LOS ANGELES (AP) Although Bobby Miller had already pitched at Dodger Stadium during preseason exhibitions, the right-hander with the 100-mph fastball still got a special thrill out of his first official game on that famous mound.
And even in their first game back home after a taxing road trip, the bleary-eyed Dodgers provided more than enough support for their latest promising rookie arm.
J.D. Martinez hit a three-run homer and Freddie Freeman had a two-run double during the Dodgers’ six-run fifth inning, and Los Angeles rolled to a 6-1 victory over the Washington Nationals on Monday night.
Miller (2-0) yielded four hits and a run over six innings in his second consecutive victory to begin his career with the NL West-leading Dodgers, who have won 12 of 13 at home since late April.
Miller provided some much-needed rest for the Dodgers’ overtaxed bullpen with another strong start for a team missing three top starters due to injuries. He struck out four and retired 12 of his final 14 batters after Washington scored its only run in the second.
“I was totally locked in,” said Miller, who won his major league debut in Atlanta last week. “It was a dream come true to be out there, honestly. I knew the team was going to have my back. They’ve been swinging the bat well.”
Although Miller’s long-term future in the rotation currently depends on the health of his fellow pitchers, he’s making a case to stay. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said Miller will make at least one more start Sunday at home against the Yankees.
Roberts said he was impressed by Miller’s “ability to harness the emotions. I'm sure there's a lot going on in there as far as adrenaline, but (to) not try to overthrow in certain moments when there's been a little bit of stress, he's been able to manage it and make pitches."
Even after a Sunday that included an 11-10 loss at Tampa Bay followed by a 5 1/2-hour flight home, the Dodgers bounced back from their mediocre 10-game road trip and posted another lopsided win with Miller's steadiness and one big inning from the offense.
“These are the games that you talk about in spring training as a grind game,” Freeman said. “I think a lot of us, our minds were telling us to do things, and our bodies weren't cooperating.”
Freeman extended his hitting streak to 18 games and continued his scorching performance in May. He has 40 hits this month, and his 17 doubles set a Dodgers franchise record for a single month, surpassing Babe Herman's mark from 1930.
Nats starter Trevor Williams (2-3) was sharp until the fifth, when he allowed six unearned runs. He gave up four hits, two walks and James Outman's RBI flyout in the inning while the Dodgers batted around in a rally made possible by shortstop CJ Abrams' early error.
Lane Thomas extended his on-base streak to a career-best 25 games and his hitting streak to a career-best 14 games with an eighth-inning single for the Nationals, who have lost 11 of 14 to the Dodgers over the past three seasons.
Joey Meneses singled in the second and eventually scored on Abrams' two-out single for Washington, but right fielder Jason Heyward threw out Corey Dickerson when he tried to follow Meneses home.
After managing just two hits in the first four innings, Los Angeles tied it in the fifth when Heyward drew a leadoff walk and advanced on Abrams' error on Miguel Vargas' probable double-play grounder.
Freeman later delivered a two-out double down the right field line to score Mookie Betts and Chris Taylor before Martinez bashed his 11th homer of the season.
Dodgers: 3B Max Muncy sat out after leaving Sunday's loss with a left hamstring strain. Manager Dave Roberts says the team doesn't think it's a major injury, and Muncy didn't undergo an MRI exam.
Nationals: LHP Sean Doolittle will pitch again for High-A Wilmington on Tuesday in his continuing rehab from a left elbow injury. ... CF Victor Robles is doing running and agility drills. He has been out for three weeks with back pain.
Tony Gonsolin (2-1, 1.82 ERA) takes the mound for Los Angeles against Washington's Jake Irvin (1-2, 5.32).
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