liberatore was optioned to Triple-A Oklahoma City. … Goeddel joined the Dodgers for the second game, and ambidextrous pitcher Pat Venditte was optioned to Oklahoma City. … RHP Yimi Garcia was the 26th man for the second game. He pitched 1 1/3 innings, allowing one run.
Stephen Strasburg (5-3, 3.28 ERA), winner of his last three starts, pitches for the Nationals in the series finale against the Dodgers’ Alex Wood (0-4, 3.35), who has given up one earned run in each of his past three starts, getting two no-decisions and a loss.
More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball
Follow Ben Nuckols on Twitter at https://twitter.com/APBenNuckols