Dodgers wait out another rain delay to beat Nationals

WASHINGTON – The Dodgers are scheduled to return to Nationals Park for a series next April. Maybe by then they can build a roof over the place.

As much of a daily tradition as the Racing Presidents, the Dodgers and Washington Nationals sat through a rain delay for the third consecutive day Sunday. This time they got into the top of the fifth inning and played through the beginnings of a downpour in search of the magical five innings needed to get the official game stamp before the tarp was brought out.

After a 58-minute delay, the Dodgers went back to beating the Nationals, raining 14 hits on the Nats pitchers in a 7-3 win played under mostly sunny skies after the storm passed.

The win (and a Diamondbacks loss) trimmed the Dodgers’ magic number to clinch another NL West division title to seven.

In three days at Nationals Park, the two teams — and a limited number of fans who must have gone home smelling like wet dogs — endured 6 hours and 42 minutes of rain delays.

Unable to dodge the raindrops, the Dodgers will have to try and continue dodging injuries as they run out the clock on another division title.

Mookie Betts returned to the lineup Sunday, having tested his bruised left foot Saturday and pronounced himself ready to play sooner than anticipated.

But David Peralta had a rough time in the second inning. Peralta stepped away after appearing to hurt his right wrist on a swing. The Dodgers’ trainer came out and checked on Peralta who eventually stepped back in the batter’s box – and was immediately drilled in the left elbow by a pitch. Peralta left the game with a bruised elbow.

In the brief window between rainstorms (batting practice was also canceled due to a morning shower), the Dodgers built a 4-0 lead with two runs in each of the first two innings.

Jason Heyward drove in the first two runs with a two-out single in the first inning. It was the first of two hits in the game for Heyward who is 16 for 35 with nine RBIs over his past 12 games.

James Outman led off the second inning with his 19th home run of the season. Two singles and a walk loaded the bases for Peralta who earned a painful RBI when he was hit by that pitch.

Dodgers starter Ryan Yarbrough gave two of the runs back in the bottom of the fourth, pitching in a steady rain.

When play resumed, the Dodgers pulled away. Miguel Rojas drove in a run with one of his four singles. Freddie Freeman reached base three times on a pair of singles and a walk, running his hit total for the season to 190 (closing in on the first 200-hit season of his career).

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