Dodgers Lose To Nationals Behind Two Dunn Homers

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Dodgers Blasted By Dunn, Nationals 6-3

Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) – Adam Dunn continued to swing a hot bat with two home runs and six RBI, as the Nationals doubled up the fading Dodgers, 6-3, to open a three-game series from Chavez Ravine.

Dunn now has seven homers in the last nine games and hit two for the second time in three games in which he’s knocked in 10 total runs. Starter John Lannan (3-5) lasted six innings and surrendered five hits and two walks leading to three runs, two of those earned, as Washington won for the sixth time in nine games.

Clayton Kershaw (10-7) was tagged for seven hits and six runs while walking two and fanning nine in six innings. Andre Ethier provided a two-run homer in defeat for Los Angeles, which can count eight losses in the last 10 games as it continues to drop away from the playoff picture.

The bulk of the damage was inflicted via the longball in the early innings. Dunn started the fireworks with a first-inning blast to right field measured at 450 feet after Kershaw walked Ryan Zimmerman and Ian Desmond singled.

A reversal of sorts saw Desmond walk and Zimmerman single ahead of Dunn’s second homer in the third inning — another three-run shot to right.

That would be all Lannan and the Nats needed, although, the Dodgers attempted to make a game of it in the fourth. Ryan Theriot led off with a base hit and Ethier smacked his 18th home run of the season out to right-center. Casey Blake made it a three-run game with an RBI single later in the inning, but that would be it for the offense.

Lannan worked fluidly over the next two innings, Tyler Clippard and Sean Burnett combined to pitch the seventh and Burnett stayed on for a 1-2-3 eighth. Rookie Drew Storen picked up his first career save in the ninth.

The Dodgers are just 7-15 since the All-Star break…The Nationals took two of three at home over the Dodgers back on April 23-25 and have won eight of the last 12 meetings overall…Lannan had lost his previous three decisions, while Kershaw has now lost three of his last four decisions…Dunn notched his fifth multi-homer game of the season and 29th of his career. Dunn also reached the 30-homer mark for a seventh consecutive season. He’s also topped 40 in each of the previous six years.

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Nationals Place Nyjer Morgan On DL, Call Up Kevin Mench

Before the game tonight, the Nationals placed center fielder Nyjer Morgan on the 15-day disabled list with a sore hip. Taking Morgan’s place on the roster is Kevin Mench, per Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post:

First, some roster news: Kevin Mench, as expected, will become the last man off the Nationals bench. He played in Japan last season and hasn’t played a game in the majors since 2008, when he was with the Toronto Blue Jays.

Mench last played in a major league game on September 28, 2008, against the Orioles.

To make room for Mench on the 40-man roster, the Nationals transferred pitcher J.D. Martin from the 15-day disabled list to the 60-day disabled list.

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Tonight's Dodgers-Nationals Lineups

Here are tonight’s lineups in the series opener between the Dodgers and Nationals at Dodger Stadium:

Nationals
Maxwell CF
Desmond SS
Zimmerman 3B
Dunn 1B
Willingham LF
Morse RF
Rodriguez C
Gonzalez 2B
Lannan P

Dodgers
Podsednik LF
Theriot 2B
Ethier RF
Kemp CF
Loney 1B
Blake 3B
Carroll SS
Ausmus C
Kershaw P

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Dodgers Begin Series With Strasburg-Less Nationals

(Sports Network) - It's only August, but the Los Angeles Dodgers are in danger of playing themselves out of the playoff race. They'll try to get their struggling offense going tonight versus the Washington Nationals in the opener of a three-game series at Dodger Stadium.

The Dodgers are just 7-14 since the All-Star break and seven losses in their last nine games have dropped the club six games back of the National League's wild card spot. They have also been held to two runs or fewer in 11 of their last 15 games, hitting .205 in that span.

Los Angeles has been shut out twice in five August games, including Thursday's 5-0 setback to San Diego that gave the Dodgers an unfortunate split of a four- game series.

Chad Billingsley carried a 21 2/3 innings scoreless streak into last night's start and allowed three runs over six innings.

"We had guys in scoring position but [Padres starter Kevin] Correia did a good job. They were better than we were tonight," Dodgers manager Joe Torre said.

Already without Manny Ramirez (calf) and Russell Martin (hip), Rafael Furcal missed last night's game with strained lower back and is unlikely to play in this series.

Starter Clayton Kershaw could use his table setter tonight as he looks to bounce back from a tough-luck loss to the Giants on Monday. The 22-year-old allowed just two runs over seven innings, but lost a 2-0 decision.

Kershaw, who threw eight shutout innings in a victory over the Mets on July 25, is 10-6 on the year with a 2.94 earned run average. That includes a 6-2 mark and 2.88 ERA in 12 home starts.

The left-hander got a no-decision at Washington in April 24 despite six innings of two-run ball and is 2-1 versus the franchise lifetime with a 3.38 ERA in five games, four starts.

The Nationals will also be without their speedster tonight after placing Nyjer Morgan on the disabled list following last night's 8-4 setback to the Diamondbacks due to right hip soreness. Morgan is hitting .261 this year with 29 stolen bases.

Washington also split its four-game set with Arizona as it failed to capitalize on four home runs on Thursday. Ryan Zimmerman notched his fifth multi-homer game of the year and both Adam Kennedy and Roger Bernadina also went deep, but the Nats committed three errors in the setback.

Ross Detwiler took the loss, yielding seven runs -- four earned -- on nine hits with five strikeouts and two walks over four-plus frames.

"We don't make plays when he (Detwiler) pitches," said Nationals manager Jim Riggleman. "Terrible performance by our club."

John Lannan will try to build off a strong start last time out, his first since returning from the minor leagues.

The 25-year-old began the year 2-5 with a 5.76 ERA in 14 starts before a demotion. Lannan returned to major league action on Monday versus Philadelphia and got a no-decision after yielding two runs on seven hits over five innings.

Lannan, a lefty, is 1-1 with a 3.46 ERA in two career starts versus the Dodgers.

The Nationals took two of three at home over the Dodgers back on April 23-25 and have won seven of the last 11 meetings overall.

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