- The Washington Times - Monday, April 13, 2009

ATLANTA | The Nationals will come home winless.

An 8-5 loss to the Braves on Sunday capped a miserable, 0-6 road trip to open the season. And it leaves Washington searching for its first win in Monday's home opener against the Phillies at Nationals Park.

As was the case the previous two nights, the Nationals had chances to win but couldn't produce one big hit to seize the lead or make one big pitch to keep the Braves from adding to their advantage.

Starter Scott Olsen (0-2) cruised for three innings but wilted under a barrage of two-out hits after that, departing after the fifth having allowed five runs.

Adam Dunn (two singles, two walks) and Elijah Dukes (2-for-5, three RBI) led Washington at the plate, but neither could come through against the Atlanta bullpen.

The Nationals also didn't help matters with some sloppy play in the field. Backup catcher Josh Bard was charged with two passed balls. Right fielder Austin Kearns lost a fly ball in the sun. And shortstop Cristian Guzman couldn't corral a couple of grounders.

Willie Harris, Washington's third-string second baseman, left the game in the third inning with a strained oblique. With Anderson Hernandez and Ronnie Belliard already out, Alberto Gonzalez was forced to finish the game at second base.



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