Dodgers shortstop Trea Turner has enjoyed his first trip back to Washington to face the team that sent him to Los Angeles at the trade deadline last season.
Turner, who played an integral role in the Nationals’ run to a World Series title in 2019, has gone 2-for-8 with five RBIs in the three-game series that concludes Wednesday.
Turner, who went 1-for-4 with a two-run home run and a walk in the Dodgers’9-4 win on Tuesday, will look to lead his team to a sweep of the reeling Nationals. He is riding a 16-game hitting streak.
The Dodgers will turn to left-hander Julio Urias (3-3, 2.63 ERA), who has gone 2-0 with a 2.66 ERA with 17 strikeouts and four walks in five career appearances (four starts) spanning 23 2/3 innings against the Nationals.
Washington, which has lost nine of its past 12 games, will counter with Erick Fedde (2-3, 4.08 ERA). The right-hander allowed two runs on four hits with four strikeouts and three walks over 5 2/3 innings in a 7-0 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers on Friday. He has faced the Dodgers only as a reliever, pitching a scoreless frame in 2019.
Urias is 2-0 with a 2.66 ERA in five career games (four starts) vs. the Nationals.
While the Dodgers have won nine of their past 10 games, the Nationals have gone 5-14 since they last won consecutive games, May 1 and 3.
The Nationals dealt Turner and three-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer to the Dodgers for four prospects on July 30, when Washington was 47-55 and eight games out of first place in the National League East.
The Dodgers, who won the World Series in 2020, were bolstered by the addition of Scherzer and Turner. They advanced to the National League Championship Series before falling to the eventual World Series champion Atlanta Braves in six games.
“A lot of guys thought they were going to be traded,” Turner, who spent 6 1/2 years as a National, said. “Max had to waive his no-trade clause, and some of the relievers … they were on one-year deals. But I didn’t necessarily know I was going to get traded until … the week of it. So I think it just caught me a little off guard.
“I don’t think it was a bad thing, by any means. I think I’m in a really good spot on a really good team with a chance to win a World Series.”
The Dodgers enter Wednesday’s game 29-13, while the Nationals are 14-30 and at the bottom of the National League East again — they finished in last place and 23 1/2 games out of first in the division last year.
Two of the prospects the Nationals got in the trade, catcher Keibert Ruiz and right-hander Josiah Gray, were in the lineup on Tuesday.
Ruiz went 2-for-5 with a run to raise his average to .283. Gray allowed seven runs on five hits, including three homers, in just three innings, dropping his record to 4-4 with a 5.44 ERA.
“When we traded all those guys, we made an organizational decision that we were going to get super young and we were going to transition to something different,” Nationals manager Dave Martinez said. “It’s part of the game.”
–Field Level Media