All week, Jim Riggleman has been fielding questions about Adam Dunn's prolonged slump. And all week, he has said how he believes his cleanup hitter is close to turning it around. Whether or not Dunn has done that is a question that won't be answered for a few more days. But he gave some convincing evidence in the fourth inning here tonight.
Dunn just blasted a homer off Charlie Haeger into the third deck at Nationals Park, giving the Nationals a 2-1 lead over the Dodgers.
To my memory, there might have been one or two other balls hit that far in the history of the park. In any case, it was a rare blast, and it's put the Nationals back in front on a night where they're playing sloppy defense behind rookie Luis Atilano.
The Nationals have made two errors, though Atilano himself was to blame for one of them when he didn't touch first base on an easy grounder in the third inning. In the fourth, though, Nyjer Morgan pulled up on an easy fly ball to center, thinking he had tracked it only to have it fall 10 feet in front of him. Then he overthrew the cutoff man, allowing Ronnie Belliard to reach second. The Dodgers scored on the play, tying the game at 1. But Dunn gave the Nationals the lead back, and they'll attempt to get Atilano the win in his first start.