Nationals defeat Dodgers 5-3 in completion of suspended game

WASHINGTON (AP) Having already used a chunk of his bullpen during a game that spanned two days, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly passed on setting up a lefty vs. lefty matchup in the late innings.

The Washington Nationals took advantage.

Pinch-hitter Matt den Dekker lined a two-run, tiebreaking homer in the eighth that lifted the Nationals over Los Angeles 5-3 on Saturday, completing a game suspended a day earlier after the fifth because of a lighting malfunction.

The game was delayed three times Friday night by a bank of lights on the third-base side that kept going out, and finally stopped with Washington ahead 3-2. The Nationals said Saturday that a faulty circuit breaker caused the outage.

The NL division leaders were set to play their scheduled game later Saturday afternoon.

When the suspended game resumed, Adrian Gonzalez hit his second homer of the game, a tying shot in the Dodgers sixth.

Den Dekker's two-out drive into the second deck came against right-hander Pedro Baez (2-2).

''I'm not really concerned at that point,'' Mattingly said about using Baez against the lefty-swinging den Dekker. ''Obviously, maybe I should have been.''

In the seventh, second baseman Howie Kendrick lost track of Yunel Escobar's high popup in the sun, leading to a one-out double. Though Los Angeles didn't allow a run in the inning, Washington loaded the bases and Mattingly eventually used three relievers to record three outs, including left-hander J.P. Howell. Those moves limited the manager's options in the eighth.

''The popup really cost us two guys,'' Mattingly said. ''We're in a situation with a tie game. I don't have the liberty of just matching up with everybody.''

Den Dekker hit his second homer of the season and the first of his career as a pinch hitter.

''First-pitch fastball,'' he said. ''I was just ready to be aggressive early. Coming off the bench you've got to be in there and ready to go, so that's what I did.''

Escobar homered and doubled twice for Washington.

Casey Janssen (1-2) pitched one inning. Drew Storen picked up his 28th save after allowing the first two batters to reach base in the ninth.

Gonzalez, the second batter after play resumed, made it 3-all when he connected against Tanner Roark pitch for his 20th home run of the season. Seven of Gonzalez's nine hits over his last 10 games have been home runs.

The first stoppage occurred in the fourth inning Friday night and lasted 1 hour, 22 minutes. Los Angeles led 2-1 in the middle of the fifth when there was a second delay for 40 minutes.

Once the lights went back on, Roark doubled and Escobar homered off Chin-Hui Tsao for a 3-2 lead.

After the half inning ended, the Nationals were in the field, poised to start the sixth when the same bank of lights went out.

Washington starter Jordan Zimmermann allowed two runs and three hits in four innings. Roark pitched the fifth Friday night, and took the mound when play resumed Saturday.

Mike Bolsinger of the Dodgers gave up a run on two hits before leaving for a pinch-hitter in the fifth.

Washington used an RBI groundout by Bryce Harper to go up 1-0 in the third. Gonzalez answered in the fourth with a shot into the seats in right field after Zimmermann hit Justin Turner with a pitch.

NEW GUY

Following the first game, the Dodgers added RHP Zach Lee as their 26th man for the second game. Lee went 6-3 with a 2.34 ERA at Triple A Oklahoma City.

ON DECK

Dodgers: Clayton Kershaw (6-6, 2.85 ERA) starts Saturday's scheduled game. He's 7-2 lifetime against the Nationals and unbeaten in five starts since Aug. 6, 2010.

Nationals: Doug Fister (3-4, 4.08 ERA) makes his 12th start of the season, only the eighth against a team other than Atlanta. Washington is 4-7 in his 11 outings.

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide—from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Andy Staples, Grant Wahl, and more—delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.