GAME 17 REVIEW: Atilano, Dunn Pace Nats Over Dodgers 5-1

Posted by Dave Nichols | Saturday, April 24, 2010 | , , , | 0 comments »

by Anthony Amobi, Staff Writer
WASHINGTON -- It was a memorable night for rookie right-handed pitcher Luis Atilano.

Atilano, 24, was called up from Triple-A Syracuse after an injury to Jason Marquis and was on the mound Friday night to face the Los Angeles Dodgers at Nationals Park.

On a beautiful night for baseball, Atilano in his major league debut looked like a cool-calm tenured veteran as he pitched six strong innings and got some major help from slugger Adam Dunn's bat.

The big slugger hit two homers on the night and Washington Nationals cruised to a 5-1 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers at home in front of an announced 23,839 fans.

Despite the Nationals not having Ryan Zimmerman in the lineup, they upped their record to 9-8, by far their best start after 17 games in several seasons.

Atilano (W, 1-0) was solid on the night and his only mistake came in the fourth inning as he allowed A.J. Ellis to plate a run, scoring James Loney. With the game tied at one with two outs, the Dodgers were threating to score another run with runners on second and third; however, pitcher Charlie Haeger lined out to second to end the frame and the potential rally.

With slugger Manny Ramirez of the Dodger lineup, they would struggle to produce any offense on the night and were held to only five hits. Their first five hitters went a combined 2-for-20, and they left eight on base in the game.

Altilano allowed five hits, walked two and struck out one in his major league debut.

After being shut-out on Thursday, the Nationals turned it on at the plate. Washington got their first run via an Adam Kennedy RBI-single that plated Nyjer Morgan, who started the game off with a triple.

The Nationals made the game 2-1 in the bottom of the fourth inning as Adam Dunn, who has started the season in a fairly deep slump, hit a towering solo-homer that landed in the upper deck in right field.

Dunn struck again the sixth inning as he hit his second homer of the night--a two-run shot to right center field to raise Washington's score to 4-1.

Washington added another run in the seventh inning on a Morgan RBI double.

Meanwhile, Haeger (L, 0-2) the Dodgers' starter, took the loss. He went go five and two-thirds innings, allowing four runs--three earned--on five hits.

The Good: Luis Atilano. What else more can you say? It's just one stop, but it was very encouraging to Nats fans to see the young hurler put out such a great effort.

Adam Dunn: He hit two homers on Friday and looked like the feared slugger that Nats fans have been waiting for.

The Bad: Willie Harris. He was 0-3 and saw his average dip to .188.

Here's Manager Jim Riggleman's post-game press conference.

Photos and video by Anthony Amobi/Nats News Network.  All Rights Reserved.