for this game

Perez strong as Nationals end nine-game slide

Aug 2, 2008 - 3:51 AM WASHINGTON (Ticker) -- With their general manager admitting the team is in the midst of a "youth movement," the Washington Nationals had to be happy several new additions played a key role in ending a long losing streak.

Odalis Perez tossed 7 1/3 strong innings Friday, propelling the Washington Nationals to a 5-2 victory over the Cincinnati Reds.

Perez (4-8) allowed only allowed a run on a fourth-inning groundout and three hits with three walks and five strikeouts to end the Nationals' nine-game skid.

"After we got five runs in the first two innings, I thought we had a pretty good chance to win," Perez said. "Tonight was special, I went deep in the game and we won."

The lefthander also secured his team's last win before the losing streak started on July 22.

After jumping to a 2-0 lead off Homer Bailey (0-5) on a two-run double by Jesus Flores in the first, Washington plated three more runs in the second.

Two batters after Alberto Gonzalez led off with a double, fellow rookie Emilio Bonifacio lined a RBI single up the middle. Following a walk to Willie Harris, Elijah Dukes lined a double to left to plate the Nationals' final two runs.

"It (the double) turned out to be huge," Dukes said. "We had momentum going all day today. The energy was good for the pitchers and hitters."

Bailey was pulled after two innings and 49 pitches, yielding to reliever Nick Masset - one of the two players acquired in the Ken Griffey Jr. deal on Thursday.

"He (Bailey) is not hitting the corners; he's in the heart of the plate," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "They got a lot of hits in a short period of time."

With the team mired in a slide and sporting the majors' worst record (39-70), Washington GM Jim Bowden had little choice but to continue the process he began this offseason, acquiring players with checkered pasts -- such as Dukes -- to revive one of the worst offenses in the league.

While the team still finds itself last in runs scored with 403, Washington received a much-needed boost from two players making their Nationals debut, Bonifacio and Gonzalez, as well as the return of Dukes.

"We are trying to build a franchise that's going to be good for a long time," Nationals manager Manny Acta said. "From the front office to the personnel on the field, we know what we are doing and the direction we are heading. We are not losing our focus."

Dukes, 24, acquired in December from the Tampa Bay Rays after a series of off-field incidents, was making his first start since July 5. He was placed on the disabled list on July 8 after being sidelined with knee surgery.

"The (rehab assignment) prepared me for coming back up here," Dukes said. "I pride myself on working hard and staying in the game. It was depressing when I got hurt, but I'm fortunate to be a quick healer."

The 23-year-old Bonifacio - who was acquired from Arizona in the Jon Rauch trade on July 22 - and the 25-year-old Gonzalez - acquired from the Yankees on Thursday - each scored a run and posted their first hits with the Nationals.

"It was a great move by the team to bring those kids here," Perez said. "They made some great plays tonight."

Rookie Jay Bruce - making the start in right field in place of Griffey - homered to lead off the ninth to account for the final score.








  • NL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    CINCINNATI 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 2 4 0
    WASHINGTON 2 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 x 5 9 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: CIN - HOMER BAILEY, NICK MASSET (3RD), JEREMY AFFELDT (6TH), DAVID
    WEATHERS (8TH) AND DAVID ROSS
    WAS - ODALIS PEREZ, SAUL RIVERA (8TH), JOEL HANRAHAN
    (9TH) AND JES

    Aug 1 10:03 PM


  • NL
    AT WASHINGTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY JAY BRUCE (8) TO RIGHT CENTER WITH 0 OUT
    IN THE 9TH OFF JOEL HANRAHAN.
    CURRENT SCORE: CINCINNATI 2, WASHINGTON 5
    DUE UP FOR CINCINNATI: B PHILLIPS (.277, 0-FOR-3, RBI)

    Reds 2, Nationals 5  Top 9, 0 OutsAug 1 9:57 PM
  • 5
    roots
    McTool Added 5 roots

    Reds 1, Nationals 5  Top 5, 0 OutsAug 1 8:50 PM


  • NL
    AT WASHINGTON - SCORING UPDATE
    GROUND OUT BY BRANDON PHILLIPS SCORED JEFF KEPPINGER.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, NONE ON, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CINCINNATI 1
    WASHINGTON 5 TOP, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR CINCINNATI: A DUNN (.243, 0-FOR-1)

    Reds 1, Nationals 5  Top 4, 0 OutsAug 1 8:40 PM


  • NL
    AT WASHINGTON - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY ELIJAH DUKES SCORED EMILIO BONIFACIO AND WILLIE
    HARRIS.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, E DUKES ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CINCINNATI 0
    WASHINGTON 5 BOTTOM, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: A KEARNS (.211, 0-FOR-1)

    Reds 0, Nationals 5  Bot 2, 0 OutsAug 1 8:14 PM


  • NL
    AT WASHINGTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY EMILIO BONIFACIO SCORED ALBERTO GONZALEZ.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, E BONIFACIO ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CINCINNATI 0
    WASHINGTON 3 BOTTOM, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: W HARRIS (.250, 1-FOR-1)

    Reds 0, Nationals 3  Bot 2, 0 OutsAug 1 8:09 PM


  • NL
    AT WASHINGTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY JESUS FLORES SCORED WILLIE HARRIS AND ELIJAH
    DUKES.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, J FLORES ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CINCINNATI 0
    WASHINGTON 2 BOTTOM, 1ST
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: L MILLEDGE (.237, 7 HR, 34 RBI)

    Reds 0, Nationals 2  Bot 1, 0 OutsAug 1 7:52 PM