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Dodgers 3, Nationals 2

The SportsXchange

WASHINGTON -- Andre Ethier led off the top of the ninth inning with a homer against Washington closer Rafael Soriano to break a 2-2 tie and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Nationals 3-2 on Friday night.

Ethier, hitless in his previous eight at-bats, smashed a breaking ball low and inside on a 1-2 count just over the wall in right field for his sixth homer of the year.

The Dodgers (48-47) have now won seven of their last nine games and the Nationals (48-48) have dropped six of their last eight.

Soriano, who has 25 saves, is now 1-2. He entered the game in a non-save situation.

The winning pitcher was Ronald Belisario (4-5), who appeared in his team-high 47th game, and Kenley Jansen pitched the ninth for his 10th save.

Jansen has pitched in 46 games and finished 19. He fanned Wilson Ramos for the last out of the game as the Nationals went down in order in the ninth.

Washington had tied the score at 2 in the sixth when Ian Desmond hit a bloop single to center to score Ryan Zimmerman, who led off the inning with a single and went to third on a single by Jayson Werth.

Stephen Strasburg pitched seven innings and allowed two runs and seven hits with six strikeouts. He threw 104 pitches before Steve Lombardozzi pinch-hit for him in the seventh. Ricky Nolasco went 5 1/3 innings and allowed two runs and eight hits.

Hanley Ramirez gave the Dodgers a 2-1 lead with a two-run homer in the third off Strasburg, who entered the game with a 2.99 ERA.

The Nationals had taken a 1-0 lead in the second when Bryce Harper led off with a double, went to third on a flyout to right and scored on a wild pitch.

Washington loaded the bases with no outs in the fourth but did not score as Ricky Nolasco retired Wilson Ramos on a comebacker to the mound to end the threat. It was the third start with the Dodgers for Nolasco, who faced the Nationals on Opening Day in Washington when he was with the Miami Marlins.

The Nationals hit into two double plays in the first five innings against Nolasco, who was acquired in a trade with the Marlins on July 6.

The Dodgers had seven hits in the first five innings against Strasburg, who went just two innings in his last start on July 12 at Miami.

NOTES: Washington 1B Adam LaRoche was out of the starting lineup with the flu, manager Davey Johnson said. Chad Tracy was in the starting lineup at first for the Nationals.... Brothers Jerry Hairston of the Dodgers and Scott Hairston of the Nationals are on opposite teams this weekend. Scott was acquired by the Nationals in a trade with the Chicago Cubs before the All-Star Game. "It is always good to see him," Jerry said before the game. "I know he just got traded here. I know it is a real good organization since I had a chance to play here." ... RHP Jordan Zimmermann was not able to pitch in the All-Star Game on Tuesday because of a sore neck but is slated to start Sunday against the Dodgers. "I wish my neck felt better. The break will definitely help," he said. "It was fun to hang out and watch the Home Run Derby." ... Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said RHP Chris Capuano will start Tuesday at Toronto. He came off the DL on June 19 after a left shoulder strain. RHP Stephen Fife, who has been on the DL since July 7 with right shoulder bursitis, remains in Arizona on rehab. "We have to make sure he is healthy and ready to go," Mattingly said of Fife, who could play some rehab games.
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