WASHINGTON — A steady rain fell during Monday’s game at Nationals Park. For most of the night, though, Tyler Anderson wasn’t on the mound long enough to get wet.
Anderson breezed through the rebuilding Washington Nationals’ stripped-down lineup, taking a perfect game into the sixth inning and completing eight scoreless innings as the Dodgers pounded the Nats, 10-1.
The win was the Dodgers’ eighth in their past nine games – and one of the easiest.
Anderson retired the first 16 batters in order, needing just 50 pitches to get through five innings – including seven each in the fourth and fifth innings.
His bid for perfection ended with one out in the sixth inning when Nationals second baseman Cesar Hernandez lined a double into the left-center field gap. Alcides Escobar followed with a single but Anderson got Lane Thomas to bounce into an inning-ending double play.
Anderson was exposed to the elements longer in the seventh inning, allowing three singles to load the bases with two outs. Freddie Freeman ran down a blooper over his head to keep the Nationals scoreless.
The left-hander struck out the side in the eighth, running his total for the night to eight strikeouts without a walk. It was his longest outing since his only career complete game in August 2020 for the Giants against the Diamondbacks.
While Anderson was cruising through a Nationals lineup featuring Juan Soto, veteran DH Nelson Cruz and an assortment of prospects and filler, the Dodgers’ hitters were romping around Nationals Park as freely as a bunch of big-headed presidents.
Everyone in the Dodgers’ starting lineup had at least one hit except DH Edwin Rios. Mookie Betts, Freeman and Gavin Lux had multi-hit games. Betts, Freeman and Trea Turner – the top third of the Dodgers’ lineup – combined for six hits and drove in seven runs (and Turner was pulled in the sixth inning). Lux was on base three times (a walk and two singles) and scored all three times.
Betts led off the game with a single – the first of the Dodgers’ 12 hits. Freeman followed with a double – the first of his two doubles in the game, tying him for the MLB lead with 16. Turner grounded out to drive in Betts.
It was the 11th consecutive game Betts has scored a run, one short of the L.A. Dodgers record (Rafael Furcal) and two short of the franchise record (Zack Wheat). Betts scored again later in the game and leads the majors with 42 runs.
Will Smith added an RBI single with two outs in the first.
In the fourth, Chris Taylor doubled in one run and Betts drove in two with what was charitably scored a double. Soto lost Betts’ fly ball in the dusky sky. After breaking back in right field, Soto raced back in. The ball bounced off his glove as he went to the grass.
A more legitimate double by Cody Bellinger drove in another run in the fifth and the Dodgers piled on three more runs in the sixth with Freeman’s second double and a two-run single by Turner that extended his latest hitting streak to 15 games.
The Nationals avoided being shut out with one out left. Nelson Cruz doubled off Dodgers reliever Phil Bickford with two outs in the ninth and scored on a single by Josh Bell.
More to come on this story.