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Adam Dunn Crushes Dodgers 6-3

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Washington Nationals’ slugging first baseman Adam Dunn was a one-man wrecking crew overpowering Clayton Kershaw (L, 10-7) and the Dodgers in their 6-3 loss to the Nationals.

“We gave up too much tonight,” Dodgers manager Joe Torre commented on the loss.

Dunn, claimed off the waiver wires Friday afternoon, may not know for whom he will be hitting homers come next week, but he gave a couple for the Nationals and the Dodgers to remember. After Clayton Kershaw had location problems in the first inning allowing a one-out single to Ian Desmond and a walk to Ryan Zimmerman, Dunn smashed one into the right field box seats to give the Nationals a 3-0 lead.

The third inning was an almost carbon copy of the first inning. This time Desmond got the walk while Zimmerman got the single, and Dunn didn’t get the ball quite as far - it hit the right field foul pole. Nevertheless it was still a 6-0 lead.

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It tied a career high of six RBI in a game for Dunn - he also had six RBI on May 24, 2009 against the Baltimore Orioles at Nationals Park.

“What’s really frustrating is that they were both three-run home runs,” Kershaw said. “The walks, the people on base in front of him, getting behind some hitters and getting some singles in front of the home runs - it makes it pretty much impossible to come back. That’s the thing that’s most frustrating.”

Kershaw redeemed himself a bit in the fifth inning when he struck out Dunn on four pitches to end the inning.

“It didn’t look like he had a good rhythm going,” Torre said. “After he gave up that second homer, he was a lot smoother and a lot more efficient.”

As for the Dodger offense, they faced another 5.00+ ERA pitcher for the second day in a row and again struggled with the bats. Andre Ethier got the Dodger bats going in the fourth inning when he belted a two-run homer off of Nationals’ starter John Lannan (W, 3-5) to right centerfield to cut the deficit to 6-2.

“He looks more comfortable up there right now,” Torre said of Ethier. “He’s a big man for us in the middle. Matt [Kemp] is fighting it a little bit right now. Andre is going to be huge for us.”

Later in the inning after James Loney walked, he took second base on a pass ball and scored on Casey Blake’s single to make it 6-3.

But aside from that, no other runners made it to scoring position except for Scott Podsednik in the first inning.

“We need to put a little more pressure on the opposition,” Torre said. “We haven’t been able to do that on a regular basis.”

In the middle of the first inning Nationals’ assistant athletic trainer Michael McGowan was hit by a ball in the right cheek as the Nationals fielders were warming up for the bottom of the inning. He was attended to in the Nationals’ dugout and was conscious and responsive.

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