13 Only Unlucky For Washington

A seven-run inning broke up tight a 2-1 game and the Dodgers rolled to an easy 10-3 victory over Washington. But it seems the streak is secondary to the individual win, according to a number of Los Angeles players as their balanced attack allowed them to overcome the record of 12 in a row set by Detroit in 1911.

"I don't think anybody was really focused on the streak to begin with. We're focused on getting wins," said winning pitcher Clayton Kershaw after the game. "It's more important to be building a lead in the division than to try and break a record. But it's definitely a cool thing to accomplish as a team. It just goes to show how well everybody's playing right now."

They are obviously not playing to only continue the streak. "We have more important things in mind," Manager Joe Torre said.

And his feelings are echoed by his players. "When we get to August, nobody will remember April or May," pitcher Randy Wolf said. "I haven't been around too long," outfielder Andre Ethier added, "but I've played long enough to know you'll always lose some." Pitcher Will Ohman admitted, ""It's above average, as far as the player experience goes."

But they know that the 1911 did not get to the World Series. Neither did the 1983 Kansas City Royals, after starting the season 11-0 at home. Neither did any of the three previous NL teams to start 10-0 at home -- the 1983 Atlanta Braves, the 1970 Chicago Cubs and the 1918 New York Giants.

A meaningless sidebar to the whole thing: The 1911 Tigers were 51-25 at home, but a 38-40 road record left them 13.5 games out of first place at the end. Their home attendance for the entire season was 484,988. The Dodgers already have surpassed that total after 29 games.

And the Dodgers grand old man put it all in perspective. "It's eye-catching," Vin Scully said. "It's a good headline. It's not really meaningful -- not yet, anyway. "It's just another reason to be happy."

Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times pointed out that although they're laying waste to the National League West, but so were the Arizona Diamondbacks this time last year. They're 13-0 at home, but they're 8-8 on the road. They don't make the schedule and don't need to apologize for it, but they have played the worst team in the NL East, the worst team in the NL Central and the rest of the NL West, and that's it.

It's much like New Year's Eve ... you put on a funny hat, smile a lot, throw confetti in the air, kiss your partner and then get up the next day and go back to work.

But ain't it fun?

Just turned 21 Clayton Kershaw earned the historic victory, working five innings, allowing four hits and leaving after throwing 99 pitches, 31 in the opening inning. While it was far from his best game of the season, he earned his first victory nonetheless to go with a pair of losses.

No one has enjoyed the friendly confines of Dodger Stadium as much as he has. He's allowed just two runs in 19 innings at home (0.95 ERA) and 16 runs in 14 innings on the road (10.29).

In fact the pitching chores for the evening involved three youngsters -- Kershaw, James McDonald and Brent Leach, along with veteran Guillermo Mota. Between them they allowed three runs on six hits while striking out nine. Oh, and Leach got a shaving-cream pie in the face from fellow lefty Will Ohman after his debut.

McDonald, just back from a tune-up by master pitching mechanic Charlie Hough at Inland Empire, worked a scoreless sixth. Mota was touched for a homer and two runs in his two innings and Leach, a rookie making his first appearance in The Show, added a scoreless ninth.

They guided the Dodgers to their seventh straight win, have won eight of the last nine and are 19-5 since a 2-3 start. They lead the National League West by 6.5 games.

And the win was certainly typical, blowing open a close game with multiple runs in the late innings, seven in the 6th inning in this case.

Again Los Angeles scored in the first inning for the fourth consecutive game and now have 28 first-inning runs in 29 games.

Rafael Furcal beat out a bunt, Orlando Hudson doubled and Manny Ramirez walked. They only got one out of that, the run scoring when Andre Ethier bounced into a double play.

Kershaw worked out of a bases-loaded mess in the first and then allowed the tying run in the third on a double, a ground ball and a sac fly.

Furcal scored the go-ahead run in the fifth after the Dodgers again loaded the sacks and again only came out of it with a single run. Casey Blake led off by reaching first on an error. Kershaw forced him at second before Furcal singled. Hudson walked to load the bases but Ramirez hit into a force out at the plate. Ethier walked to make it 2-1.

The wheels came off for Washington in the sixth.

Russell Martin singled and with one out, Blake walked. Mark Loretta, hitting for McDonald, walked to load the bases for the third time. This time, however, Furcal singled for one, Hudson walked to force in another, Ramirez doubled to more in and James Loney added a two-run single. Martin, up for the second time, drove in the seventh run on a fielder's choice.

Matt Kemp, locked in a slump, made two outs in the inning.

A home run, a double, a wild pitch and a ground ball scored two for Washington in the seventh off Mota. Hudson's RBI single in the bottom of the inning ended the scoring.

Former Dodger left-hander Joe Beimel worked the eighth and allowed a double to Martin, his old battery mate.

Someone must have anticipated the outcome because the team was treated to steaks on actual tablecloths in the clubhouse after the win.

"We're not going 81-0 at home," Kershaw fearlessly predicted -- but we will see.

LHP Randy Wolf (1-1, 3.93 ERA) draws the start in the second, and final, game of the Washington series. He allowed just two hits and one run over 5.1 innings in his last start against the Padres on Saturday. Wolf is 9-4 with a 4.58 ERA against the Nationals in his career.

He will be facing RHP Jordan Zimmermann (2-1, 4.24 ERA) who gave up a season-high five runs in a 6-2 loss to the Cardinals in his last start.

  Score by Innings
Washington	001 000 200- 3
Los Angeles	100 017 10x-10

  Los Angeles	ab r  h  bi  ave
Furcal ss 	5  3  3  1  .264
 Castro ss	0  0  0  0  .333
Hudson 2b	3  1  2  2  .342
Ramirez lf	3  1  1  2  .348
 Pierre ph-lf	1  0  0  0  .355
Ethier rf	3  1  0  1  .317
Loney 1b	5  0  2  2  .276
Martin c	5  1  3  1  .242
Kemp cf        	5  0  0  0  .275
Blake 3b	2  2  0  0  .225
Kershaw p	2  0  0  0  .091
 McDonald p	0  0  0  0  .000
 Loretta ph	0  1  0  0  .375
 Mota p        	0  0  0  0  .000
 Leach p	0  0  0  0  .000
-----------------------------
  Totals	34 10 11 9
  Washington	31  3  6 3

  2B- Hudson (10), Ramirez (9), Martin (5). 
RBI- Ethier (27), Furcal (7), Hudson 2 (17), 
Ramirez 2 (20), Loney 2 (20), Martin (13). 
S- Mota. LOB- Dodgers 0, Washington 7. 
DP- Furcal, Hudson and Loney.

  Los Angeles 	in  h r-er bb so  era
Kershaw (1-2)	5.0  4  1-1  3  5  4.91
McDonald 	1.0  0  0-0  0  1  7.63
Mota        	2.0  2  2-2  1  2  6.75
Leach        	1.0  0  0-0  1  1  0.00
  WP- Mota. T- 3:04. Att- 31,348.
Dodger Blue Notes-- After the final game with the Nats, the Dodgers host San Francisco for three over Mother's Day weekend. Then it's on the road for six, including a pair of three-game sets at Philadelphia and Florida. ...Los Angeles also is 31-7 (.816) at home beginning August 1, 2008 when Manny Ramirez became a Dodger, and 36-9 (.800) at home since last year's All-Star break. At 21-8, the Dodgers boast the best record in Major League Baseball, 1.5 games ahead of the Toronto Blue Jays (19-10).  The Dodgers' 21-8 mark is the club's best 28-game start since 1983, when the Dodgers went 21-7 and ended up winning the National League West at 91-71. The record belongs to the 1955 club who was 25-4. ...The Dodgers' pitching staff, which currently has 13 hurlers, has posted a 2.46 ERA (32 ER/117.0 IP) in 13 games at Dodger Stadium. Los Angeles pitchers have posted a 2.11 ERA (15 ER/64.0 IP) in six games this homestand, including a 1.64 ERA (10 ER/55.0 IP) in the last five games. ...The Dodgers' offense, meanwhile, has scored 88 runs in 13 games at Dodger Stadium, an average of 6.8 per game.  The team is hitting .320 (140-for-437) with 15 home runs along Elysian Park Avenue. ...The Dodgers now have a ten-game winning streak against the Nationals at Dodger Stadium, a stretch that began July 28, 2006. Los Angeles last suffered defeat against the Nationals on May 4, 2005, a 5-2 setback.  The Dodgers are 11-2 against the Nationals at Dodger Stadium since the NL East team moved to Washington from Montreal prior to the 2005 season. ...The Dodgers have scored a Major League-best 28 first-inning runs in 29 games, including nine in the last four games. Los Angeles has scored at least one first-inning run in 15 of their 29 games (52 percent), and are 14-1 in those games. ...Orlando Hudson has hit safely in each of the Dodgers' 13 games at Dodger Stadium, batting .460 (23-for-50) with 13 runs scored.  The 31-year-old, who is the lone Dodger to have started each of the club's 28 games, is a career .369 hitter (48-for-130) in 32 games at Dodger Stadium. He has hit safely in 29 of those 33 contests.

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