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.
“Clayton didn’t look like he had a good rhythm early, after the second homer he settled down. We have to hit with more consistency. We fall behind and it’s an uphill battle,” said Dodgers manager Joe Torre.
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.
“Adam is a special guy. To hit it out like that is a God-given talent. He’s a smart hitter,” Nats skipper Jim Riggleman said of his slugging first baseman.
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.
“We had some great at-bats early. Kershaw is really good. He’s one guy I don’t like to face. My homers seem to come in bunches, I don’t know why. The first one is a fastball and the second one was the slider, and was pure luck,” Dunn said.
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.