By Sky Kerstein

The Nationals struck out thirteen times and only managed two hits in their 3-1 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers and lose their fourth series in a row as they head back to DC after a nine game road trip.

It was looking good for the Nationals early in the top of the first as they had the bases loaded with no outs and Michael Morse at bat.  Morse hit a hard ground ball to left field scoring Roger Bernadina from third and gave the Nats an early 1-0 lead.  For Morse that his 55th RBI of the season and that was the highlight of the game for the Nationals as things changed fast.  Jayson Werth, Rick Ankiel and Jesus Flores all struck out in a row to end the first with the bases still loaded and only one run home.

The Dodgers in the bottom of the second took control of the game for good when Aaron Miles hit a grounder to centerfield scoring Andre Either and Matt Kemp and giving the Dodgers a 2-1 lead they wouldn’t relinquish.  The Dodgers added a third run in the third on a James Loney fielder’s choice scoring Rafael Furcal.

Jason Marquis pitched a solid game for the Nationals going six innings, giving up five hits, three runs, four walks and striking out two in the loss.  Marquis is 8-5 on the season with a 3.95 ERA.  Dodgers pitcher Chad Billingsley settled down nicely after Morse’s RBI in the first, going seven innings while giving up two hits, one run, two walks and striking out ten.

Ryan Zimmerman had the lone other hit for the Nationals and Jayson Werth 0 for 3, struck out twice and is hitting .217 on the season.  Rick Ankiel struck out all three times at-bat and left four on base.  Jesus Flores also left four on base and struck out twice.

The Nationals are 49-52 on the season and head back to DC for the first time since the all-star game for a nine game homestand starting with the Marlins on Tuesday.


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