Dodgers star Mookie Betts likely out this weekend vs. Nationals

After a week of bad news on and off the field, the Dodgers finally got a reprieve Friday.

A day after Mookie Betts left a game early with a left foot bone bruise, further medical scans confirmed the outfielder suffered only a bone bruise, manager Dave Roberts said, a minor injury that should allow Betts to return to action by Monday.

In his first at-bat Thursday night, Betts fouled a ball off the inside of his front foot. While he stayed in the game until the eighth inning, he left the stadium that night on crutches after his foot “stiffened up as the game progressed,” Roberts said.

The good news for the team: Betts underwent an X-ray on Thursday, then an MRI and CT scan on Friday, that all came back clean, ensuring their MVP candidate was facing no more significant issue.

“We’re doing the whole gamut,” Roberts said of Betts’ testing. “Just to make sure we have all the information.”

Even without Betts on Friday night, the Dodgers opened their series in Washington with a late-night, 8-5 victory over the Nationals, erasing a one-run deficit in the sixth inning minutes before a downpour of rain that delayed the game for one hour and 34 minutes.

After Kiké Hernández singled and James Outman walked to lead off the top of the sixth, Chris Taylor (who reached base three times while filling in for Betts in the leadoff spot) plated them both with a two-run double. J.D. Martinez tacked on a sacrifice fly three batters later. Then Max Muncy feathered an RBI single into center.

Martinez, Muncy and Hernández also hit home runs earlier in the game, while Freddie Freeman made club history by collecting his 53rd double of the season, breaking the franchise’s 93-year-old single-season doubles record.

Dodgers starting pitcher Emmet Sheehan delivers during the first inning Friday.

Dodgers starting pitcher Emmet Sheehan delivers during the first inning Friday against the Washington Nationals.

(Stephanie Scarbrough / Associated Press)

“I haven’t really soaked it all in,” said Freeman, who has 15 more doubles than any other major-leaguer this season and could become the first player since World War II to collect 60 in a campaign.

“This franchise has been around for a very long time, a lot of winning seasons, a lot of great players have come through here,” Freeman added. “So just to be able to be mentioned with some of these guys I’m climbing the leaderboard on, it’s pretty cool.”

Following a team-wide slump that led to a 1-5 skid last week, the Dodgers have now amassed 18 runs, 26 hits, 14 walks (plus three hit batters) and an eight for 23 mark with runners in scoring position over their last two games, trimming their magic number to clinch the National League West Division to nine.

“Single digits with a few weeks to go is usually a good thing,” Freeman joked.

Still, getting Betts back at full strength will be even more paramount for the Dodgers (86-54), who might need to lean on their offense in October given the uncertain nature of their inconsistent and short-handed pitching staff.

Entering Friday, Betts was batting a team-best .314, leading the National League with a 1.020 on-base-plus-slugging percentage and had 38 home runs and 99 RBIs.

He was named the NL’s player of the month in August. And over the last several weeks, he and Atlanta Braves outfielder Ronald Acuña Jr. had separated themselves as the NL’s top MVP candidates.

Betts has missed consecutive games just twice this year — two games in April when he went on paternity leave, and two games in July when he had a stomach bug.

While Roberts didn’t completely rule out Betts playing this weekend, he said the team was targeting Monday’s series-opener against the San Diego Padres back home in L.A. for Betts to return to the lineup.

J.D. Martinez returns

Dodgers designated hitter J.D. Martinez celebrates with Freddie Freeman after hitting a two-run home run.

Dodgers designated hitter J.D. Martinez, left, celebrates with Freddie Freeman after hitting a two-run home run in the first inning Friday.

(Stephanie Scarbrough / Associated Press)

Three weeks after going on the injured list, and a month and a half after first experiencing a lingering tightness in his groin/hamstring area, Martinez returned to the lineup Friday hopeful that his injury saga is behind him.

Martinez had played in just 11 of the team’s previous 42 games because of recurring episodes where his midsection would lock up after going through pregame activities.

After doctors first treated his back and his adductor muscles in search of the root cause of the injury, Martinez said a specialist recently identified that his tail bone was pressing on a nerve in his backside.

While the issue still “zings” occasionally, Martinez said his midsection is no longer locking up on him like it did before.

On Friday, Martinez opened the scoring with a two-run homer in the top of the first, wasting little time to collect his 27th big fly of the season.

“I think getting back in the mix, getting into a big-league game and hitting a homer, I’m sure that was a relief for him,” Roberts said.