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Los Angeles at Washington

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L.A. Dodgers (68-72)100000001291
Washington (65-74) «40000111x7121

Morse has two homers as Nationals drop Dodgers

CBSSports.com wire reports
  •  

WASHINGTON -- Michael Morse and the Washington Nationals put together one powerful start Monday.

Morse hit two of Washington's four homers and John Lannan pitched into the sixth inning to lead the Nationals to a 7-2 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers.

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Morse, Ian Desmond and Jayson Werth all went deep in the first inning as Washington grabbed a 4-1 lead. The Nationals had dropped 10 of 12, while the Dodgers came in winners of 11 of 13.

All four homers -- Morse hit No. 26 in the sixth inning -- came against Hiroki Kuroda (11-15), who entered with a career-high four-game winning streak. The right-hander had a season-high nine strikeouts, but gave up five runs and eight hits in six innings.

Lannan (9-11), who had lost his previous four starts, allowed one run and five hits in 5 1/3 innings. Collin Balester, Tom Gorzelanny, Tyler Clippard and Sean Burnett combined for the final 3 2/3 innings.

Morse drove in three runs and was one of five Nationals with two hits. The first baseman-outfielder leads the team in home runs, average (.315) and RBI (82).

"Over the course of my career I've hit behind some pretty good hitters. Mike is having a big year," said Werth, who often followed Ryan Howard and Chase Utley in Philadelphia's lineup before signing with the Nationals last winter.

"When I signed here he was one of the guys I really liked and thought he had a chance to be a really good player. He's really done a good job this year and turned himself into a force to be reckoned with and a guy going forward who's going to be a pillar in this organization."

Kuroda had never allowed three or more home runs in the same game, let alone the same inning. The four-year veteran threw 114 pitches.

"Usually, when you don't pitch good, it's that first inning," Los Angeles manager Don Mattingly said. "[Kuroda] got himself into a groove and pitched well after that. He gave us some chances to kind of creep back in."

Lack of run support was a factor in Lannan's skid as the Nationals scored a combined five runs in that stretch. They nearly generated that output in the first inning against Los Angeles.

Jamey Carroll and Matt Kemp hit consecutive doubles in the first to give the Dodgers the lead, but Desmond led off the bottom half with a drive to left-center on a 1-2 slider.

"They kind of had the momentum right there in the first inning," said Desmond, who has two leadoff home runs in the last three games. "It was nice for us to answer back and then continue to keep it going the rest of the game. That's something we haven't done this year."

After Rick Ankiel singled and Ryan Zimmerman's fly ball was caught at the wall, Morse's drive cleared the fence in left. Werth followed with another shot to left, also on a slider, for the fourth set of back-to-back home runs by the Nationals this season.

"I didn't have my slider in the first inning, or throughout the game," Kuroda said through an interpreter.

Los Angeles put two on with no outs in the fourth inning but Russ Mitchell grounded into a double play that nearly was a triple play, and Tony Gwynn Jr. flied out to left to end the inning.

Lannan was removed after Juan Rivera's single in the sixth and James Loney singled against Balester with two down. Gorzelanny entered to face lefty batter Gwynn, who struck out on a foul tip.

"I felt pretty good. A little hiccup there in the first, but I settled down after they scored," said Lannan, who threw 27 of his 94 pitches in the first inning. "It's always a little bit of a comfort when you can go out there and just try and get ahead knowing that you have a lead."

Justin Sellers hit an RBI double in the ninth for Los Angeles.

Ankiel doubled in Desmond in the seventh, and Wilson Ramos had an RBI single in the eighth.

Notes

  • The Dodgers entered having won four consecutive series.
  • Rain is forecast throughout the day on Tuesday, potentially interfering with Stephen Strasburg's season debut. The No. 1 overall pick in the 2009 draft is returning to the majors after undergoing Tommy John surgery last fall. "If [Strasburg] warms up and it rains, we'll probably have to do it another day," Washington manager Davey Johnson said.
  • Johnson acknowledged a wave of minor leaguers are expected to be called up on Tuesday. Eastern League Pitcher of the Year Brad Peacock and second baseman Stephen Lombardozzi are the expected headliners.
 
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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Michael Morse connects for his 26th homer of the season in the sixth inning of Washington's win over the Dodgers. (Getty Images)
Michael Morse connects for his 26th homer of the season in the sixth inning of Washington's win over the Dodgers. (Getty Images)

Players of the Game
Washington

M. Morse
AB 4
R 2
H 2
HR 2
RBI 3
Los Angeles

A. Ellis
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 0
RBI 0
 

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Los Angeles Dodgers
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Dee Gordon, SS5000033 .265
Jamey Carroll, 2B4110012 .287
    Josh Lindblom, P0000000 .000
    Ramon Troncoso, P0000000 .000
Matt Kemp, CF4011020 .320
Juan Rivera, RF3010101 .256
Aaron Miles, 3B3010101 .282
Russ Mitchell, 1B2000013 .156
   a- James Loney, PH-1B2010000 .278
Tony Gwynn Jr., LF4000013 .255
A.J. Ellis, C4120000 .281
Hiroki Kuroda, P2010000 .113
   b- Justin Sellers, PH-2B2011001 .250
Totals3529228  
a-singled for Mitchell in the 6th
b-popped out for Kuroda in the 7th
Batting
2B - Jamey Carroll (14, Lannan), Matt Kemp (27, Lannan), A.J. Ellis (1, Burnett), Justin Sellers (6, Burnett)
RBI - Matt Kemp (106), Justin Sellers (10)
2-OUT RBI - Justin Sellers (5)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
E - Aaron Miles (7, Misplayed grounder)
Los Angeles Dodgers
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Hiroki Kuroda (L,11-15) 6855094 3.18
Josh Lindblom 1211010 2.49
Ramon Troncoso 1210020 5.89
Pitches-Strikes - Hiroki Kuroda 114-74, Josh Lindblom 17-10, Ramon Troncoso 22-15
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Hiroki Kuroda 5-4, Ramon Troncoso 2-0
Batters Faced - Hiroki Kuroda 26, Josh Lindblom 5, Ramon Troncoso 6
Washington Nationals
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Ian Desmond, SS5221022 .244
Rick Ankiel, RF4121020 .242
Ryan Zimmerman, 3B4000012 .289
Michael Morse, LF4223001 .315
Jayson Werth, CF4211000 .231
Danny Espinosa, 2B4000041 .231
Chris Marrero, 1B3020000 .281
    Tyler Clippard, P0000000 .000
   a- Jonny Gomes, PH1000000 .210
    Sean Burnett, P00000001.000
Wilson Ramos, C4021012 .260
John Lannan, P2000021 .093
    Collin Balester, P0000000 .000
    Tom Gorzelanny, P0000000 .111
    Alex Cora, 1B2010000 .223
Totals377127012  
a-grounded out for Clippard in the 8th
Batting
2B - Rick Ankiel (16, Lindblom), Wilson Ramos (20, Kuroda), Alex Cora (6, Troncoso)
HR - Ian Desmond (7, Kuroda), Michael Morse 2 (26, Kuroda, Kuroda), Jayson Werth (18, Kuroda)
RBI - Ian Desmond (39), Rick Ankiel (31), Michael Morse 3 (82), Jayson Werth (52), Wilson Ramos (42)
2-OUT RBI - Wilson Ramos (11)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
DP - Zimmerman-Espinosa
E - Danny Espinosa (13, Throwing)
Washington Nationals
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
John Lannan (W,9-11) 5.1511240 3.48
Collin Balester (H,1) 0.1100000 3.64
Tom Gorzelanny (H,1) 1100020 4.35
Tyler Clippard 1.1000020 2.04
Sean Burnett 1211000 4.24
Pitches-Strikes - John Lannan 94-61, Collin Balester 9-5, Tom Gorzelanny 14-12, Tyler Clippard 27-19, Sean Burnett 12-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - John Lannan 6-5, Sean Burnett 2-1
Batters Faced - John Lannan 22, Collin Balester 2, Tom Gorzelanny 4, Tyler Clippard 4, Sean Burnett 5
Game Information
Attendance - 25518
Game Time - 3:00
Temperature - 79
Umpires - Home - Bill Miller, First Base - James Hoye, Second Base - Phil Cuzzi, Third Base - Tom Hallion