|L.A. Dodgers «||0||0||0||2||2||0||0||0||x||4||9||0|
LOS ANGELES -- For at least one night, three struggling members of the Los Angeles Dodgers experienced success.
It's possible one of them won't have another chance for a while.
Jeff Weaver pitched six effective innings after two bad outings, Jason Phillips and Jose Valentin emerged from lengthy slumps with big hits and the Dodgers beat the Washington Nationals 4-2 Tuesday night for their fourth win in five games.
Weaver (3-2), who allowed 13 runs and 18 hits over 10 1/3 innings in his previous two starts, gave up two runs and seven hits while walking one and striking out seven.
"It's been a grind the last couple outings," he said. "You've got to continue to put games behind you."
Yhency Brazoban, the fifth Dodgers pitcher, worked a scoreless ninth for his ninth save in 10 chances.
Phillips hit a two-out, two-run double off Jon Rauch (0-1) in the fifth inning to break a 2-2 tie. Phillips struck out in his first two at-bats, leaving him with two hits in 18 at-bats during a homestand that finishes Wednesday night.
Then came his big hit -- a hard grounder inside third.
"It seems like when you're not swinging good, every pitch is nasty. You're not getting anything to hit," Phillips said. "It gets frustrating. My third at-bat tonight, I just tried to put the ball in play."
Rauch said Phillips hit a hanging curveball.
"It was a horrible pitch," Rauch said. "You just can't do that to that kind of a hitter. I just made bad pitches at inappropriate times, and you just can't do that."
Milton Bradley hit a one-out single and Valentin drew a two-out walk before Phillips came through. The relay from shortstop Cristian Guzman appeared to have Valentin beat, but catcher Brian Schneider couldn't hold onto the ball as Valentin slid into him.
Valentin played one more inning in the field before leaving the game because of what the Dodgers said was a sprained medial collateral ligament in his right knee. He was scheduled to undergo an MRI exam Wednesday.
"He went out to play defense, but then he came in and told Stan his knee was getting very sore," Dodgers manager Jim Tracy said, referring to trainer Stan Johnston.
Valentin wasn't available for comment.
The Nationals took a 2-0 lead on a double by Jose Guillen and an RBI single by Ryan Church in the second and two-out doubles by Brad Wilkerson and Nick Johnson in the third.
The Dodgers tied the game in the fourth. Ricky Ledee hit a one-out double and scored on a single by Valentin that snapped an 0-for-27 drought. Los Angeles loaded the bases with two outs before Hee-Seop Choi singled to drive in Valentin and chase starter Zach Day. Rauch relieved and retired J.D. Drew on a flyout.
The Nationals blew a great opportunity in the seventh. Schneider walked and Duaner Sanchez relieved Weaver. Guzman and pinch-hitter Carlos Baerga followed with singles to apparently load the bases, but Guzman rounded second too far and was thrown out by Bradley from center. Kelly Wunsch replaced Sanchez and struck out Wilkerson, then retired Johnson on a flyout to end the inning.
"Yeah, it hurt, no doubt about it," Nationals manager Frank Robinson said. "You've got to run with your head up when there are people in front of you. You've got to know who's in front of you, their speed, and also you have to understand that the coach might stop a guy.
"Those are things we can't afford to do -- run into an out."
Another baserunning mistake cost Washington in the fourth. Guillen led off with a double and tried to advance on Vinny Castilla's one-out grounder to third, but was tagged out by Valentin. Schneider followed with a single before Weaver struck out Guzman to end the inning.
Day allowed six hits and three walks in 3 2/3 innings, but the Dodgers scored only two runs, stranding seven in the first four innings.
|Players of the Game|
|Brad Wilkerson, CF||5||1||1||0||0||3||2||.291|
|Nick Johnson, 1B||4||0||1||1||0||1||2||.297|
|Jose Vidro, 2B||4||0||0||0||0||0||1||.289|
|Jose Guillen, RF||3||1||2||0||1||0||0||.330|
|Ryan Church, LF||4||0||2||1||0||2||2||.208|
|Vinny Castilla, 3B||4||0||1||0||0||0||2||.345|
|Brian Schneider, C||3||0||1||0||1||0||3||.237|
|Cristian Guzman, SS||4||0||2||0||0||2||2||.247|
|Zach Day, P||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.143|
|Jon Rauch, P||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.000|
|a- Carlos Baerga, PH||1||0||1||0||0||0||1||.235|
|Tony Blanco, PR||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.231|
|Luis Ayala, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|b- Endy Chavez, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||.000|
|a-singled for Rauch in the 7th|
|b-grounded into a double play for Ayala in the 9th|
|2B - Brad Wilkerson (10, Weaver), Nick Johnson (6, Weaver), Jose Guillen 2 (6, Weaver, Weaver)|
|RBI - Nick Johnson (12), Ryan Church (5)|
|2-OUT RBI - Nick Johnson (2)|
|SB - Tony Blanco (1, 2nd base off Wunsch/Phillips)|
|Team LOB - 8|
|Jon Rauch (L,0-1)||2.1||2||2||2||1||0||0||5.06|
|Pitches-Strikes - Zach Day 88-49, Jon Rauch 27-20, Luis Ayala 25-19|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Zach Day 5-2, Jon Rauch 2-5, Luis Ayala 2-3|
|Batters Faced - Zach Day 20, Jon Rauch 10, Luis Ayala 7|
|Los Angeles Dodgers|
|Cesar Izturis, SS||4||0||1||0||1||0||0||.327|
|Hee Seop Choi, 1B||4||0||1||1||0||0||1||.262|
|J.D. Drew, RF||4||0||1||0||0||0||3||.261|
|Jeff Kent, 2B||3||0||0||0||1||0||1||.319|
|Milton Bradley, CF||4||1||2||0||0||1||2||.330|
|Ricky Ledee, LF||3||1||1||0||1||0||2||.283|
|Yhency Brazoban, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Jose Valentin, 3B||2||2||1||1||1||0||0||.194|
|Norihiro Nakamura, 3B||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||.147|
|Jason Phillips, C||4||0||1||2||0||2||2||.282|
|Jeff Weaver, P||3||0||1||0||0||1||2||.267|
|Duaner Sanchez, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Kelly Wunsch, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Giovanni Carrara, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a- Jason Repko, PH-LF||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.224|
|a-struck out for Carrara in the 8th|
|2B - J.D. Drew (5, Day), Ricky Ledee (5, Day), Jason Phillips (8, Rauch)|
|RBI - Hee Seop Choi (8), Jose Valentin (12), Jason Phillips 2 (14)|
|2-OUT RBI - Hee Seop Choi (2), Jason Phillips 2 (4)|
|SB - Milton Bradley (2, 2nd base off Ayala/Schneider)|
|Team LOB - 9|
|Outfield Assists - Milton Bradley 1|
|DP - Choi-Izturis-Weaver, Izturis-Kent-Choi|
|Los Angeles Dodgers|
|Jeff Weaver (W,3-2)||6||7||2||2||1||7||0||5.70|
|Duaner Sanchez (H,5)||0.1||2||0||0||0||0||0||2.57|
|Kelly Wunsch (H,6)||0.2||0||0||0||0||1||0||1.80|
|Giovanni Carrara (H,4)||1||1||0||0||1||1||0||3.75|
|Yhency Brazoban (S,9)||1||1||0||0||0||1||0||2.38|
|Pitches-Strikes - Jeff Weaver 99-61, Duaner Sanchez 4-4, Kelly Wunsch 10-6, Giovanni Carrara 22-13, Yhency Brazoban 9-6|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jeff Weaver 8-2, Giovanni Carrara 1-1, Yhency Brazoban 1-0|
|Batters Faced - Jeff Weaver 25, Duaner Sanchez 2, Kelly Wunsch 2, Giovanni Carrara 5, Yhency Brazoban 3|
|Attendance - 41190|
|Game Time - 3:02|
|Temperature - 67|
|Umpires - Home - Tim McClelland, First Base - Chuck Meriwether, Second Base - Mike Everitt, Third Base - Tim Timmons|