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Need A First Major League Win? Face The Dodgers

A pair of Adam Dunn home runs were enough to beat Charlie Haeger and the Dodgers, as the Nationals took the opener of the series, 5-1 in front of 23,859 at Nationals Park.  Luis Atilano made his major league debut against an offense leading the major leagues in runs scored, and he held them to one run over six innings for his first major league win.  This marks the second straight game, after Mike Leake of the Reds won last night, that the Dodgers have lost to a starter getting his first major league win.

I did some searching using the wonderful Baseball-Reference Play Index, and I believe the last time the Dodgers were victim to a first major league win on back-to-back days was July 7-8, 1992.  On July 7, Jonathan Hurst of the Expos got his first major league win in the second game of a double header.  The very next night, the Dodgers played another double header -- their third in Montreal in three days -- and Bill Risley picked up major league win number one in game two.  So, it wasn't in consecutive games like Leake and Atilano, but consecutive days.  On July 5 against Philadelphia, Mike Williams of the Phillies got his first major league win against a Dodger team that would go on to lose 99 games, meaning the Dodgers saw a pitcher get his first major league win against them three times in four days.

Other Notes

  • Matt Kemp had his 11-game hitting streak stopped by going hitless in four at-bats
  • Ronnie Belliard started at third base tonight, and had two hits and a walk, the third time in three road starts he has reached base three times.  He is hitting .423/.444/.731 on the young season
  • Blake DeWitt got his first extra-base hit of the season, a double under the glove of a diving Nyjer Morgan in center field in the top of the sixth.  The double came one pitch after DeWitt lined what looked to be a double down the right field line before it landed foul.
  • Xavier Paul is expected to join the team for tomorrow's game
  • Atilano is the second starting pitcher this season to defeat the Dodgers while recording just one strikeout, joining Zach Duke on opening day.
  • Tyler Clippard looked fantastic out of the bullpen for the Nationals, striking out four in his two scoreless innings of work

Rain is expected tomorrow, but if the game gets in Clayton Kershaw will pitch against Craig Stammen in a 10am start.  In case you were wondering if Saturday may bring another first, reliever Jesse English of the Nationals does not yet have a major league win.

WP - Luis Atilano (1-0): 6 IP, 5 hits, 1 run, 2 walks, 1 strikeout

LP - Charlie Haeger (0-2):  5 1/3 IP, 5 hits, 4 runs (3 earned), 2 walks, 3 strikeouts

Box Score

Here are some pregame pictures from my brother Greg, who was at tonight's game: