Dodgers Meet Nationals for first time since 1899

The last time the Dodgers and the Washington Nationals met in an official game was 1899, when the Nats were a member of the league. Washington moved from the American Association to the National League in 1891 and stayed in the league, finishing an average of 40-games behind. They were cut out of the league, along with Cleveland, Baltimore and Louisville, before the 1900 season when they contracted to the eight teams that formed the league until Boston moved to Milwaukee in 1953.

Enough of History 101.

Scott Erickson was victimized by the Dodgers continuing slump, working into the seventh inning and allowing only a pair of runs. Steve Schmoll and Buddy Carlyle each gave up a pair of runs in the final two innings. Erickson was charged with two runs over 6.1 innings. But his teammates have scored only four runs in his three losses.

Over the first 14 games, the Dodgers averaged seven runs, won 12 times and pulled out to a 4.5 game lead in the division. But since then, they have averaged 3.5 runs a game, gone 4-7 and seen their lead chopped to 1.5 games.

The Dodgers were limited to four hits, one each by Hee-Seop Choi, Jeff Kent, JD Drew and Milton Bradley, who smacked his sixth homer in the ninth.

The Dodgers scored first in the sixth inning, after Erickson held them scoreless over the first six innings, nailing 14 of the first 18 outs on ground balls, two on double plays.

Choi doubled with one out in the sixth, Drew was walked intentionally and Jeff Kent singled to center, scoring Choi. when Drew saw Brad Wilkerson's throw sail over the cutoff man, and headed to third only to be nailed when the Nats pitcher failed to backup the plate and found himself in the middle of the diamond positioned perfectly to receive the throw from the outfield and nipped Drew at third.

But a single and a walk preceded a bunt that went for a single when Jose Valentin covered third and Erickson covered home plate, loading the bases. A fielder's choice tied the game and a looping single gave Washington a 2-1 lead. Schmoll and Carlyle allowed two runs each to put the game out of reach. Dodger Blue Notes--Wilson Alvarez has recovered from his left shoulder tendinitis and is scheduled to be activated today. Alvarez, a 13-year Major League veteran, has made 61 appearances and 27 starts with Los Angeles, going 13-8 with a 3.30 ERA. The Dodgers haven't yet decided who will be removed from the 25-man roster to clear a spot for Alvarez, but Tracy said it would probably be a pitcher. … Antonio Perez is expected to continue his rehabilitation assignment in Triple-A because the club is hoping to make Perez more comfortable at third base. He is allowed to spend as many as 21 days on his rehab assignment, so the Dodgers have until May 18 to make a decision. Perez has options remaining and could be sent to Triple-A if the Dodgers wished, but Tracy said he expected Perez to rejoin the Major League roster when he completed his rehab assignment. … Eric Gagne threw long toss May 2 and will pitch batting practice today and Friday. The closer could potentially return sometime next week. It is still unclear when Elmer Dessens will resume throwing, while Jayson Werth had nine at-bats in extended Spring Training Monday