The Dodgers went into the All-Star break on a tear that carried them back into contention from the brink of a lost season. They picked up right where they left off on Friday night in the opener of a three-game series against the Nationals.
Andre Ethier smacked the go-ahead solo home run in the ninth inning, Hanley Ramirez kept up his hot hitting with a two-run shot, and the Dodgers pulled out a 3-2 victory to begin their abbreviated second-half schedule. Los Angeles, which once faced a 9 1/2-game division deficit, moved back over .500 and pulled within 1 1/2 games of the National League West-leading D-backs.
"Short second half, [68 games], but it's one where we know what our goal is, we know who we're chasing right there," Ethier said.
"If this team shows up focused every day and with a purpose and knowing what that purpose is, I think we hopefully can keep seeing special things."
The Dodgers welcomed back Carl Crawford, Yasiel Puig and Mark Ellis on Friday, as all three used th...