(Washington, DC) - Cristian Guzman's solo home run in the sixth frame -- his first of the season -- was the game winner, as Washington snapped a six-game skid with a 2-1 victory over Kansas City in the opener of a three- game set.
Livan Hernandez (6-4) was the benefactor, dodging eight hits and one walk over seven frames while striking out five and allowing just the one run.
Mike Morse also hit a solo home run, one of just four hits for the Nationals, who won for the first time since a 9-4 decision at Cleveland on June 13.
Bruce Chen (3-2) was the hard-luck loser after giving up two runs on three hits with four walks and three strikeouts. The costly stat was the two home run balls that were the difference.
Scott Podsednik finished 4-for-4 and Mike Aviles had three hits, while Jason Kendall drove in the lone run for the Royals.
Kansas City threatened in the ninth thanks to a leadoff single by Jose Guillen and one-out base hit by Aviles that moved the tying run just 90 feet away. However, Matt Capps struck out Yuniesky Betancourt then rung up pinch-hitter Mitch Maier to notch his 21st save.