Nationals 6, Dodgers 3

Adam Dunn was one of the biggest commodities on the trade market

before last Saturday’s non-waiver deadline and still could be dealt

this season.

Whatever happens, he was in a Washington Nationals uniform

Friday night, and that led to serious trouble for the Los Angeles

Dodgers.

Dunn hit a pair of three-run homers off Clayton Kershaw, tying a

career high for RBIs and leading the Nationals to a 6-3

victory.

”Adam Dunn is obviously a very strong hitter and he’s got as

much power as anyone in the game, so he can hit pitches that aren’t

necessarily hitter’s pitches and still drive them out,” Dodgers

catcher Brad Ausmus said. ”You’d certainly like to have him in the

lineup. Either way, I wish somebody had claimed him and he wasn’t

playing for the Nationals tonight.”

The non-roster trading deadline definitely was a pitchers

market, and none of the high-profile sluggers in the majors changed

teams. So general manager Mike Rizzo and manager Jim Riggleman are

glad they still have a dangerous cleanup hitter.

”We value Adam so highly, it’s going to take a lot for somebody

to come in and get him,” Riggleman said. ”As Mike said, any offer

he gets is going to have to overwhelm him – and nothing overwhelmed

him.”

The Nationals got the jump on Kershaw (10-7) in the first when

Dunn pulled a 3-2 pitch an estimated 460 feet and just inside the

right-field foul pole after a single by Ian Desmond and a walk to

Ryan Zimmerman.

Two innings later, Desmond drew a leadoff walk, Zimmerman

singled and Dunn pulled an 0-1 delivery off the bottom of the

screen attached to the pole for his 30th homer and 29th career

multihomer game.

”The second home run I hit was pure good luck on my part, to be

honest,” Dunn said. ”It was a great pitch and just a terrible

swing. I mean, my butt was out to there, but I just got the barrel

to it.”

Dunn, the only left-handed bat in Washington’s starting lineup

besides pitcher John Lannan, has five multihomer games this year

and a league-best 60 extra-base hits. It’s his seventh consecutive

season with 30 or more homers. Dunn’s other six-RBI game was on May

24, 2009, when he hit two homers against Baltimore – including a

go-ahead grand slam.

”That’s how home runs come for me – in bunches,” said Dunn,

who has six in his last six games. ”I mean, I’ll go three weeks

and not hit one, and then I’ll go a week where I hit five or six of

them. That’s the story of my life.”

Lannan (3-5) allowed three runs and five hits over six innings

in his second start since returning from a six-week stint with

Double-A Harrisburg. It was the left-hander’s first victory with

the big league club since May 28 at San Diego.

Drew Storen pitched a hitless ninth for his first major league

save and the Nationals’ second since trading closer Matt Capps to

Minnesota on July 30.

Kershaw allowed seven hits in six innings and struck out nine.

The 22-year-old lefty gave up two homers in a game for the fourth

time in 74 major league starts, and first since April 26, 2009, at

Colorado.

”Dunn’s only up there looking to do one thing. When you fall

behind in the count, it makes it easier for him to do,” Kershaw

said. ”The home runs really don’t bother me. They were solidly

hit. What bothers me is that I put two runners on base ahead of

them. Two solo home runs is something we can come back from. But

digging a 6-0 hole makes it impossible to come back.”

Kershaw came in with an opponents’ batting average of .197 in

home games since the start of the 2009 season, lowest in the

majors.

”We were facing one of the best in the game tonight, and we

knew coming in that it was going to be a tough task to score

runs,” said Dunn, who has seven hits in 11 career at-bats against

Kershaw. ”He’s really good and he’s only going to get better. Our

goal was to kind of put pressure on him early. We had some great

at-bats early and got his pitch count up a little bit.”

The Dodgers sliced the deficit to 6-3 in the fourth. Ryan

Theriot reached on a leadoff single before Andre Ethier connected

for his 18th homer. Casey Blake added an RBI single after James

Loney walked and advanced on a passed ball by 13-time Gold Glove

winner Ivan Rodriguez.

The Nationals had a chance to score in the sixth, but Josh

Willingham played it safe on Alberto Gonzalez’s one-out fly ball to

right fielder Ethier with two men in scoring position and the

pitcher on deck. Kershaw then struck out Lannan.

NOTES: Nationals assistant trainer Mike McGowen was struck on

the right cheek by an overthrown ball that knocked him to the

dugout floor during warmups before the bottom of the first inning.

He then was led away to the clubhouse. … Nationals drawing card

Stephen Strasburg, scheduled to return to the rotation on Tuesday

after missing three turns because of stiffness in his right

shoulder, will have a pitch limit of 90 against the Florida

Marlins. … Former Dodgers and Montreal Expos general manager

Kevin Malone turned 53 years old Friday. … The Nationals selected

the contract of OF Kevin Mench from Triple-A Syracuse, a day after

CF Nyjer Morgan was put on the 15-day disabled list because of a

sore right hip. … The Dodgers and their Double-A Chattanooga club

in the Southern League extended their player development contract

through the 2014 season.