Dunn’s ninth-inning homer sinks Phillies

ASSOCIATED PRESS Washington Nationals' Adam Dunn watches his game-winning home run during the ninth inning of a baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies on Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2010, in Washington. The Nationals won 2-1.ASSOCIATED PRESS Washington Nationals’ Adam Dunn watches his game-winning home run during the ninth inning of a baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies on Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2010, in Washington. The Nationals won 2-1.
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WASHINGTON | Adam Dunn has been saying for some time he’d like to remain with the Washington Nationals, even though he can become a free agent. He also insists he doesn’t know whether he’ll stay or go.

The fans at Nationals Park are making their feelings on the matter clear.

Dunn hit a game-ending homer off Jose Contreras leading off the ninth inning Tuesday night to give last-place Washington a 2-1 victory over the NL East champion Philadelphia Phillies, who were more interested in seeing Jimmy Rollins go 1 for 3 in his first start in nearly three weeks.

Each of Dunn’s at-bats Tuesday was greeted with chants of “Sign Adam Dunn!” from some in the crowd of 19,117.

If the slugging first baseman leaves, Wednesday’s Phillies-Nationals game would be his last appearance in Washington as a member of the home team.

“I’m not going to go into tomorrow going, ‘This is my last home game ever,’ cry, go hand out Adam Dunn baseball cards. I’m not going to do that,” Dunn said. “I don’t know what y’all want me to say. I don’t know what’s going to happen. If I did, I would tell y’all. I do not.”

Dunn, who previously played for the Reds and Diamondbacks, said he appreciates the fan support he’s received in Washington and noted: “It’s not like they’re waiting for you to make a mistake, like other places I’ve been.”

When he won the game with his 38th homer and his 103rd RBI, both team highs, by driving a 2-0 pitch from Contreras (6-4), the other Nationals streamed out of the dugout and gathered around home plate to greet Dunn with slaps on the back and punches to the gut.

“I didn’t see the ball land,” said Drew Storen (4-4), who pitched the ninth to earn the win. “I started fist-pumping right after he hit it, just because I could tell.”

Later, in the clubhouse, Dunn bristled at questions about his future.

“If you guys realized how sick and tired I am of talking about it, you probably wouldn’t ask me every day,” he said. “I wish it would have been over a long time ago. It’s not the worst thing that ever happened to me, (but) my job is to play, and my agent’s job is to worry about the rest.”

Nationals manager Jim Riggleman seemed to indicate before the game he thinks Dunn will wind up staying in Washington.

Afterward, Riggleman said: “This thing is going to play itself out. I don’t know where it’s going to end up.”

Dunn’s dramatics aside, the result of Tuesday’s game was meaningless, in the sense that the Phillies clinched home-field advantage throughout the postseason a night earlier — and the Nationals are assured of finishing last for the fifth time in six seasons.

But there were some matters of importance for the Phillies (94-64), who begin their NL division series at home Oct. 6.

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