Meanwhile, back to your regular Dodgers season …
That offensive machine that had suddenly –- and quite unexpectedly -– become the Dodgers, has reverted back to more familiar form.
With Hiroki Kuroda giving up a career-high four home runs and a series of Washington pitchers handcuffing the Dodgers, the Nationals easily downed the Dodgers, 7-2, on Monday afternoon.
The Dodgers had won 11 of their last 12 games and six in a row before losing to Atlanta on Sunday. During that 12-game stretch, they had averaged 6.25 runs a game.
But after consecutive doubles by Jamey Carroll and Matt Kemp against John Lannan produced a run in the first inning, the Dodgers' offense pretty much closed shop.
And with Kuroda giving up three home runs in the first inning alone -– he had never previously given up three homers in an entire game –- it was a bad time for their offense to wither.
The Dodgers had struggled to score for Kuroda (11-15) most of the season, but in his last four starts during their offensive surge had produced 32 runs. Maybe he got used to it, but that offense wasn’t going to make an appearance on a gray day in the nation's capital.
Ian Desmond led off the bottom of the first innings with a home run. Michael Morse followed a Ryan Zimmerman single with a two-run homer. Former Dodger Jayson Werth followed with another homer.
It was 4-1, and with the Dodgers unable to generate any real scoring threats until the ninth inning, the game was essentially over.
Kuroda then settled down until Morse, who has one of the ugliest batting stances in baseball, led off the bottom of the sixth another home run. He has 26 on the season.
Kuroda went six innings on the day, giving up five runs on eight hits. Conversely, he did not walk a batter and struck out a season-high nine.
Rookie Josh Lindblom gave up one run in the seventh inning on a Desmond single and Rick Ankiel double. Betrayed by some sloppy fielding, Ramon Troncoso surrendered one unearned run in the eighth. Aaron Miles let a ball through his legs for an error and Dee Gordon simply dropped a soft liner for what would have been a double play, before Wilson Ramos knocked in a run with a single.
The Dodgers ended the game they way they started it, adding a final run in the ninth inning on back-to-back doubles by A.J. Ellis and Justin Sellers.
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-- Steve Dilbeck
Photo: Dodgers starting pitcher Hiroki Kuroda reacts after giving up one of three home runs to the Washington Nationals in the first inning Sunday at Nationals Park.Credit: Evan Habeeb / US Presswire