Baseball Nationals rip Dodgers to grab MLB playoff series edge

Washington on Monday seized a 2-1 lead in the best-of-five series with the Dodgers hosting game four Tuesday.

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Brandon Crawford of the San Francisco Giants celebrates as he heads home to score the game winning run in the 13th inning against the Chicago Cubs on October 10, 2016 in San Francisco, California play

Brandon Crawford of the San Francisco Giants celebrates as he heads home to score the game winning run in the 13th inning against the Chicago Cubs on October 10, 2016 in San Francisco, California

(Getty/AFP)
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Jayson Werth smashed a home run and hit a run-scoring double to power Washington over Los Angeles 8-3, lifting the Nationals to the brink of winning their Major League Baseball playoff series.

Washington on Monday seized a 2-1 lead in the best-of-five series with the Dodgers hosting game four Tuesday.

The winner will face either San Francisco or the Chicago Cubs in the National League championship series to decide a spot in the World series.

"We're a resilient club," Werth said. "We're one of the game's best teams the past few years. I like our chances."

Los Angeles pulled within 4-3 in the fifth when pinch-hitter Carlos Ruiz blasted a two-run homer to left field, prompting the Nationals to pull starting pitcher Gio Gonzalez.

But four Washington relievers allowed only two hits and no runs over the final 4 2/3 innings.

"Those guys have been huge all year," Werth said. "You've got to have a good bullpen to win and I believe we've got a good bullpen."

Coco Crisp of the Cleveland Indians celebrates with teammate Roberto Perez after hitting a two-run home run in the sixth inning against the Boston Red Sox, during game three of their American League Divison Series, in Boston, on October 10, 2016 play

Coco Crisp of the Cleveland Indians celebrates with teammate Roberto Perez after hitting a two-run home run in the sixth inning against the Boston Red Sox, during game three of their American League Divison Series, in Boston, on October 10, 2016

(Getty/AFP)

The Dodgers inserted ace relief pitcher Kenley Jansen to open the ninth inning and he promptly surrendered the solo homer to Werth, stretching Washington's lead to 5-3 to launch the Nationals' four-run final inning.

"He's one of the game's elite closers. It's slim pickings getting hits off him," Werth said. "But I've always thought I was able to see his pitches well."

Jansen then walked Daniel Murphy and hit Bryce Harper with a pitch to put two runners on base.

Ryan Zimmerman followed with a long double to right field that plated two more runs for a 7-3 Washington lead. Zimmerman scored on a Chris Heisey sacrifice fly to create the final margin.

While the Cubs have drawn much attention in their quest to capture their first World Series crown since 1908, no Washington team has won a World Series title since 1924 or even reached the World Series since 1933. The current club has never reached the Fall Classic since being founded in 1969 as the Montreal Expos.

The Dodgers opened the scoring in the first inning when Justin Turner walked and scored when Corey Seager followed with a double to deep right field.

Washington answered with four runs in the third inning. Trea Turner hit a leadoff single and scored when Werth, who went 3-for-4 on the day, doubled to deep right field and took third on a fielder's choice.

Harper singled to score Werth from third and Anthony Rendon followed with a two-run homer to left field to give the Nationals a 4-1 edge.

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