LOS ANGELES—Yasiel Puig was wearing his “Make Baseball Fun Again” cap after last night’s game.
Did he ever.
In a wild finish, Puig raced home for the winning run on his own single after centre-fielder Michael Taylor let the ball skip by him for a three-base error as the L.A. Dodgers rallied to beat the Washington Nationals 4-3.
Puig broke into a sprint at first base after Taylor overran the rolling single to left-centre. Howie Kendrick scored easily from first base while Puig dove home even though there was no throw to beat.
The Dodgers now have won six-straight—five in comeback fashion—and completed a sweep of the NL East-leading Nationals.
This was just the second game back for Puig, who had been on the disabled list with an injured hamstring.
He blew through a stop sign from third base coach Chris Woodward to get home.
Asked what told him to go for home, Puig replied: “I was listening to my hamstring.”
Taylor also was 0-for-5 with five strikeouts from the lead-off spot.
“Very shocking,” Taylor said. “It’s a groundball.
“I’ve got to make that play,” he stressed.
“You have to catch it first,” said Nationals’ manager Dusty Baker.
“He [Taylor] came in aggressively. That’s not the issue,” Baker added. “You have to come in aggressively if you’re going to try to cut that run off . . . from going to third.
“That was the tying run. That’s what Michael was trying to do.
“It was a tough day for Michael, period,” noted Baker. “It was one of the toughest days that he’ll remember, probably the rest of his career.”
Wilson Ramos hit a solo homer in the eighth off hard-throwing Pedro Baez to give Washington a 3-2 lead, but that was before Puig’s heroics.
Puig, though sometimes mistake-prone, always is worth watching, and that showed yesterday.
He was pumping his arms en route to first base—celebrating his single—before Taylor’s whiff. His dive home seemed to start from the parking lot, and he said he did it to protect his hamstring.
“I had to throw myself like I was at the beach,” Puig laughed.
Puig’s dash capped a game that began with a fantastic pitching duel between youngsters Joe Ross and Julio Urias.
Ross allowed just two runs over 6 1/3 innings while striking out five and walking one.
The 19-year-old Urias, meanwhile, continued to impress for the Dodgers.
The Mexican left-hander struck out six in five innings while allowing two runs on six hits.
He left with the game tied at 2-2 and didn’t get a decision. He has yet to get his first major-league win.
“I feel more confident now and every time they let me know I’m in the rotation, I feel a little more confident,” Urias said.
“I’ll continue to work.”
Elsewhere in the NL, Miami blanked Atlanta 3-0, St. Louis dumped Chicago 7-2, and San Francisco topped Pittsburgh 7-6.
Over in the AL, Chicago topped Boston 8-6, Cleveland beat Tampa Bay 6-1, Houston edged L.A. 3-2, and Detroit downed Seattle 5-1.