The Washington Nationals hit three home runs off Hiroki Kuroda in the first inning on Monday, cruising to a 7-2 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers at Nationals Park in Washington DC. Hiroki Kuroda had never allowed more than two home runs in a game before, but after five batters on Monday he was down 4-1. Ian Desmond, Mike Morse and Jayson Werth all went deep in the first inning, and Ryan Zimmerman nearly joined them with a deep flyout to the wall in left field.
Kuroda was able to pitch six innings on the day, but did allow another home run, the second of the day for Morse in the sixth inning. Kuroda is the first Dodgers pitcher since D.J. Houlton in 2005 to allow four home runs in a game. The last Dodger to allow three home runs in the first inning was Fernando Valenzuela in 1988.
From the "other than that Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?" file, Kuroda did have a season-high nine strikeouts and no walks on the day.
John Lannan pitched into the sixth inning for his ninth win of the season. Lannan and Kuroda have matched up twice this season, and both games were 7-2 wins for the Nationals.
Stephen Strasburg makes his 2011 debut for the Nationals on Tuesday, weather permitting. Ted Lilly starts for the Dodgers, who have lost two straight games for the first time in two weeks.
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Gordon SS Carroll 2B Kemp CF Rivera RF Miles 3B Mitchell 1B Gwynn LF Ellis C Kuroda P
Desmond SS Ankiel RF Zimmerman 3B Morse LF Werth CF Espinosa 2B Marrero 1B Ramos C Lannan P
The Dodgers took two of three games against the Nationals at Dodger Stadium in July, with the Dodgers' only loss coming on July 22. Lannan beat Kuroda in that game, and even hit a two-run home run off Kuroda. The Nationals have lost 10 of their last 12 games.