WASHINGTON (AP) — Mike Morse and Cristian Guzman hit solo home runs, Livan Hernandez pitched seven strong innings and the Washington Nationals beat the Kansas City Royals 2-1 Monday night.
Hernandez (6-4) had his longest outing since May 9, giving up one run and eight hits to help the Nationals snap a six-game losing streak — their longest since an eight-game Aug. 28 to Sept. 5 last year. Hernandez struck out five and walked one.
Matt Capps struck out the side — all on called strikes — in the ninth for his major league-leading 21st save in 25 chances.
Scott Podsednik had four hits for the Royals, who have now lost four in a row.
Bruce Chen (3-2), making his fifth start for Kansas City since moving from the bullpen, had his best start of the year. The lefty allowed two runs and three hits in six innings, walking four and striking out three.
Guzman broke a 1-all tie in the sixth inning with his first home run of the year, a shot into the left-field visitor's bullpen. It was Guzman's first homer since Aug. 23, 2009.
Morse gave the Nationals a 1-0 lead in the second inning with his third home run of the year. Morse sent Chen's 1-0 pitch deep into the left field stands above the bullpen.
The Royals quickly tied the game in the top of the third. Yuniesky Betancourt walked, advanced to second on Chen's sacrifice and to third on Podsednik's double. Betancourt scored on a groundout by Jason Kendall.
Podsednik was left stranded on third when Nyjer Morgan caught a deep fly ball by David DeJesus to end the inning. Morgan tracked down the ball at the warning track, making a catch on the run with his back turned away from the plate.
The Royals also ran themselves out of some scoring chances. Kansas City was caught stealing twice and Alberto Callaspo was picked off at second by catcher Ivan Rodriguez.
NOTES: Washington optioned LHP John Lannan to Double-A Harrisburg. Lannan, the opening day starter the last two seasons, is 2-5 with a 5.76 ERA. The Nationals purchased the contract of RHP Joel Peralta from Triple-A Syracuse. ... This was the Royals' first trip to Nationals Park. Kansas City last played in Washington in 1971, against the Senators. ... The Nationals haven't given up a home run in their past five games, one game shy of the team record set from June 4-9, 2009. ... Royals RF Jose Guillen extended his hitting streak to 16 games with a ninth-inning single.