Lowe, Hitters Struggle As Braves Fall To Nationals 5-3

Derek Lowe was hit hard as the Braves lost the rubber game of the series. The Braves scored only six runs in three games.

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One-Paragraph Recap: Braves Fall Again To Nats, 5-3

The Braves’ road woes continued in Washington as Derek Lowe gave up four runs in five innings and the Braves’ offense couldn’t bail him out. Lowe gave up five hits (including a homer to Ian Desmond), a walk, and a hit batter. He struck out three. Matt Diaz hit a two-run homer for the Braves and Omar Infante singled in the third run, but the Braves never led. Scott Olsen gave up three runs (two earned) in six innings to pick up the win. The Braves scored only six runs in the three-game series—none off the Nationals’ relievers. They are only 2-4 so far on a nine-game road trip that concludes this weekend in Cincinnati. Their poor play unfortunately has coincided with a hot streak from the second-place Phillies, who have won seven straight and just traded for Roy Oswalt. The Braves’ lead stands at just three games over the Phillies.

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Follow The Game With Other Fans At Talking Chop

Stuck at work and unable to watch the Braves’ game? Follow its progress with other Braves fans over at the Talking Chop open thread.

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One-Paragraph Recap: Braves Down Nationals 3-1

Tim Hudson pitched 7.2 excellent innings, giving up only one run, to lead the Braves to an easy victory over the Nationals in Washington, D.C. Hudson gave up seven hits and struck out seven. Until walking the last batter he faced (with two outs in the 8th inning), Hudson had not even had any three-ball counts all night. He was supported by two RBI from Chipper Jones (on a sac fly and a single), not to mention three hits and two runs from Martin Prado. In the most exciting play of the game, Jason Heyward stole home after Brian McCann got caught in a rundown in the 1st inning, sliding smoothly underneath Ivan Rodriguez’s tag. It was the first steal of home by a Brave in ten years.

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Tonight's Lineup

Want to chat about the game with other fans? Go hang out in Talking Chop’s open thread.

Here is tonight’s lineup:
1) Prado – 2B
2) Heyward – RF
3) Chipper– 3B
4) McCann – C
5) Hinske – LF
6) Glaus – 1B
7) Gonzalez – SS
8) Cabrera – CF
9) Hudson – SP

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One-Paragraph Recap: Nationals Down Braves 3-0

Despite not having to face Stephen Strasburg, the Braves couldn’t seem to find their offense tonight in the opener of a three-game series in Washington. The Nationals’ emergency starter, Miguel Batista, threw five shutout innings, and three relievers combined to finish off the shutout. The Braves got only five hits. Braves starter Tommy Hanson pitched great—eight strikeouts and no walks in six innings—but was victimized by poor defense, as two errors led to two unearned runs. Before the game, Braves center fielder Nate McLouth was sent down to AAA Gwinnett. Brent Clevlen was called up to take his place, but one has to wonder if GM Frank Wren is on the verge of trading for another outfielder. Tonight’s poor offensive showing might heighten the urgency for such a move.

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Braves Take On Strasburg-less Nationals In Washington

Ever since Stephen Strasburg was called up to the major leagues in early June, practically everyone in baseball has been eagerly anticipating the first matchup between the flamethrowing right-hander and the Braves' own highly touted rookie, Jason Heyward. Fans missed out on this matchup in Strasburg's first outing against the Braves (an Atlanta win) because Heyward was on the disabled list. It looked like the matchup would finally take place today in Washington, though.

Unfortunately, Strasburg (5-2, 2.32 ERA in 9 starts) felt some minor discomfort while warming up, and the Nationals, being understandably very cautious with their valuable rookie, decided to err on the side of caution and keep Strasburg from pitching tonight. Veteran right-hander Miguel Batista will make the start for the Nationals. Batista has pitched solely out of the bullpen this year, compiling an 0-2 record, one save, and a 4.50 ERA in 50 innings.

The Braves, who are trying to recover from a tough series loss to the Florida Marlins, throw Tommy Hanson (8-6, 4.12 ERA) in the series opener.

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