Tony Gwynn snaps tie in 9th as Dodgers take Game 1

WASHINGTON -- When Chad Billingsley's start turned sour, the Los Angeles Dodgers' bullpen bailed him out.

Manager Don Mattingly yanked Billingsley after he allowed four runs in the third inning to the Washington Nationals, and the relievers responded with 6 2/3 hitless innings.

Tony Gwynn had a tiebreaking double in the ninth inning and the Dodgers beat the Nationals 7-4 in the first game of a doubleheader on Thursday.

The Dodgers staked Billingsley to a 4-0 lead in the third. He walked the bases loaded in the second and allowed the four runs and five hits before Mattingly closed the books on his shortest start in more than two years.

Mattingly was pleased with his bullpen -- and not-so-pleased with his starter.

"We gave him some runs early -- then he walks three guys in one inning," Mattingly said. "Got to locate. I don't care who you are -- you've got to locate."

Gwynn drove in Jerry Sands and Rod Barajas with a long double to center off Drew Storen (6-3). Dee Gordon added a run-scoring single -- setting a career high with his fourth hit of the game.

Mike MacDougal (3-1), the Dodgers' sixth pitcher, worked a scoreless eighth for the win. Javy Guerra pitched the ninth for his 16th save.

"The guys threw the ball extremely well out of the bullpen," Billingsley said. "They've been throwing up some good innings. That's the game right there.

Juan Rivera hit two-run doubles in the first and third off Chien-Ming Wang to give the Dodgers a 4-0 lead.

"We only had a couple of guys that faced Chien-Ming before and Juan was one of them. (His numbers) jumped at me so I had to keep him in there," Mattingly said.

Wang worked six innings -- allowing four runs and seven hits.

"I was very pleased. He was strong at the end," Washington manager Davey Johnson said. "I'm not going to go too much longer with him. He's making progress."

The Nationals tied the score at 4 in the bottom of the third off Billingsley. Ryan Zimmerman and Michael Morse hit RBI doubles and Jayson Werth had a two-run home run, his 19th.

Game notes
Dodgers OF Andre Ethier was shut down for the season. He'll get his ailing right knee examined by Dr. James Andrews. "I'm just trying to figure this whole thing out right now and figure out a way to get it better where it won't affect me for spring training," Ethier said. Ethier had a 30-game hitting streak -- the second longest in team history and the second longest in the major leagues this season. ... Johnson said he was resting 2B Danny Espinosa, who this week set a team record with seven straight strikeouts, because he was mentally tired. Stephen Lombardozzi got his first major league start. ... C Ivan Rodriguez, who was on the disabled list for nearly two months with an oblique strain, will be limited to pinch-hitting for the remainder of the season. Johnson wants to see more of Wilson Ramos and Jesus Flores. ... Nats prospect Bryce Harper, who has a strained hamstring, won't play in the Eastern League playoffs. ... Washington begins a three-game series with Houston on Friday. LHP Tom Millone (0-0), who hit a home run on his first major league pitch last Saturday, will pitch against RHP Bud Norris (6-9). ... Los Angeles opens a three-game series in San Francisco. LHP Clayton Kershaw (17-5) faces RHP Tim Lincecum (12-12).