ATLANTA, GA - JUNE 30: David Ross #8 of the Atlanta Braves sits in an empty dugout during the fourth inning against the Washington Nationals at Turner Field on June 30, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Braves vs. Nationals: Tim Hudson Struggles Early, Atlanta Drops Series Finale

The Braves rallied late, but it was not enough to overcome Gio Gonzalez and the Nationals.

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Atlanta Braves Drop Series Finale Against Nationals

Tim Hudson's first inning struggles continued on Sunday afternoon against the Washington Nationals, who are now 6-2 against the Braves this season. Despite a late three-run homer from Freddie Freeman, Atlanta was unable to get over the hump offensively as they lost 8-4. The club is now 4.5 games back in the National League East.

Hudson surrendered four runs in the first inning, one of which came on a misplayed ball error from Michael Bourn. Chipper Jones cut the deficit to 4-1 in the third inning with a double down the right field line, but Ryan Zimmerman moved the score to 5-1 with a monster homer in the fifth. Washington's backup catcher, Jhonatan Solano, drove in a run in the sixth to increase their lead to 6-1.

Freeman made things interesting in the sixth. Chipper Jones and Dan Uggla drew walks to begin the inning, and Freeman deposited a ball deep into the right-center field seats to end Gio Gonzalez's day. The Braves had a handful of scoring opportunities in the seventh and eighth innings, but they were unable to plate any runs.

With the score still 6-4 in the ninth, Jonny Venters entered the game and continued to struggle. He allowed two runs to score, increasing the deficit to four runs. Atlanta did not have a batter reach base in the bottom of the ninth, sealing an 8-4 loss for the club.

The Braves will now welcome in the Cubs for a four-game series beginning Monday night.

For more on the club, check out Talking Chop.


Braves Sign Ben Sheets To Minor League Deal, Will Report To Double-A Mississippi

The Atlanta Braves have signed veteran right hander Ben Sheets to a minor league deal. Sheets will report to Double-A Mississippi and will make his first start on July 4.


Nationals Vs. Braves Lineups: Chipper Jones Hitting Cleanup, Brian McCann Gets Day Off

As was expected Chipper Jones is back in the lineup for Sunday's series finale against the Nationals and is hitting cleanup behind Jason Heyward in the batting order. Brian McCann is getting a scheduled day off on Sunday afternoon after catching Saturday night. David Ross will catch today and is batting eighth.

Here is a look at the full lineups for Sunday's series finale against the Washington Nationals:

Atlanta Braves

1. Michael Bourn (L) CF
2. Martin Prado (R) LF
3. Jason Heyward (L) RF
4. Chipper Jones (S) 3B
5. Dan Uggla (R) 2B
6. Freddie Freeman (L) 1B
7. Andrelton Simmons (R) SS
8. David Ross (R) C
9. Tim Hudson (R) P

Washington Nationals

1. Steve Lombardozzi (S) 2B
2. Bryce Harper (L) RF
3. Ryan Zimmerman (R) 3B
4. Michael Morse (R) LF
5. Adam LaRoche (L) 1B
6. Ian Desmond (R) SS
7. Rick Ankiel (L) CF
8. Jhonatan Solano (R) C
9. Gio Gonzalez (R) P

For more on the Braves, please be sure to check out our blog Talking Chop and SB Nation Atlanta for all the latest news and updates.


Nationals Vs. Braves Sunday Time, TV, Radio Info And More

The Braves can grab a much needed series win and close to within 2.5 games of the division lead with a victory over the Washington Nationals on Sunday. The Nationals took Friday's series opener 5-4 but Atlanta answered back with a 7-5 win on Saturday over Stephen Strasburg.

Tim Hudson will take the hill for the Braves seeking his seventh win of the season. Hudson was golden last time out surrendering just one run in eight innings against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Washington will counter with lefty Gio Gonzalez who is 10-3 with a 2.78 ERA on the season.

Brutal temperatures are expected for the game in Atlanta with temperatures approaching 104 degrees.

Game Date/Time: Sunday, July 1, 1:35 p.m.

Location: Turner Field, Atlanta, Georgia

TV: Fox Sports South

Radio: 680 The Fan

Online Streaming:

For more on the Braves, please be sure to check out our blog Talking Chop and SB Nation Atlanta for all the latest news and updates.


Braves Batter Stephen Strasburg, Nationals In 7-5 Win

The chances of the Braves winning on Saturday afternoon at steamy Turner Field looked grim after a few innings. The Nationals had Stephen Strasburg on the mound, and they worked themselves to an early 2-0 lead against Mike Minor. Thanks to some timely hitting and heat exhaustion to Strasburg, the Braves rallied to win 7-5 and even the series.

Jason Heyward drove the first run across in the third inning with an RBI-double off the left field wall. Freddie Freeman then drove in a run with a sacrifice fly, and Dan Uggla followed by finally snapping his cold streak, smoking a ball down the left field line for an RBI-double of his own to give Atlanta a 3-2 lead.

Juan Francisco added a run with an RBI-double in the bottom of the fourth, who was then driven in by a Michael Bourn double. After moving up to third on a wild pitch, Martin Prado drove Bourn in with a sacrifice fly. Andrelton Simmons came up with a key two-out single back up the middle to score Freddie Freeman in the fifth inning, giving the Braves a 7-2 lead.

The Nationals fought back for two runs in the sixth and one more in the seventh, but were unable to cash in on any more of their opportunities. Craig Kimbrel entered the ninth and struck out two of the three batters he faced to clinch a 7-5 victory.

The Braves and Nats will meet on Sunday afternoon to wrap up the series. It'll be Tim Hudson against Gio Gonzalez on the mound in what should be a terrific game. First pitch is scheduled for 1:35 p.m. ET.


Atlanta Braves Vs. Washington Nationals: Saturday's Lineups Announced

After dropping the first of a three-game set to the Washington Nationals on Friday night, the Atlanta Braves are looking to bounce back Saturday afternoon at Turner Field.

They'll have their work cut out for them however. Mike Minor is on the bump for the Braves and frankly, that's a little unnerving. Minor has an ERA north of six and is going against one of the most dominant pitchers in baseball.

Stephen Strasburg will look to shutdown a potent Atlanta attack, which looks much different than Friday's.

Without further adieu, the Braves lineup:

1. Michael Bourn (L) CF

2. Martin Prado (R) LF

3. Jason Heyward (L) RF

4. Freddie Freeman (L) 1B

5. Dan Uggla (R) 2B

6. Brian McCann (L) C

7. Andrelton Simmons (R) SS

8. Juan Francisco (L) 3B

9. Mike Minor (R) P

And for the visiting Nationals:

1. Danny Espinosa (S) 2B

2. Bryce Harper (L) CF

3. Ryan Zimmerman (R) 3B

4. Michael Morse (R) RF

5. Adam LaRoche (L) 1B

6. Ian Desmond (R) SS

7. Tyler Moore (R) LF

8. Jesus Flores (R) C

9. Stephen Strasburg (R) P

For more on the Braves, please be sure to check out our blog Talking Chop and SB Nation Atlanta for all the latest news and updates.


Atlanta Braves Vs. Washington Nationals: Saturday Preview, TV Schedule And More

It doesn't get any easier for the Atlanta Braves on Saturday. After dropping the first game of a three-game series to the Washington Nationals on Friday, the Braves face off against Stephen Strasburg on Saturday afternoon.

Strasburg has been excellent this year, which is a surprise to exactly no one. To date, Strasburg is 9-2 with a 2.60 ERA, 1.04 WHIP and has held opposing hitters to a .217 average. Strasburg has only issued 23 walks on the year as well, while striking out a staggering 118 in just 90 innings this year.

Mike Minor starts for Atlanta, as he looks for his first win since June 7, and his first quality start since June 12. Minor brings a 6.14 ERA, 1.44 WHIP and .271 average against into Saturday's contest. Despite the lousy numbers overall, Minor has managed to miss a fair share of bats, as he's struck out 70 in 80 and 2/3rds innings of work this year.

First pitch between Atlanta and Washington is scheduled for 4:05 p.m. ET. Televised coverage can be found on SportSouth.

For more on the Braves, head over to Talking Chop and join the discussion.


Nationals Vs. Braves: Martin Prado Slowed By Sore Hamstring

Martin Prado has been battling a sore hamstring and manager Fredi Gonzalez held him out of Friday's starting lineup in an effort to give him some much needed rest. Gonzalez said that he noticed Prado favoring the injury on Thursday while running the bases and in the outfield.

"He's trying to manage it," Gonzalez said. "But these guys are athletes and all of a sudden they want to go an extra step and get really, really bad."

Prado entered the game in the seventh inning as a pinch hitter and quickly delivered a run scoring single. He stayed in the game replacing Jack Wilson at second base. It was the first time that Prado had played second since the 2010 season.

Read more on the Braves at Talking Chop and head over to Federal Baseball for the Nationals fans' perspective. Baseball Nation is your source for news and analysis around Major League Baseball.


Errors Lead Braves To Tough 5-4 Loss Against Nationals

The Atlanta Braves had plenty of opportunities to win on Friday night, but errors loomed very costly for the club as they lost 5-4. It is their second consultive one-run loss at home.

The Nationals scored in the second inning on a two-out, RBI-single from the pitcher, Ross Detwiler. It was his first hit of the season. In the third, Randall Delgado recorded two quick outs, but back-to-back-to-back errors from Jack Wilson, Chipper Jones and Andrelton Simmons moved two runners into scoring position. Ian Desmond then singled to left field, bringing both runners home. Jesus Flores followed in the fourth inning with a solo homer to make the score 4-0.

The Braves mounted a rally in the seventh. Martin Prado singled in a run and Michael Bourn drove in another with a sacrifice fly, bringing up Andrelton Simmons with a runner on and two outs. Simmons took a hanging curveball and sent it over the left field wall, tying the game up at 4-4.

The tie did not last long. On the first pitch thrown by Chad Durbin in the eighth, Michael Morse sent it deep into the right field stands to give the Nationals a 5-4 lead once again.

The Braves showed signs of life in the ninth. Freddie Freeman led off the inning with a double and Martin Prado drew a one-out walk, but Eric Hinske, Bourn and Simmons all recorded outs on fly balls to end the threat.

It was a tough loss for Atlanta, and now they'll face two All-Stars in Stephen Strasburg and Gio Gonzalez this weekend.


Braves Vs. Nationals: Atlanta's Friday Lineup Announced

The Braves take on the NL East leading Nationals on Friday night to open up a weekend series between two teams expected to battle for the division title as the year progresses.

This is sure to be an exciting matchup, even though the Braves are facing perhaps the finest pitching staff in Major League Baseball. They'll look to meet the challenge starting with this lineup:

The Nationals lineup hasn't been posted, but Ross Detwiler is their starting pitcher for Friday night.

Read more on the Braves at Talking Chop and head over to Federal Baseball for the Nationals fans' perspective. Baseball Nation is your source for news and analysis around Major League Baseball. Also, be sure to subscribe to the SB Nation Youtube Channel for video commentary.


Braves Vs. Nationals: Game 1 Preview, TV Info And More

Randall Delgado has been shaky and inconsistent for the Braves - he lasted only 1 and 1/3 innings in his last start, but looked lights-out when in a two-run, three-hit 8 inning win over the Orioles June 17.

The Nationals have led the NL East fo the majority of the season, and enter this crucial three-game series in Atlanta with a 3.5 game lead over the Braves. Washington swept Atlanta in D.C. earlier this season, and hold a 4-1 record over the Braves so far this year.

Date / Time: Friday, June 29, 7:35 p.m. ET

Location: Turner Field, Atlanta, Georgia

TV: Peachtree TV, Fox Sports South

Radio: WNNX 100.5, WCNN 680

Probable Starters: Ross Detwiler (4-3) vs. Randall Delgado (4-8)

For more on the Atlanta Braves, check out Talking Chop. Washington Nationals news and info can be found at Federal Baseball, and all your MLB news and info is available at Baseball Nation.

Check out the SB Nation Channel on YouTube


Braves vs. Nationals Preview: Atlanta Looks To Get Make Headway In NL East

Randall Delgado takes the mound in game one.

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