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Rookie Withrow gets first win for Dodgers

The SportsXchange

WASHINGTON -- It may be a coincidence, but the Los Angeles Dodgers got on a roll soon after rookie pitcher Chris Withrow joined the club.

And on Saturday night the Texas native picked up his first major-league win as he pitched a scoreless ninth inning in the Dodgers' 3-1 win over the Washington Nationals in 10 innings.

"It feels great. Our team got a victory; that is the biggest thing," said Withrow (1-0). "To go out there and put up a zero and give the team a chance to win was my only goal."

Withrow, 24, made his debut on June 12 against Arizona. One June 21 the Dodgers were a season-worst 12 games under .500, but since then Los Angeles has gone 19-5 for the best record in the majors during that time.

"The energy is pretty amazing. Everyone is rooting for each other," Withrow said. "It has been a really fun experience to be part of that. We are trying to go out and do our job. Hopefully we can feed off each other and keep it going" in the bullpen.

Hanley Ramirez doubled in Adrian Gonzalez in the top of the 10th inning to break a tie and Andre Ethier added a sacrifice fly for an insurance run for the Dodgers.

"Since we have made this little run Hanley has been great," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "It feels like he has been on a mission since spring training. He has been solid."

Gonzalez led off the 10th with a double down the left-field line against reliever Craig Stammen (5-5), who then gave up a blistering line drive by Ramirez to left center. Ramirez advanced to third on a bunt and Ethier hit a sac fly to left against reliever Ian Krol; the throw to the plate by Bryce Harper hit Ramirez as he scored standing.

"It is all about making pitches," Washington manager Davey Johnson said of Stammen, who has struggled. "He made a good pitch to Gonzalez."

The Dodgers (49-47) have won eight of the last 10. Washington (48-49) has lost seven of nine.

A World Series favorite, Washington left 12 runners on base and was 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position. The Nationals rank among the worst teams in the majors in on-base and batting average.

Ryan Zimmerman had three hits for the Nationals but also made his 15th error of the year at third.

"We are still young," said Johnson, a lament he has proclaimed several times this season about his team's approach at the plate.

Kenley Jansen pitched the bottom of the 10th for his 11th save.

Pinch-hitter Roger Bernadina broke a scoreless tie in the bottom of the sixth with a bloop single to right with two outs to score Chad Tracy and give Washington a 1-0 lead against Dodgers starter Zack Greinke.

Tracy, in a rare start, had two singles and a double in his first three at-bats against Greinke. That gave Tracy six hits in eight at-bats against Greinke, who was denied in his bid for victory No. 100. Greinke allowed one run in six innings.

"We are playing good," Greinke said. "I feel we are going to win no matter what the situation is" late in games.

Mark Ellis of the Dodgers singled to left with two outs in the seventh against reliever Drew Storen to tie the score 1-1.

Washington starter Gio Gonzalez, who had won his four previous starts, tied his career high with 11 strikeouts.

NOTES: On July 20, 1987, when he was with the New York Yankees, Mattingly set a major-league record for first basemen with 22 putouts in a nine-inning game. The starting pitcher that day was Tommy John, a ground-ball pitcher. ... Trey Hillman, the bench coach for the Dodgers, was the manager of the Prince William Cannons of the Carolina League in 1993 in Woodbridge, Va. -- about 30 miles south of Nationals Park. That team is now called the Potomac Nationals and is the Washington affiliate in the Carolina League. ... Adam LaRoche, the regular first baseman for the Nationals, was out of the lineup for the second game in a row. Tracy, hitting .149 at game time, got the start again at first for Washington. ... The last time Washington went six games without a long ball was June 1-6, 2010. They have now gone six in a row this month.
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