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Philadelphia at Washington

W: S. Martis (1-0) L: J. Blanton (0-1)
HR: PHI - None   WAS - A. Dunn (3), J. Willingham (1), E. Dukes (2), A. Gonzalez (1)

Dunn homers to fuel Nationals' first win of season

CBSSports.com wire reports

WASHINGTON -- A Washington Nationals starting pitcher finally left a game in 2009 with his head held high, getting a standing ovation from fans sitting near the home dugout and fist bumps and backslaps from teammates.

Not coincidentally, the Nationals finally won a game in 2009.

Shairon Martis threw 6 1/3 solid innings, Adam Dunn hit one of Washington's four homers, and the Nationals avoided setting a club record for most consecutive losses to start a season by beating the Philadelphia Phillies 8-2 Thursday night.

"The win means a lot. It gets the monkey off our back right now," Elijah Dukes said. "And just to feel more relaxed about yourself coming to the field -- now we feel better as a team."

Washington is 1-7; in the franchise's two-city history, only this edition and the 1998 Montreal Expos opened 0-7, according to STATS LLC.

"We weren't nervous, by any means," said Ryan Zimmerman, who singled twice. "But it's a lot nicer to win than lose. We're six games under .500 -- that's the way you look at it."

Martis (1-0) gave up two runs and five hits in by the far the most effective performance by any member of Washington's young starting rotation in 2009. Mike Hinckley, Joe Beimel and Joel Hanrahan followed with 2 2/3 innings of perfect relief.

"This was a very important outing," Nationals manager Manny Acta said. "Starting the season 0-7, with all the pressure of 'Who's going to win the first game?' 'Who's going to have the first quality start?"'

Ryan Howard, Chase Utley and Jimmy Rollins went 1-for-6 with two walks while Martis was in the game.

"If he can shut that offense down," Dunn said, "he can shut any offense down."

Dunn hit a three-run shot off Joe Blanton (0-1) in the first inning, while Josh Willingham hit his first homer with the Nationals as a pinch-hitter in the seventh off Chad Durbin. Willingham hesitated as he began rounding the bases, thinking maybe his drive to left had been caught by Raul Ibanez.

"I filled up a lot of columns," said Willingham, who entered the night 0-for-11 with Washington. "I've got a batting average now, a run scored, an RBI."

Dukes and Alberto Gonzalez connected against Jack Taschner during Washington's four-run eighth to put the game out of reach.

Offense, though, has not been a problem this season for the Nationals, who entered averaging 4.9 runs. Pitching, well, that's another matter. Martis lasted three innings in his rain-interrupted season debut -- long enough to allow three runs -- and Nationals starters were 0-5 with a 10.73 ERA before Thursday.

"I was more aggressive," said Martis, who started 19 of 26 batters with strikes. "I came with a goal to stop the losing streak."

The Phillies' three-game winning streak ended.

"We have had a lot of distractions and a lot of things going on, and we need to get on with our season," Philadelphia manager Charlie Manuel said. "We won the World Series last year, but that was last year."

Neither club has pitched well. They came in with the NL's two highest ERAs, Washington at 7.71 and Philadelphia at 6.68. Still, Martis was nearly matched by Blanton, who certainly permitted plenty of hits (eight) but only one that produced any runs during his six innings: Dunn's drive to right, his third homer with the Nationals.

"He set the tone," Acta said. "That's what we need."


  • The Phillies wore black patches with the initials "HK" in memory of broadcaster Harry Kalas, who died Monday.
  • The last team to start a season with at least eight losses was the 2003 Tigers, who began 0-9, according to STATS LLC.
  • Washington 1B Nick Johnson, moved up to No. 2 in the batting order, had three hits.
  • The Nationals have hit at least three homers in consecutive games for the first time since moving to D.C. The Expos last did it on Sept. 15, 2004, at Florida.
Copyright 2017 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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Adam Dunn rounds the bases after a three-run blast, one of four the Nationals hit.  (Getty Images)
Adam Dunn rounds the bases after a three-run blast, one of four the Nationals hit. (Getty Images)

Players of the Game

A. Dunn
AB 4
R 1
H 1
HR 1

S. Martis
IP 6.1
H 5
ER 2
BB 2
K 1

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Jimmy Rollins, SS3001001 .111
Shane Victorino, CF4000001 .219
Chase Utley, 2B3110110 .393
Ryan Howard, 1B3000111 .313
Jayson Werth, RF4000002 .313
Raul Ibanez, LF4021010 .303
Pedro Feliz, 3B4000003 .308
Lou Marson, C3120000 .667
Joe Blanton, P0000000 .000
   a- Greg Dobbs, PH0000000 .000
   b- Eric Bruntlett, PH1000000 .286
    Chad Durbin, P00000001.000
    Jack Taschner, P0000000 .000
    J.A. Happ, P0000000 .000
a-announced for Blanton in the 7th
b-grounded out for Dobbs in the 7th
2B - Lou Marson (1, Martis)
SF - Jimmy Rollins (1)
SH - Joe Blanton 2 (3)
RBI - Jimmy Rollins (3), Raul Ibanez (7)
2-OUT RBI - Raul Ibanez (2)
Team LOB - 5
DP - Feliz-Utley-Howard
E - Pedro Feliz (1, Missed catch of throw)
Philadelphia Phillies
Joe Blanton (L,0-1) 6833151 9.00
Chad Durbin 0.2111201 9.64
Jack Taschner 1444222 9.00
J.A. Happ 0.1000000 3.86
Pitches-Strikes - Joe Blanton 97-62, Chad Durbin 20-7, Jack Taschner 38-19, J.A. Happ 3-1
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Joe Blanton 4-8
Batters Faced - Joe Blanton 26, Chad Durbin 4, Jack Taschner 9, J.A. Happ 1
Washington Nationals
Anderson Hernandez, 2B4121101 .375
Nick Johnson, 1B4130101 .346
Ryan Zimmerman, 3B4121112 .243
Adam Dunn, LF4113022 .346
    Joe Beimel, P0000000 .000
   a- Ronnie Belliard, PH1000002 .111
    Joel Hanrahan, P0000000 .000
Elijah Dukes, CF4111001 .360
Austin Kearns, RF4010000 .174
Jesus Flores, C3000120 .227
Alberto Gonzalez, SS4121002 .429
Shairon Martis, P2000021 .333
    Michael Hinckley, P0000000 .000
   b- Josh Willingham, PH1111000 .083
    Roger Bernadina, LF0100100 .000
a-popped out for Beimel in the 8th
b-homered for Hinckley in the 7th
2B - Austin Kearns (2, Blanton)
HR - Adam Dunn (3, Blanton), Elijah Dukes (2, Taschner), Alberto Gonzalez (1, Taschner), Josh Willingham (1, Durbin)
RBI - Anderson Hernandez (1), Ryan Zimmerman (8), Adam Dunn 3 (11), Elijah Dukes (6), Alberto Gonzalez (2), Josh Willingham (1)
2-OUT RBI - Anderson Hernandez (1), Ryan Zimmerman (3), Alberto Gonzalez (2)
SB - Roger Bernadina (1, 2nd base off Taschner/Marson)
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Michael Hinckley (H,1) 0.2000000 3.00
Joe Beimel (H,1) 1000010 1.93
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Pitches-Strikes - Shairon Martis 86-49, Michael Hinckley 11-8, Joe Beimel 15-9, Joel Hanrahan 12-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Shairon Martis 9-9, Michael Hinckley 1-1
Batters Faced - Shairon Martis 26, Michael Hinckley 2, Joe Beimel 3, Joel Hanrahan 3
Game Information
Attendance - 20494
Game Time - 2:32
Temperature - 60
Umpires - Home - Adrian Johnson, First Base - Derryl Cousins, Second Base - Jim Joyce, Third Base - Bill Miller