Dodgers Drop Opener To Nationals

The Dodgers have scored 20 runs in HIroki Kuroda's last 10 starts.

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Hairston Grand Slam Ends Suspense In Dodgers' 7-2 Loss To Nationals

A grand slam by Jerry Hairston Jr. in the top of the ninth inning blew open a close game, sending the Dodgers to a 7-2 loss at the hands of the Nationals in the opening game of a nine-game homestand Friday night at Dodger Stadium. However, the way the Dodgers offense is going, it's not like they would have come back from a 3-2 deficit anyway. The Dodgers have scored 15 runs in seven games since the All-Star break.

Hiroki Kuroda had a rough start to the game, allowing a run in the first inning, then two more in the second inning on a home run by Nats' hurler John Lannan. It was the first career home run for Lannan, who also singled in the game. Not bad for a guy who was 0-for-32 on the season before his last start, and now has back-to-back two-hit games to his credit.

Kuroda recovered from his early troubles to pitch into the seventh inning, retiring eight in a row at one point. With three runs allowed in 6 1/3 innings, Kuroda pitched a quality start for the 13th time in 20 starts this season. After Kuroda left with runners on first and second base, Scott Elbert and Kenley Jansen each retired the one batter they faced in the seventh to get out of the inning unscathed.

The Dodgers used three relievers in the ninth inning to try to stay within a one-run deficit, but all three struggled. Mike MacDougal allowed a leadoff double to Rick Ankiel and also walked a batter. Hong-Chih Kuo faced one batter, and walked him, to load the bases. Then, Matt Guerrier entered and served up a home run to Hairston to put the game away.

For more news and information on the Dodgers, or on tonight's game, be sure to read the SB Nation blog True Blue LA.

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Dodgers Vs. Nationals: Friday Starting Lineups

The Dodgers look for their fifth straight win at Dodger Stadium on Friday night, hosting the Washington Nationals in the opener of a three-game series, and a nine-game homestand for the Dodgers. Hiroki Kuroda starts for the Dodgers, against John Lannan for Washington. Here are tonight's starting lineups:

Nationals (48-50)

Bernadina CF
Espinosa 2B
Zimmerman 3B
Morse 1B
Werth RF
Nix LF
Ramos C
Desmond SS
Lannan P

Dodgers (43-55)

Gwynn LF
Furcal SS
Ethier RF
Kemp CF
Rivera 1B
Uribe 3B
Barajas C
Carroll 2B
Kuroda P

Tonight's 7:10 p.m. PDT game will be televised by Prime Ticket. For more news and information on the Dodgers, or on tonight's game, be sure to read the SB Nation blog True Blue LA.

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Dodgers Open Nine-Game Homestand Against Nationals

The Dodgers open a nine-game homestand Friday night against the Washington Nationals at Dodger Stadium. Hiroki Kuroda starts the opener for the Dodgers, in perhaps one of his final two starts this season before being traded. Southpaw John Lannan toes the rubber for the Nationals.

Kuroda has a 2.59 ERA in his last eight starts with nine unintentional walks and 37 strikeouts in 48 2/3 innings. However, he has just a 1-6 record to show for it during that span, thanks to the Dodgers scoring 17 runs over those eight games. Kuroda is tied with J.A. Happ of Houston for the most losses in the National League, with 11.

Washington is 8-12 under new manager Davey Johnson, whose last major league managerial gig was in 2000 with the Dodgers. The Nats have lost seven of their last 10 games. Lannan is 6-6 this season with a 3.62 ERA in 20 starts.

Marcus Thames, who was released by the Dodgers earlier this week, has signed a minor league deal with the Yankees, per George A. King of the New York Post. The Dodgers split six games with the Nationals in 2010, including winning two of three at Dodger Stadium.

Tonight's 7:10 p.m. PDT game will be televised by Prime Ticket. For more news and information on the Dodgers, or on tonight's game, be sure to read the SB Nation blog True Blue LA.

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