Baltimore Sun

Dodgers chase Corbin in first inning, rout Nats

- By Jesse Dougherty

LOS ANGELES — Deep in the right-center field gap Wednesday, Juan Soto dropped his head, put his hands on his knees and looked away from the mess unfolding at Dodger

Stadium. In the infield, Patrick Corbin was walking to the dugout, thinking he had escaped an already brutal first inning, before he saw a routine pop-up land between Soto and Victor Robles.

Corbin slumped his shoulders. He bowed his head. At that moment, could you blame him or anyone else in a Washington Nationals uniform for doing so?

After rushing to the ball, Robles chucked it to second baseman César Hernández, who was late to realize Austin Barnes had rounded third and threw well wide of home plate. The box score considered this an RBI double for Gavin Lux in a 7-1 win for the Los Angeles Dodgers. It looked a lot more like a disaster.

“I mean, those plays happen. It’s part of the game,” said Corbin, who failed to complete the first inning for the first time in 250 career major league starts. “They’re out there trying their best, trying to make plays behind me. At the end of the day, I got to be better, make better pitches.”

The Nationals (34-66) entered with a chance for their first sweep of the season — and their first sweep of the Dodgers at Chavez Ravine. Instead, the Dodgers had six runs on seven hits before Corbin was hooked for Erasmo Ramírez with two outs. Lux’s double brought home the final run of the rally. Los Angeles otherwiseu­sedtwodoub­les,threesingl­esand a walk to chase Corbin after 45 pitches.

The lefty wasn’t helped by his defense — or plate umpire Edwin Moscoso as the inning extended when Will Smith walked on a borderline 3-2 sinker. But the lefty also did little to help his own cause. Too often this season, a missed call or error has ballooned into loads of damage. Corbin has a 6.49 ERA in 21 starts — up from 6.02 before he threw a pitch Wednesday — and has yielded the most earned runs (76) and hits (149) in the majors.

The next closest in earned runs is Colorado Rockies starter Germán Márquez at 64. The next closest in hits is Baltimore Orioles starter Jordan Lyles at 127.

“He faced 10 hitters, he was behind five of them, and then the guys he got ahead of he just couldn’t put them away,” Manager Dave Martinez said. “That was the big deal right there. He had a lot of pitches, so we had to go get him.”

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