The Washington Nationals evened up their MLB playoff against the Los Angeles Dodgers with a 5-2 victory in the capital on Sunday.
Jose Lobaton, the catcher standing in for the stricken Wilson Ramos, hit a three-run homer to help his side to the win in the National League Division Series following the frustrations of a rain delay.
Blake Treinen earned the win for Washington, Mark Melancon was credited with the save, and Rich Hill took the loss for Los Angeles.
LOBATON STEPS UP, MURPHY THE MAN FOR THE MOMENT
With a three-run homer against Rich Hill in the fourth inning that put the Nationals ahead 3-2, Lobaton made Washington fans miss catcher Wilson Ramos a little bit less. Ramos' All-Star season was cut short when he suffered a season-ending cruciate ligament injury on September 26. Lobaton hit just three home runs during the season with a .232/.319/.374 slash line, but on Sunday, he stepped up in a major way.
Murphy's postseason heroics last term -- when he tallied 19 hits, seven homers and a .328/.391/.724 slash with the New York Mets -- were no fluke, evidently. Murphy delivered when it mattered most again Sunday, widening Washington's lead to 4-2 with a single in the fifth that scored Trea Turner and to 5-2 with a base hit in the seventh that got home Jayson Werth.
Nationals starter Tanner Roark struggled with his control early, nearly hitting Corey Seager's head before serving up a one-run homer to the rookie shortstop in the first inning, and was vulnerable throughout his appearance, giving up seven hits in 4 1/3 innings. A Josh Reddick single scored Justin Turner to put the Dodgers up 2-0 in the third, but L.A. let far too many opportunities slip away. Three innings ended with the bases loaded, and the Dodgers left 12 base runners stranded though nine innings.
TAKE A BOW, LOBATON
Lobaton becomes just the second catcher to hit a postseason home run in Expos/Nationals franchise history, after Gary Carter.
RED SOX LOOK FOR SALVATION
The Boston Red Sox will face the Cleveland Indians on Monday - 24 hours late, as a result of a rain delay - knowing that only a win will keep their campaign alive. The Toronto Blue Jays are a win away from progressing past the Texas Rangers.