The Braves defeated the Washington Nationals 5-2 Thursday night in Atlanta. The Braves took 2 of 3 from the Nats, which shouldn’t be that big of a deal, but for some reason the Braves really struggle against Washington.
The Braves jumped ahead early on a 2 out solo homer to right by Brian McCann(23 HR, 63 RBIs). In the second, Chipper Jones hit a solo home run to left center(15 HR, 60 RBIs) to make it 2-0. In the fourth, Dan Uggla led off with a walk, advanced to second on Chipper’s ground out, then scored on Eric Hinske’s single (28 RBIs). Hinske was given the start at first to allow Freddie Freeman to rest his quad.
Jason Werth led off the Nats’ sixth with a homer off of starter Tim Hudson to make it 3-1. In the Braves 6th, Uggla led off with his 19th double of the year. Chipper flew out, then Hinske drew a walk. Jason Heyward ground into a fielder’s choice leaving runners at first and third. Alex Gonzalez then singled in a run to make the score 4-1.
Jonny Venters came on in the eighth. He allowed an infield single to Gomes, got a groundout, then issued back to back walks to Werth and Zimmerman to load the bases. Morse hit a grounder to Chipper and in his haste to try to turn a double play, he dropped the ball allowing a run to score. Venters then struck out the next two to limit the damage. In our eighth, Heyward smacked a ball down the right field line for a triple. Gonzalez(46 RBIs) then hit a sac fly to deep center to make the score 5-2.
Hudson had a good outing going 6 innings, allowing 5 hits, 1 run, 2 BB, and 5 Ks. He only threw 86 pitches and probably could have gone another inning but he was lifted in the bottom of the sixth for a pinch hitter. The defense helped him out early by turning double plays to end the second and third innings.
Eric O’Flaherty pitched a perfect seventh. Craig Kimbrel came on in the ninth. He allowed a single but went on to strike out the side for his 42nd save.
Standings: The Braves are 81-55 and remain 7 1/2 games behind the Phillies in the NL East. We are the wild card leader by 8 1/2 games over the Cardinals and by 9 1/2 games over the Giants.
Friday’s Game: Dodgers Billingsley vs Brandon Beachy at 7:35 on Peachtree TV. We’ll be at the game!
Injury update: Now it appears Jair Jurrjens is going to get a second opinion on his knee. I knew something wasn’t right there. Tommy Hanson has been cleared to begin throwing pitches. Peter Moylan pitched in back to back games for AAA Gwinnett and it went well. He should pitch for Gwinnett on Saturday and if that goes well, he will return from DL on Monday for the Phillies series.
Correction: In yesterday’s article, I said Chipper passed Jason Bagwell on the all time home run list. Of course I meant Jeff Bagwell, one of the Astros’ Killer Bees (Bagwell, Biggio, Bell, Berkman). I knew it didn’t look right when I wrote it down but I just went blank–my bad.