Los Angeles at Washington

W: L. Atilano (1-0) L: C. Haeger (0-2)
HR: LA - None   WAS - A. Dunn (2), A. Dunn (3)

Atilano impresses in debut, Dunn homers twice for Nats

CBSSports.com wire reports

WASHINGTON -- The Washington Nationals knew Adam Dunn would eventually emerge from a prolonged power drought. What kind of effort they would get from an untested pitcher in his major league debut was more of a question mark.

Rookie Luis Atilano threw six strong innings, Dunn homered twice, and the Washington Nationals beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-1 on Friday night.

Los Angeles Dodgers

Los Angeles Dodgers


Manny to DL with calf injury

"It's crazy. It's been my dreams," said Atilano, a career minor leaguer who had Tommy John ligament replacement surgery in August 2006. "After seven years, I made it, finally. I can't ask for nothing better than that."

Atilano, a 24-year-old right-hander recalled from Triple-A Syracuse to replace the injured Jason Marquis in the Nationals' rotation, allowed one run and five hits. He walked two and struck out one.

"It didn't seem like there was any nervousness about what [Atilano] was doing. He may have been feeling it, but he certainly didn't show it," said Nationals manager Jim Riggleman. "That was pretty impressive for your major league debut."

Dunn, who had one homer in Washington's first 16 games, connected off knuckleballer Charlie Haeger in successive at-bats -- a solo shot to break a 1-all tie in the fourth and a two-run drive in the sixth. It was the 25th multiple homer game of Dunn's career.

"I wouldn't say that I'm out of a slump, ... but I felt good," Dunn said. "I've been feeling good all along, I just haven't been doing much. Hopefully things will start heating up."

Riggleman has been willing to wait out Dunn's slow start, knowing that his slugger's power stroke would eventually come around. It's ironic the breakout came against Haeger, considering Dunn had to watch a few knucklers from teammate Matt Capps in batting practice just to get a read on the fluttering pitch.

"Two thoughts went through my head. First, I don't care what happens, I'm going to try and jam myself and stay inside it," Dunn said. "The other one was kind of revert back to slo-pitch softball -- try to catch it out in front minus the beer coolers in the dugout."

Haeger (0-2) yielded four runs and five hits in 5 1/3 innings. His two mistakes to Dunn were a 72 mph knuckler up in the zone and an 84 mph fastball that caught too much of the plate.

"A loss is a loss, period -- no matter how you throw," Haeger said. "I threw more fastballs than normal. I didn't have as good a command of the knuckleball"

Dodgers manager Joe Torre said Haeger paid the price for not being able to find the strike zone with his gimmick pitch.

"Unless you really locate [the fastball] with his velocity, it's a dangerous pitch," Torre said. "He threw quite a few fastballs tonight and he has. And he's had some success with it. But the thing he couldn't do tonight is throw some strikes with fastballs."

Each team was missing a major piece of its offense. The Dodgers placed outfielder Manny Ramirez on the 15-day disabled list before the game after he sustained a right calf strain in Cincinnati on Thursday. Washington played without third baseman Ryan Zimmerman, who was out of the starting lineup for a second straight game nursing a sore right hamstring.

  • Dodgers OF Matt Kemp went 0 for 4, ending his hitting streak at 11 games.
  • Haeger walked three and struck out two, both season lows.
  • Nationals C Ivan Rodriguez left the game after six innings with lower back tightness and will get a rest Saturday, Riggleman said.
  • Washington OF Mike Morse, on the 15-day disabled list with a left calf injury, has reported to extended spring training in Viera, Fla., where he will get in shape before a minor league rehabilitation assignment.
  • Marquis has received a cortisone shot in his ailing right elbow, had the joint drained and is taking anti-inflammatory medications in an attempt to avoid surgery for the bone chips that landed him on the 15-day disabled list. He hopes to begin a throwing program in early May. General manager Mike Rizzo said offseason surgery remains an option.
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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That one isn't coming back. Adam Dunn torches the Dodgers for his second and third homers. (AP)
That one isn't coming back. Adam Dunn torches the Dodgers for his second and third homers. (AP)

Players of the Game

A. Dunn
AB 3
R 2
H 2
HR 2

N. Morgan
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 0

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Matt Kemp, CF4000011 .313
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Ronnie Belliard, 3B-2B3020100 .423
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    Jamey Carroll, 3B2000011 .238
a-grounded out for Ortiz in the 9th
b-hit by pitch for Ellis in the 9th
2B - James Loney (5, Atilano), Blake DeWitt (1, Atilano)
RBI - A.J. Ellis (3)
Team LOB - 8
DP - DeWitt-Furcal-Loney, Belliard-Furcal-Loney, Loney-Ellis-Belliard
E - Ronnie Belliard (3, Throwing)
Los Angeles Dodgers
Charlie Haeger (L,0-2) 5.1543232 6.46
Ramon Ortiz 2.2111400 6.94
Pitches-Strikes - Charlie Haeger 110-67, Ramon Ortiz 48-24
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Charlie Haeger 10-3, Ramon Ortiz 2-4
Batters Faced - Charlie Haeger 23, Ramon Ortiz 11
Washington Nationals
Nyjer Morgan, CF4121000 .254
Adam Kennedy, 2B-1B4011001 .244
Cristian Guzman, SS-2B3100111 .310
Adam Dunn, 1B3223101 .204
    Ian Desmond, PR-SS0000000 .233
Josh Willingham, LF2010201 .327
    Miguel Batista, P0000000 .000
Ivan Rodriguez, C3000012 .423
    Tyler Clippard, P00000001.000
   a- Alberto Gonzalez, PH-3B1000003 .286
Willie Harris, 3B-LF3000103 .188
Justin Maxwell, RF2100101 .250
Luis Atilano, P2000011 .000
    Wil Nieves, C1000001 .278
a-fouled out for Clippard in the 8th
2B - Nyjer Morgan (2, Ortiz)
3B - Nyjer Morgan (4, Haeger)
HR - Adam Dunn 2 (3, Haeger, Haeger)
RBI - Nyjer Morgan (4), Adam Kennedy (8), Adam Dunn 3 (7)
2-OUT RBI - Nyjer Morgan (2)
SB - Adam Kennedy (3, 2nd base off Haeger/Ellis), Justin Maxwell (1, 2nd base off Ortiz/Ellis)
Team LOB - 5
DP - Guzman-Desmond-Kennedy
E - Luis Atilano (1, Missed catch of throw), Adam Kennedy (1, Misplayed grounder), Nyjer Morgan (2, Throwing)
Washington Nationals
Luis Atilano (W,1-0) 6511210 1.50
Tyler Clippard (H,2) 2000040 0.66
Miguel Batista 1000000 6.57
IBB - DeWitt by Luis Atilano
HBP - Blake (by Miguel Batista)
Pitches-Strikes - Luis Atilano 93-57, Tyler Clippard 30-21, Miguel Batista 11-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Luis Atilano 11-7, Tyler Clippard 2-1, Miguel Batista 2-0
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Game Information
Attendance - 23859
Game Time - 2:39
Temperature - 72
Umpires - Home - Chris Guccione, First Base - Jerry Crawford, Second Base - Brian O'Nora, Third Base - Phil Cuzzi