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CJ Abrams' Leadoff Homer Lifts Nationals Over Dodgers 2-0
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By Associated Press
Published 1 month ago on
April 18, 2024

CJ Abrams homered in the first at-bat of the game and the Washington Nationals beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 2-0 on Wednesday to take the series. (GV Wire Composite/Paul Marshall)

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CJ Abrams’ Opening Performance

Los Angeles – CJ Abrams homered in the first at-bat of the game and the Washington Nationals beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 2-0 on Wednesday to take the series.

Nationals starter Jake Irvin (1-1) threw six scoreless innings to get his first win of the season and gave up just four hits. Irvin was efficient and dominant all afternoon.

“He’s been unbelievable,” Washington manager Dave Martinez said. “He’s been outstanding, actually. He keeps getting better and better. The confidence is growing, so he gives us the innings we need. We had a big conversation after the sixth inning. I felt he’d let the air out there that last inning and we talked a little bit. We had a fresh bullpen so we decided to go with the bullpen. I can’t say enough about what he’s done so far.”

Landon Knack (0-1) made his major league debut for the Dodgers.

Up Next

Washington LHP Mackenzie Gore (2-0, 0.00 ERA) faces Houston’s Justin Verlander, who makes his first start of the season, in Washington on Friday. Gore has 23 strikeouts in 22 1/3 innings this season. Los Angeles RHP Yoshinobu Yamamoto (1-1, 4.50) makes the start Friday against the New York Mets. Yamamoto has 21 strikeouts this season.

First Inning Highlights

Abrams smacked his second pitch of the game to right centerfield for his third career leadoff home run. Joey Menses hit a sacrifice fly to center to score a run for a 2-0 lead also in the first. Those were the only runs of the game.

Knack settled down after that first inning and retired the next 12 batters.

“Started off and had a little bit of nerves going,” Knack said. “I was excited and then back end of the inning started to calm down and after we got through the first inning started to do things as normal.”

He allowed those two earned runs on four hits, struck out four and walked one.

After a five-hit game the day before, Mookie Betts was 0-for-4. Shohei Ohtani was 3-for-4 with three singles.

“Shohei was fantastic. I thought he did a great job,” manager Dave Roberts said. “He saw some good arms today. I thought he did a great job controlling the strike zone. When he got a pitch in the strike zone, he hit it hard. If he can continue to do that, as good as he is, I think that he can be even better.”

Kyle Finnegan earned his seventh save of the season by retiring the side in the ninth.

But Irvin’s fastball stole the show Wednesday.

“That was the goal today, compete over the plate,” Irvin said. “I can’t create swing and miss, it just happens. Do my job, compete over the plate and let the rest work out.”

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