With Clayton Kershaw on the mound Tuesday night, the Los Angeles Dodgers didn’t figure to need many runs. Given the recent struggles and inconsistency of their offense, that was a much-needed break.
However, through four innings the Dodgers were held scoreless while their ace pitched through and around the Washington Nationals lineup. Kershaw then took matters into his own hands in the bottom of the fifth.
He led off the inning with a single and surprisingly, aggressively and whichever other adjective would fit such a decision, went first to third on a Dee Gordon chopper up the middle. Gordon moved into second base on Bryce Harper’s throw to third and the Dodgers were threatening to take the lead.
Adrian Gonzalez, the Dodgers’ perennial RBI hitter, stepped to the plate with both runners in scoring position and one out. Doug Fister got ahead in the count, but Gonzalez hit a grounder into the 5/6 hole that Ian Desmond bobbled on the transfer from his glove to his throwing hand.
Kershaw scored easily and Gordon pressed the issue by rounding third and heading home. Desmond got control of the ball with plenty of time to nail Gordon at the plate, but his throw home sailed over Wilson Ramos’ head and the Dodgers took a 2-0 lead: