Dodgers 5, Nationals 3

John Lindsey hit a two-run, tiebreaker home run off Collin Balester in the sixth inning. Before that, Andre Ethier went what should have been 3 for 4, but the official scorer gave 2B Peter Orr an error on a ball that absolutely smoked, so Ethier wound up 2 for 4with a home run and also gunned down a runner trying to score from second on a single in the fifth inning. This RF battle is starting to heat up. Ethier raised his average from .182 to .267 in a single afternoon. Kemp is hitting .462, and I assume will play tonight. Adkins is fine. So is Ethier, who left the game after stealking second base in the seventh inning when the throw from the catcher hit him squarely in the back. But back in Vero, Hong-Chih Kuo has been shut down from pitching in a game (but not off a mound) for precautionary reasons because he felt something strange in the back of his left elbow. Stan Conte stressed that it is nothing serious. Conte also said Saito would be pitching now if this were the regular season. Oh, and Tony Abreu is expected to be ready to play in a game by this weekend. … Oh, almost forgot, perhaps the most important thing that happened in this game was the Esteban Loaiza bounced back from his rough outing against the Braves on Friday to pitch two hitless innings, facing the minimum. He hit a batter in the first inning, but quickly erased that by getting Ryan Zimmerman to GIDP. Loaiza struck out the final two batters he faced, whiffing Austin Kearns and freezing Wily Mo Pena. Having covered the Reds for four years, it seems like Jim Bowden has brought all his old Reds players to Washington. They didn’t win then, and I can’t imagine them winning now. But whatever.

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