By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Dunn's 2 homers lead Nats over Braves
Braves Nationals Base Heal-2
Atlanta Braves manager Bobby Cox, right, watches Tim Hudson pitch after Hudson was hit by a line drive by Washington Nationals' Michael Morse during the second inning of a baseball game in Washington, Friday, Sept. 24, 2010. Hudson remained in the game. - photo by Associated Press


WASHINGTON — Adam Dunn hit two home runs and drove in five runs, Willie Harris hit an inside-the-park homer and Jordan Zimmermann won his first game in 15 months as the Washington Nationals sent the reeling Atlanta Braves to their fourth straight defeat, 8-3 on Friday night.

The Braves, who were swept in a crucial three-game series by first-place Philadelphia, began the day one-half game ahead of San Diego in the NL wild card race. Washington, which won its fourth straight — its longest winning streak of the season — denied retiring manager Bobby Cox his 2,500th win in his 4,500th game as a major league manager.

Dunn, who missed Thursday's game with elbow and hamstring injuries, hit both home runs off Nationals nemesis Tim Hudson.

Hudson (16-9) dropped to 10-2 against the Nationals franchise. He allowed six runs and seven hits in 5 2-3 innings. Hudson walked six, equaling his career high. His ERA against Washington rose from 1.55 to 1.91.

Dunn led off the second with a long home run to center field, his 36th of the year. He hit a two-run homer into the left field bullpen in the third for his 30th multihomer game and sixth this season. Dunn added a two-run single in the sixth off Mike Dunn — giving him 101 RBIs.

Harris hit a 3-2 pitch from Kyle Farnsworth off the wall in center field. The ball bounced hard off the wall and far from center fielder Nate McLouth, and the speedy Harris raced around the bases for the second inside-the-park home run in Nationals history and his 10th homer of the season.

Zimmermann (1-2), who missed most of this season after Tommy John surgery last July, won his first game since June 25, 2009. He threw five innings and allowed his only run on Omar Infante's eighth home run with two outs in the fifth. Zimmermann gave up three hits, struck out five, walked one and hit a batter.

Tyler Clippard pitched two perfect innings and Joel Peralta gave up two runs in the eighth — one unearned. Jason Heyward's infield grounder bounced off Dunn's glove at first base for an error, scoring one run, and Brian McCann's RBI single drove in Infante to make it 7-3.

Sean Burnett and Miguel Batista worked the final 1 2-3 innings for Washington.

The Nationals scored their eighth run on a two-base throwing error by pitcher Billy Wagner in the eighth.

NOTES: A day after Stan Kasten announced he is resigning as president of the Nationals at the end of the season, Cox was asked whether Kasten — his former boss in Atlanta — would make a good baseball commissioner. "I think he would, yeah," Cox said. "He's smart. He knows the game. He's a lawyer. He loves baseball more than anything. He knows the inner workings of it. He'd be a solid choice, in my opinion." ... Nationals 3B Ryan Zimmerman was out of the starting lineup for a second consecutive game with a rib injury. Manager Jim Riggleman said, "The injury's in an area that we're going to be conservative with." ... Riggleman said he expects to have CF Nyjer Morgan back in the starting lineup Saturday. Morgan's eight-game suspension ended Friday. ... Cox said that RHP Jair Jurrjens, who is nursing a sore knee, is unlikely to pitch on Sunday. ... Heyward's streak of reaching base in 27 straight games ended. ... Wagner struck out the side in the eighth inning. He has 1,185 strikeouts — fourth most for relievers — two ahead of Rollie Fingers.