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Los Angeles at Washington

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L.A. Dodgers001000000161
Washington «00020001x380

Nationals 3, Dodgers 1

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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WASHINGTON -- Preston Wilson and the Washington Nationals turned to an old formula Wednesday night.

The slumping Wilson homered for the first time in 10 games to give the Nationals an early lead, and the bullpen sealed the 3-1 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers.

"We haven't been scoring runs. ... We haven't been getting the lead like we were able to early in the season," Washington manager Frank Robinson said. "Tonight is a formula we used with the success we had in the first part of the season."

Washington won for the fifth time in 19 games since the All-Star break and moved within 4½ games of first-place Atlanta in the NL East. The Dodgers lost for the sixth time in eight games.

Wilson hit his 18th homer of the season -- the third since joining the Nationals on July 14 -- in the fourth inning to give Washington a 2-0 lead. Wilson, who had a first-inning double, entered the game hitting .220 in 17 games with the Nationals.

"We felt like he's capable of doing it when he walks up to home plate on any given at-bat," Robinson said. "He gave us a big one tonight."

Washington first baseman Nick Johnson hit his 11th homer in the eighth off reliever Giovanni Carrara. The Nationals had hit only one home run at RFK Stadium in their previous 13 games. They hadn't had a multihomer game at home since June 30.

Tony Armas Jr. (6-5) allowed one run, four hits and struck out four over five innings before leaving the game with tightness in his shoulder. He was diagnosed with tendinitis in his shoulder and is expected to make his next start.

Luis Ayala pitched two perfect innings in relief, and Mike Stanton and Gary Majewski combined for a scoreless eighth. Chad Cordero worked a scoreless ninth to earn his major league-leading 36th save.

"We've been in a rut the last few weeks, but every once in a while we have a game where we don't make mistakes and guys get the hits," Majewski said. "It felt like it did in the first half."

Dodgers starter D.J. Houlton (4-5) went six innings, allowing two runs and five hits, striking out three. Other than Wilson's homer, only one other runner reached third base against Houlton.

"I make some bad pitches every start, every night," Houlton said. "Some of them they miss and that was one he hit and he hit it a long way."

Milton Bradley's homer in the third, his 11th, gave the Dodgers their only run.

"Through the first two games of this series, all of our runs have come via the home run ball," Dodgers manager Jim Tracy said. "We were not able to, when we tried to get something going, sustain it offensively to put ourselves in a position where a base hit or a gapper could score a couple of runs for us."

Bradley, who also singled and walked, made a key mental error during the eighth inning, when he batted with no outs after Oscar Robles had reached on a single. Bradley attempted to bunt against Stanton, but he popped the ball up, and catcher Gary Bennett caught it in foul territory. Majewski entered the game and retired both hitters he faced to end the Dodgers' rally.

"I just overanalyzed the situation," Bradley said. "I thought I'd try to be a smart guy and try and trick them and lay a bunt down, move the runner up, possibly get a hit. But the last thing I expected to do was pop up, and it completely backfired and turned into a rally killer."

Notes

The Dodgers had the same lineup for the second straight game, as Jason Phillips made his seventh start of the season at first base and Dioner Navarro made his fifth start at catcher. ... Phillips left the game in the fourth inning with a contusion on his left hand after being hit by a pitch. ... Before relieving Armas, Ayala made a rare pinch-hitting appearance in the fifth. Ayala blooped a single to left for his fourth career hit. After two scoreless innings of relief, Ayala laid down a sacrifice bunt in the seventh before leaving the game.

 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Players of the Game
Washington

P. Wilson
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 2
Los Angeles

M. Bradley
AB 3
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 1
 
Los Angeles Dodgers
Cesar Izturis, SS4010010 .267
Oscar Robles, 3B4010001 .283
Milton Bradley, CF3121101 .284
Jeff Kent, 2B4000023 .305
Jose Valentin, LF3000101 .190
Jason Phillips, 1B1010000 .242
    Olmedo Saenz, 1B2000000 .286
Dioner Navarro, C3000102 .188
Jason Repko, RF3000003 .235
   a- Ricky Ledee, PH1010000 .284
Dennis Houlton, P2000024 .176
   b- Antonio Perez, PH1000000 .333
    Giovanni Carrara, P0000000 .000
   c- Hee Seop Choi, PH1000011 .247
Totals321613616 
a-singled for Repko in the 9th
b-popped out for Houlton in the 7th
c-struck out for Carrara in the 9th
Batting
HR - Milton Bradley (11, Armas)
RBI - Milton Bradley (31)
2-OUT RBI - Milton Bradley (14)
CS - Cesar Izturis (8, 2nd base by Armas/Bennett)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
DP - Izturis-Kent-Saenz
E - Dioner Navarro (2, Wild throw)
Los Angeles Dodgers
Dennis Houlton (L,4-5) 6522331 5.49
Giovanni Carrara 2311011 4.71
Pitches-Strikes - Dennis Houlton 84-49, Giovanni Carrara 25-16
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Dennis Houlton 5-9, Giovanni Carrara 2-2
Batters Faced - Dennis Houlton 25, Giovanni Carrara 8
Washington Nationals
Brad Wilkerson, CF3000112 .256
Jose Vidro, 2B4000003 .267
Jose Guillen, RF4110002 .299
Nick Johnson, 1B4111011 .317
Vinny Castilla, 3B3010101 .245
Preston Wilson, LF4122012 .255
Gary Bennett, C2010101 .252
Cristian Guzman, SS3010012 .189
Tony Armas, P1000000 .154
   a- Luis Ayala, PH-P1010000 .333
    Mike Stanton, P0000000 .000
    Gary Majewski, P0000000 .000
    Chad Cordero, P0000000 .000
Totals293833414 
a-singled for Armas in the 5th
Batting
2B - Preston Wilson (19, Houlton)
HR - Nick Johnson (10, Carrara), Preston Wilson (18, Houlton)
SH - Luis Ayala (1)
RBI - Nick Johnson (46), Preston Wilson 2 (55)
2-OUT RBI - Preston Wilson 2 (21)
SB - Brad Wilkerson (5, 3rd base off Houlton/Navarro)
CS - Preston Wilson (3, 3rd base by Houlton/Navarro)
Team LOB - 6
Washington Nationals
Tony Armas (W,6-5) 5411341 4.64
Luis Ayala (H,19) 2000000 2.80
Mike Stanton (H,6) 0.1100000 6.00
Gary Majewski (H,18) 0.2000010 3.08
Chad Cordero (S,36) 1100010 1.11
HBP - Phillips (by Tony Armas)
Pitches-Strikes - Tony Armas 88-47, Luis Ayala 23-17, Mike Stanton 5-3, Gary Majewski 12-8, Chad Cordero 18-14
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Tony Armas 3-7, Luis Ayala 3-3, Gary Majewski 1-0, Chad Cordero 1-1
Batters Faced - Tony Armas 22, Luis Ayala 6, Mike Stanton 2, Gary Majewski 2, Chad Cordero 4
Game Information
Attendance - 36552
Game Time - 2:47
Temperature - 92
Umpires - Home - C.B. Bucknor, First Base - Phil Cuzzi, Second Base - Ed Hickox, Third Base - Jerry Crawford