LOS ANGELES -- Needing a victory to keep their pennant hopes alive, the Dodgers downed the Nationals, 6-5, in Game 4 of the National League Division Series on Tuesday at Dodger Stadium. An eventful third inning in which they took a 4-2 lead helped set the stage for the win. Game 5 will be played on Thursday at Nationals Park (8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT, FS1).
It was starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw, of all people, who sparked the rally with a leadoff double, becoming the third pitcher in Major League history to record a hit in four consecutive postseasons. Kershaw also became the first Dodgers pitcher with an extra-base hit in the postseason since Orel Hershiser in the 1988 World Series.
But Kershaw was seeking more than trivia when he hustled around to score on Justin Turner's RBI single, which dunked between center fielder Trea Turner -- a natural shortstop who appeared to hesitate on the play -- and Jayson Werth.
That's when Nationals starter Joe Ross lost both his control on the mound and his grip on the game. Ross walked Adrian Gonzalez and Josh Reddick to load the bases, before hitting Joc Pederson with a pitch to force in a run.
It was Ross' final act of the afternoon; he gave way at that point to reliever Oliver Perez, who escaped the inning. The damage actually could have been worse for the Nationals. Prior to his hit-by-pitch, Pederson twice threatened a grand slam, whacking a pair of foul balls down the right-field line that Statcast™ projected to land a combined 733 feet from home.
Anthony DiComo has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.