(The Sports Xchange) – Chase Utley’s RBI single with two outs in the eighth inning lifted the Los Angeles Dodgers to a 6-5 victory over the Washington Nationals on Tuesday at Dodger Stadium, leveling the National League Division Series at 2-2.
Utley singled off reliever Blake Treinen (1-1), allowing the Dodgers to force a decisive Game Five in Washington on Thursday.
Daniel Murphy went 2-for-3 and had four RBIs for the Nationals, who rallied from a three-run deficit to tie the score in the seventh before Utley drove home Andrew Toles.
Dodgers reliever Joe Blanton (1-0) struck out two in a scoreless 1-1/3 innings for the win. Closer Kenley Jansen also fanned two for the save.
Los Angeles held a 5-2 lead in the seventh when the Nationals loaded the bases with singles by Danny Espinosa and Trea Turner and a walk to Bryce Harper off Clayton Kershaw.
Manager Dave Roberts replaced Kershaw with Pedro Baez, who promptly hit Jayson Werth with his first pitch, cutting the Dodgers’ margin to two runs before Murphy followed with a two-run single off Luis Avila.
Kershaw, who worked on three days’ rest, struck out 11 but was charged with five runs on seven hits in 6-2/3 innings.
He threw 110 pitches (76 strikes), the most he delivered since returning on Sept. 9 from a herniated disc in his back.
Washington starter Joe Ross, making his post-season debut, lasted just 2-2/3 innings, surrendering four runs on three hits with three strikeouts and two walks. Ross also hit two batters.
The Nationals took a 1-0 lead in the first on Murphy’s RBI single with one out before Adrian Gonzalez hit a two-run blast to right-center in the bottom of the innings for a 2-1 Los Angeles edge.
Murphy tied the score at 2-2 with a sacrifice fly in the third before Los Angeles grabbed the lead again in the bottom of the third when Justin Turner’s single scored Kershaw, who led off the inning with a double.
Then, with the bases loaded, Ross hit Joc Pederson on a full count to score Turner for a 4-2 advantage.
In the fifth, Pederson lined a double to left off reliever Reynaldo Lopez, scoring Josh Reddick to increase the margin to 5-2.