LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Los Angeles Dodgers fought back time and time again on Wednesday.
In the end, they couldn’t overcome Adam LaRoche and the Nationals.
LaRoche came off the bench in the ninth inning and drove in five runs, including a tying homer and a go-ahead grounder in the 14th that sent Washington to a wild 8-5 victory.
The Dodgers rallied from a 3-2 deficit in the ninth and then a 5-3 deficit in the 13th on Carl Crawford’s two-run homer, but ultimately came up short.
“I think this was a good game for us,” manager Don Mattingly said. “The positive side of this is that the effort and determination and perseverance from our guys is going to get us where we want to go. Our guys fought all day.”
LaRoche was scheduled to sit out with a strained lower back, but entered in the ninth as a pinch-hitter and made an immediate impact. All of his RBIs either tied the game or gave his team the lead.
LaRoche delivered a pinch-hit, two-run homer that tied it in the ninth and a go-ahead, two-run single in the 12th. Then he gave the Nationals the lead for good with a fielder’s choice grounder in the 14th after an error by shortstop Justin Turner. Ian Desmond scored on the play, and LaRoche beat the relay to first to avoid a potential inning-ending double play.
“We had to use Adam even though we didn’t want to,” Nationals manager Matt Williams said. “He was huge for us, especially hitting that two-run homer in the ninth to tie it.”
Asdrubal Cabrera added a two-run shot for the Nationals in a game that lasted 5 hours, 34 minutes — the longest at Dodger Stadium this season. Washington won two of three in the series, a potential playoff preview between NL division leaders.
Turner broke a scoreless tie with a two-run homer in the seventh.
Washington used 10 of the 18 pitchers who appeared in a game that featured three blown saves. Blake Treinen (2-3) tossed two scoreless innings for the win.
Kevin Correia (2-3) took the loss.
“It was fun to watch and just be a part of,” Treinen said. “I really just tried to go out there and execute. Nothing fancy.”
Los Angeles led 2-0 going into the ninth, when Washington tagged closer Kenley Jansen for four hits and three runs, including LaRoche’s tying homer and Denard Span’s go-ahead single with two outs.
“It was tough, but Kenley has done a great job for us all year,” Turner said. “We came back and scratched one out in the ninth and battled the whole game.”
A defensive mistake in the bottom half forced extra innings.
With two outs and a runner on first, Nationals closer Rafael Soriano got Turner to hit a fly to right for what appeared to be the third out. Instead, right fielder Jayson Werth dropped the ball in the right-field corner for an error, and a surprised Andre Ethier raced home from first to tie it at 3.
That’s how it stayed until the 12th. A walk by Anthony Rendon and singles by Werth and Bryce Harper loaded the bases with one out, and LaRoche lined a single into left field to put the Nationals back on top.
Again, the Dodgers rallied to tie it.
Tyler Clippard quickly retired the first two batters in the bottom of the 12th, but Juan Uribe singled and Crawford followed with a home run to left-center, whipping the remaining fans at Dodger Stadium into a frenzy.
Dodgers: Mattingly said it was “probably not very possible” that RHP Josh Beckett will pitch again this season. Beckett has been on the disabled list since Aug. 4 with a left hip impingement.
Mattingly added that LHP Paco Rodriguez threw a bullpen session with no complications and could begin throwing to hitters in the next few days. Rodriguez has been on the DL since Aug. 4 with a shoulder strain.
Los Angeles is off Thursday and begins a three-game home series against Arizona on Friday. RHP Dan Haren (11-10, 4.27) will start the opener.
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