Dodgers 3, Nationals 2(10)

Matt Kemp, who was robbed of a grand slam by Washington right
fielder Michael Morse earlier in the game, was on-deck in the 10th
inning thinking about how he could get his revenge. James Loney
never gave him the chance.

Loney singled home the winning run after the Nationals got an
out using a five-man infield, and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the
pesky Nationals 3-2 on Saturday night.

”It’s nice to get a spark on the left side of the ledger,”
manager Joe Torre said. ”We need some wins. We certainly needed to
win this one tonight. Hopefully, we can win a series tomorrow. We
just need to put a streak together. We know we’re certainly capable
of winning five, six, seven in a row.”

Sean Burnett (0-6) came on in the 10th and gave up a leadoff
walk to pinch-hitter Ronnie Belliard, who took third on Scott
Podsednik’s single to right-center. Manager Jim Riggleman then went
to the mound and motioned Morse in from right field. Morse fielded
Ryan Theriot’s chopper over the mound, held Belliard at third and
got the out at first.

”You’re still between a rock and a hard place, because you’ve
still got to face Loney and Ethier. And both of them are good
hitters,” Riggleman said.

Andre Ethier was intentionally walked to set up a possible
double play, and Morse returned to his normal position. But Loney
lined a 1-0 pitch down the right field line to end it.

”I just felt like if we loaded the bases, we could try for a
double play,” Riggleman said. ”Loney doesn’t run quite as well,
so we thought maybe we could get him to hit one on the ground and
either throw home or turn two up the middle. But then Sean threw
ball one and had to come back with a better strike – and Loney
didn’t let him get away with it.”

Jonathan Broxton (4-3) earned the victory with his second
two-inning stint this season. The Dodgers’ All-Star closer stranded
two runners in the top of the 10th by striking out Ryan Zimmerman,
who hit a two-run homer in the first inning.

Dodgers right-hander Hiroki Kuroda, who has only one victory in
his last seven starts, allowed two runs and just three hits over
seven innings and struck out eight. He retired his final 17 batters
before manager Joe Torre lifted him for a pinch-hitter.

”The fun part about catching him is that he’s got so many
weapons,” Brad Ausmus said. ”He’s got a four-seamer at 95 (mph),
a two-seamer at 92,-93, he’s got a cutter and a slider and a split,
all major league caliber quality, and the slider and split are
strikeout-type pitches. So it’s easy to sit on your haunches and
just throw down fingers.”

Reed Johnson batted for Kuroda in the seventh and led off with a
double, but was stranded at third when Livan Hernandez struck out
Theriot with his 107th and final pitch.

Hernandez allowed two runs – one earned – and five hits over
seven innings in his 32nd career start against the Dodgers. The
35-year-old right-hander was tagged for eight earned runs in each
of his two starts against Los Angeles last season, both at
Washington.

”He’s remarkable, and he’s been this way for a number of years
now,” Ausmus said. ”No two pitches are the same. He changes the
speed and the break on both of his breaking balls and he makes you
reach for pitches you don’t want to swing at. And he’s a horse. He
can throw 120 pitches every outing if you asked him to, and that’s
pretty impressive.”

Hernandez retired his first 10 batters before the Dodgers loaded
the bases with a single by Theriot, a double by Ethier and a walk
to Loney. Kemp, whose three grand slams last season tied a
franchise record, nearly had another one. Morse forcing Kemp to
settle for a sacrifice fly, however, with his leaping grab above
the auxiliary scoreboard.

But the play didn’t end there. Second baseman Adam Kennedy got
the one-hop relay from Morse and thought he could double up Loney
at first. But the person at the bag that Kennedy thought was Dunn
was actually Kemp, who calmly stepped aside in foul territory as
Kennedy’s throw went toward the stands and allowed Ethier to score
the tying run.

”It’s a play where there’s basically two cutoff men,” Dunn
said. ”In case (Morse) overthrows Adam, I’ve got to be back there.
If I would have seen Loney was that far off, I would have gone to
the bag and we would have had him. But I was watching the throw. It
was just one of those weird freak plays that cost of the
game.”

For the second straight night, the Nationals opened the scoring
with a home run in the first inning. This time, it was a two-run
shot by Zimmerman after a leadoff walk to Bernadina.

NOTES: Kuroda was the third pitcher in the Dodgers’ last five
games to retire 14 or more consecutive batters. Ted Lilly set down
his final 20 during a seven-inning outing last Tuesday against San
Diego in his Dodgers debut, and Vicente Padilla retired 14 straight
Padres the following night en route to a two-hit shutout. …
Nationals RHP J.D. Martin is scheduled to undergo season-ending
surgery on Tuesday in Los Angeles to repair a bulging disc in his
lower back. … Hernandez has not allowed a home run in 55 1-3
innings since giving up a solo shot to Baltimore’s Adam Jones on
June 26 at Camden Yards. The last time an NL batter took him over
the fence was May 19, when the Mets’ Angel Pagan took him deep with
the bases empty at Washington. … The Nationals are 1-8 in
extra-inning games.