WASHINGTON -- — A.J. Pollock hit a go-ahead single in the sixth inning, and the Los Angeles Dodgers extended a winning streak to eight for the third time this season with a rainy 5-3 victory over the Washington Nationals on Saturday night.
Pinch-hitter Chris Taylor added an RBI single in the ninth for a two-run lead.
Kenley Jansen allowed Starlin Castro's single leading off the bottom half and walked Yan Gomes, then struck out Gerardo Parra and Alcides Escobar, and retired pinch-hitter Josh Bell on a soft liner to shortstop for his 21st save in 23 chances.
“I thought it was a good team win,” Los Angeles manager Dave Roberts said.
Defending World Series champion Los Angeles moved a season-best 21 games over .500 at 52-31. The Dodgers began the night a half-game behind NL West-leading San Francisco.
Washington has lost three and a row and is 0-6 this season against the Dodgers.
Albert Pujols hit a hard two-hop smash to shortstop that was bobbled by Escobar, who was acquired Saturday from Kansas City for cash. Escobar picked up the ball and threw to second, but the throw was late, and second baseman Josh Harrison's off-line throw down the first-base line glanced off the glove of Ryan Zimmerman for a throwing error that left runners at the corners.
Escobar said through Nationals team interpreter Octavio Martinez that he was thinking about a double play even before Pujols hit the ball.
Pollock chopped a slow four-hopper to third and beat Castro's throw for an infield single and a 4-3 lead.
Brusdar Graterol (1-0) pitched a hitless inning for the win, a day after he was recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma City to take the roster spot of Trevor Bauer, who was put on administrative leave by Major League Baseball while it investigates an assault allegation.
Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw lasted just 54 pitches and four innings because of rain, which caused a 1- hour, 44-minute delay that kept the game from resuming until 10:20 p.m. As rain started to fall, Yan Gomes hit a tying, three-run homer off Kershaw in the fourth, Gomes' eighth homer this season.
“The rain kind of slowed our momentum down,” Nationals manager Dave Martinez said.
The Dodgers' 6-2 win in Thursday's series opener was shortened to five innings because of rain.
Nationals starter Paolo Espino allowed three runs and three hits in 4 1/3 innings.
Los Angeles took a 3-0 lead in the fourth on sacrifice flies by Smith and Pujols, and Gavin Lux's two-out RBI double.
Nationals: LF Kyle Schwarber (right hamstring strain) was placed on the 10-day injured list. He’s expected to miss a long period because the strain is significant, according to manager Dave Martinez.
Dodgers: LHP Scott Alexander (shoulder) is expected to be activated from the 10-day injured list Monday or Tuesday, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. Alexander had 2.31 ERA in 13 games this season.
RHP Joe Ross (5-7, 4.02 ERA) is scheduled to start Sunday's series finale for the Nationals.
Kepler jacks 2 homers at Wrigley Field
Max Kepler hits his 18th and 19th home runs to lead the Twins past the Cubs.
Yanks rally to sweep Rangers, roll into Fenway showdown
— Gleyber Torres doubled home Joey Gallo for the tiebreaking run in the eighth inning, Gary Sánchez followed with a two-run homer and the New York Yankees rallied past the Texas Rangers 7-3 Wednesday night for a three-game sweep heading into a...
Tyler O'Neill smacks 2-run HR in Cardinals' win
Tyler O'Neill hits his 29th home run of the season in a 10-2 Cardinals' win over the Brewers.
Harper's throw to plate saves Phillies' 4-3 win over O's
— Bryce Harper threw out the tying run at the plate in the eighth inning and Andrew McCutchen hit a two-run home run to keep the Philadelphia Phillies pushing in the NL East race with a 4-3 win over the Baltimore Orioles on Wednesday night.
Sanchez caps off Yanks' four-run 8th with dinger
The Yankees scratch across four runs in the eighth inning, including a two-run home run off the bat of Gary Sanchez.
Phillies go up on McCutchen's 2-run HR
Andrew McCutchen's 25th home run of the season gives the Phillies a 2-1 lead over the Orioles.