Royals Score Two In The 9th But Lose To Nationals 4-3

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Full Recap: Nationals Top Royals On Strasmas Eve

Washington, DC (Sports Network) - Josh Willingham went 3-for-4 with a solo home run -- the 100th of his career -- and two RBI as the Washington Nationals took a 4-3 decision over the Kansas City Royals in the second of a three-game interleague set.

Adam Dunn added a solo homer, while Nyjer Morgan and Ryan Zimmerman each drove in a run for the Nationals, who have won the first two games of this series after dropping their previous six. Luis Atilano (6-4) got the win as he gave up just one run on six this with five strikeouts over 5 1/3 innings.

"It means a lot," Willingham said of his 100th homer. "I'm sure it'll mean more when I look back at my career and I'm done playing. You never set a goal to hit a number of home runs, but to get to 100 is pretty cool."

Scott Podsednik drove in all three runs for the Royals, who have lost their last five games. Anthony Lerew (0-1) took the first loss of his career as he was charged with four runs on 10 hits with a walk and two strikeouts over 5 1/3 innings of work.

"We're getting guys on and not able to close it," Podsednik said. "I don't know if we're tightening up in those situations, maybe overthinking it a little bit and trying to do to much instead of staying up the middle and trying to settle with a base hit. All we can do is keep swinging it."

Holding a three-run lead, Matt Capps came on to close the game, but made the game close. With one out, three straight singles by Alberto Callaspo, Wilson Betemit and Yuniesky Betancourt loaded the bases. Chris Getz then popped out, but Podsednik singled to right to make it a one-run game. Capps, though, got Jason Kendall to foul out and pick up his MLB-best 22nd save of the season.

With two outs in the third, the Nationals took the lead as Cristian Guzman kept the frame alive with a single and Zimmerman followed with a double to the corner in left for a 1-0 lead.

Willingham led off the fourth with a blast over the left field wall. The next three Washington batters reached base to load the bags with no outs. Atilano struck out and Morgan followed with a sac fly to plate Ivan Rodriguez.

With Guzman at the plate, the rain continued to come down and the game went into a delay.

The delay lasted 49 minutes and when play resumed, Guzman grounded out to end the inning with Washington holding a 3-0 lead.

The Royals got a run back in the fifth as Podsednik's sacrifice fly scored Mike Aviles to make it a 3-1 game.

The Nationals got it back in the bottom of the frame on Dunn's 17th home run of the season, a solo shot over the center field wall.

Atilano left the game with a man on base and one out in the sixth and Joel Peralta took over and got Jose Guillen to hit into a double play.

Drew Storen worked a 1-2-3 seventh inning and stayed on for the eighth, but got into trouble.

Getz doubled to start the frame and Podsednik followed with a walk. Tyler Clippard was called out of the bullpen and set the next three batters down in order, with Billy Butler flying out to center to end the inning.

Atilano had lost his previous three starts...The Royals are 5-9 against the National League this year...Guillen, who went 2-for-4 in the game, extended his hitting streak to 17 games, a career high. He is 24-for-67 during the run...Washington has won four straight against Kansas City and seven of the eight meetings all-time...This is the first series between these two teams since 2004, when Washington was located in Montreal and known as the Expos.

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Royals Score Two In The 9th But Lose To Nationals 4-3

The Royals lost to the Nationals 4-3 on Tuesday. Here's a different twist on a game recap. Check out Royals Review for more reaction as well.

The good:

  • Scott Podsednik had a sac fly that scored Mike Aviles
  • Podsednik also drove in two runs in the 9th

The bad:

  • Anthony Lerew gave up four runs in five innings
  • Royals went scoreless first four innings to start the game

The ugly:

Since winning back-to-back series, the Royals have lost five in a row

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Same Lineup For The Royals In Game Two Against Nationals

The Royals will be trotting out the same lineup as game one of the series:

  1. Scott Podsednik
  2. Jason Kendall
  3. David DeJesus
  4. Billy Butler
  5. Jose Guilen
  6. Albert Callaspo
  7. Mike Aviles
  8. Yuniesky Betancourt
  9. Anthony Lerew
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Royals Set For Game Two Against The Nationals

(Sports Network) - The Washington Nationals will try to put together their first winning streak in two weeks when they resume a three-game interleague series tonight with the Kansas City Royals.

Cristian Guzman helped Washington snap a six-game slide with a solo homer in the sixth inning of last night's 2-1 win in the series opener at Nationals Park. It was the Nats' second triumph in 10 tries and they will try to win back-to-back games for the first time since ripping off three victories in a row from June 8-10. Mike Morse also homered in the win.

"It feels real good," Nationals manager Jim Riggleman said of getting the victory. "It's been a little grind here, lately, as you all know. It's been tough to win a ballgame."

Starting pitcher Livan Hernandez is now 6-4 on the season and held the Royals to one run over seven innings. He allowed eight hits, walked one and struck out five. Tyler Clippard tossed a scoreless eighth inning and Matt Capps allowed two hits in the ninth, but struck out three for his major league- leading 21st save of the season.

The Nationals will rest their hopes on rookie starter Luis Atilano in Tuesday's second installment of this series. Atilano has lost three straight starts and is 2-4 with a 5.50 ERA in his last seven outings.

Atilano last pitched in Thursday's 8-3 loss at Detroit and gave up five runs on nine hits over 4 1/3 innings. He fell to 5-4 in 11 starts this season to go along with a 4.77 earned run average. The right-hander, who is 1-2 in four home starts, will face the Royals for the first time.

Kansas City has dropped the first four contests of a six-game road trip and played well enough to win last night. A few bad pitches by starter Bruce Chen spoiled the chance of erasing the memories of a weekend sweep at the hands of the Atlanta Braves, as the lefty allowed three hits, including both homers, in six innings. He also struck out three and walked four batters.

"Both of them I was behind the count, 1-0 and 3-1. I threw a cutter to Guzman and a fastball to Morse, and they hit it a long ways," Chen said. "But I was trying to throw a strike, keep the ball down."

Scott Podsednik finished 4-for-4 and Mike Aviles had three hits, while Jason Kendall drove in the lone run in defeat.

Anthony Lerew is slated to make his second start of the season tonight for the Royals and was called up from Triple-A Omaha last week. The move was made after the team placed Luke Hochevar on the disabled list with a strained right elbow.

In a 5-2 win over Houston on Thursday, Lerew did not factor in the outcome and held the Astros to a pair of runs in six innings with seven strikeouts. It was his sixth career start.

The right-hander has never squared off with Washington.

Kansas City and Washington are meeting for the first time since the 2004 campaign, when the Nationals were located in Montreal. The Expos/Nationals have won six of the seven matchups between the teams, including all three contests at Olympic Stadium back in 2002.

KC is 112-130 in interleague action, while the Nationals are 116-126.

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