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Dodgers' offense sluggish; Hiroki Kuroda gives up four homers

After a torrid spell, Los Angeles loses to Washington Nationals, its second loss in a row.

September 05, 2011|By Dylan Hernandez
  • Dodgers starting pitcher Hiroki Kuroda reacts after giving up one of three home runs to the Washington Nationals in the first inning Monday at Nationals Park.
Dodgers starting pitcher Hiroki Kuroda reacts after giving up one of three… (Evan Habeeb / US Presswire )

Reporting from Washington -- Well, that was fun while it lasted.

The Dodgers are back to losing and back to not scoring, as they dropped their second consecutive game Monday, falling to the Washington Nationals, 7-2, at Nationals Park.

The consecutive losses followed a 12-game stretch during which the Dodgers won 11 games.

"It's hard to say," Manager Don Mattingly said when asked whether the Dodgers reverted to their season-long form. "Is it that? Is it baseball?"

Hiroki Kuroda didn't help matters.

In any of his 110 previous career starts, Kuroda had never served up more than two home runs.

On Monday, he gave up three in the first inning and four in the game.

Two of the home runs were by the Nationals' lone offensive standout, Michael Morse.

Kuroda's four-start winning streak was over, as he was charged with five runs and eight hits in six innings.

"My slider wasn't very sharp today," he said.

Kuroda was able to recover from the four-run shellacking in the first inning, as he held the Nationals scoreless over the next four innings to keep the deficit at 4-1. He struck out nine, a season high.

"I thought that if I could remain in the game, I could give us a chance to win," he said.

He was wrong.

The closest they came was in the fourth inning, which Juan Rivera and Aaron Miles led off by reaching base. Any thoughts of a comeback were extinguished when Russ Mitchell grounded into a double play that was one proper throw short of a triple play.

Kuroda conceded that the long season has taken a toll on his 36-year-old body.

"It's something that happens to everyone, not just me," he said. "No one who is still playing at this stage of the season is 100%. But you have to do as well as you can under those conditions."

Guerrier back

Four days removed from the birth of his son, Matt Guerrier rejoined the Dodgers.

"It makes me miss being home," Guerrier said. "Obviously, you want to be around as much as you can to help."

Guerrier said his wife underwent a caesarean section to deliver their son, whom they named Jack Ira.

The child is the Guerriers' second. They also have a 3-year-old daughter.

Short hops

Outfielder Jerry Sands and catcher Tim Federowicz were held out of triple-A Albuquerque's season finale on Monday. They could be among the reinforcements who are called up to the majors Tuesday. … Three of the Dodgers' minor league affiliates are advancing to the postseason: double-A Chattanooga (Tenn.), Class-A Rancho Cucamonga and rookie-level Ogden (Utah).

dylan.hernandez@latimes.com

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