Albert Pujols hit a go-ahead single as a pinch-hitter in the seventh inning, and the Los Angeles Dodgers completed a seven-game season sweep.
The Nationals trailed by a run with two outs in the seventh before Brad Hand came from the bullpen. Hand gave up an RBI double to Max Muncy and the lead continued to grow from there.
“Playing some of these really good teams with some of these really good hitters, we’re going to have to be a little bit more creative,” Martinez said of tapping the left-handed Hand to match up with Muncy, a left-handed hitter. “We talked about that, and those guys are on board.”
Washington has lost four in a row. They were without slugger Kyle Schwarber due to a strained right hamstring strain. Trea Turner has not played since jamming his left middle finger on Wednesday. Yan Gomes did not play after being hit by a pitch Saturday night. They’ve been incredibly shorthanded.
The Nationals also stranded seven runners against seven Dodgers relievers.
“It was a tough weekend. We’ve just got to keep playing, keep our heads up,” Washington manager Dave Martinez said.
Joe Ross threw his fastest pitch since the 2016 NL Division Series, a year before Tommy John surgery. He allowed three runs and seven hits in 6 2/3 innings with no walks and 11 strikeouts, his most since 2017.
LHP Jon Lester is scheduled to start Monday’s series opener in San Diego.