Andre Ethier’s Blast the difference for the Dodgers

Andre Ethier continued his hot hitting over the last month in the first game back from the All-Star break with the go-ahead homer in the ninth to give the Los Angeles Dodgers a 3-2 win over the Washington Nationals to start the second half.
The homer was only Ethier’s sixth this season which is a drop in production from the last five seasons in which he averaged 21 round trips per year. Even without the power numbers, since June 6th Ethier has gone 41-for-125 (.328) raising his batting average 39 points.
Ethier wasn’t the only Dodger to continue what he had going before the break. Hanley Ramirez launched a two-run shot to deep right-center. Ramirez now has nine homers on the season with eight of those coming since June 19th in a stretch that he is 42-for-100 (.420) with 24 RBI.
Dodgers’ starter Ricky Nolasco walked the tightrope most of the night giving up eight hits and two walks in 5.1 innings of work. The first of two runs to come against Nolasco came from a wild pitch to score Bryce Harper.
Harper’s run wouldn’t have happened if the previous play had not resulted in a blown call. Yasiel Puig uncorked a throw that got to third on the fly and before Harper who had tagged up. The tag was applied before Harper reached the bag but that’s not how third base umpire Eric Cooper saw things.
The last batter of the game for Nolasco would be Ian Desmond who would deliver a run scoring single in the sixth inning. Desmond’s single was the third in the four batters Nolasco faced in the inning. The single also set the stage for Ethier’s homer in the ninth.
The Dodgers bullpen was once again on its game with 3.2 innings of scoreless relief. Kenley Jansen nailed down his tenth save to give the team its 18th win in the last 23 games.
WP: Ronald Belisario (4-5)
LP: Rafael Soriano (1-2)
S: Kenley Jansen (10)

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