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By Jon Weisman
So, you’re about to hit publish on a story that says the Dodgers’ eighth-inning magic has disappeared. And then, at the last moment, you look up — and in comes the magic, nearly past deadline but better late than never for Los Angeles.
With the Dodgers trailing by a run and two outs remaining, pinch-hitter Howie Kendrick reached first on a single. Yasiel Puig came up and lined a single to left field that — absolutely stunningly — went past Washington center fielder Michael Taylor, for a two-run Little League home run that gave the Dodgers a 4-3 victory over the Nationals.
Technically, it was a single plus a three-base error — plus that irresistible dash of Puig — that extended the Dodgers’ winning streak to six games.
It’s the fourth time the Dodgers have come from behind in the eighth inning or later during the streak. And it was the fourth completely bizarre play to take place at Dodger Stadium tonight.
Washington had taken the lead an inning earlier — but first, some context.
In the top of the eighth Tuesday, in pursuit of the Nationals’ third run of the game, catcher Wilson Ramos was thrown out at home by the Dodger left fielder.
In the top of the eighth inning tonight, in pursuit of the Nationals’ third run of the game, Ramos made it much easier on himself, launching a 421-foot homer over the Dodger left fielder and taking his time to circle the bases.
That shot broke a 2-2 tie that had lingered since the third inning and put the Dodgers in jeopardy, until Kendrick and Puig turned things around with the help of Taylor, whose night was a complete nightmare. In the top of the ninth, Taylor became the sixth player ever to earn a platinum sombrero against the Dodgers by striking out five times in a game.