The Braves threatened in the ninth but couldn't overcome some shoddy defense and a less than stellar performance from starter Jair Jurrjens, falling to the Nationals 5-3. Atlanta banged out three solo home runs in the game including two from Dan Uggla who extended his hitting streak to 23 games but couldn't get the key hit despite having a number of chances.
The Braves' bad luck on the bases began in the first inning. New addition Michael Bourn led off the game with a single but was doubled off first when Martin Prado lined to third baseman Ryan Zimmerman ending the threat. Jair Jurrjens was greeted by a solo home run off the bat of Rick Ankiel to lead off the bottom half of the first giving the Nationals a 1-0 lead.
Atlanta quickly tied the game as Dan Uggla homered to lead off the second. However, Washington answered right back in the bottom half of the inning retaking the lead on a Livan Hernandez RBI single to right that scored Jayson Werth.
Trailing 2-1, Atlanta loaded the bases in the fourth but David Ross grounded into a double play to end the threat. The Braves also got the lead off man on in the fifth when Alex Gonzalez led off the inning with a single. However, he was also erased on a double play on an attempted sacrifice by Jurrjens.
The Nationals extended the lead to 3-1 in the fifth on another long home run from Ankiel. Jurrjens wouldn't escape the sixth inning as Washington scored two more times. The first on a Laynce Nix single to center that scored Michael Morse and the second on an Ian Desmond ground out that scored Werth.
Atlanta would add solo homers from David Ross in the seventh and Uggla in the ninth closing the gap to 5-3. Jason Heyward followed Uggla's blast in the ninth with a single but Nationals closer Drew Storen struck out Ross and coaxed a ground out from Alex Gonzalez to end the game.
Uggla was 3 for 4 for the Braves launching homers No. 21 and No. 22 in the game. Freddie Freeman also extended his hitting streak to 16 games with a single in the fourth. Michael Bourn finished 1 for 4 in his first game with the Braves.
Jurrjens falls to 12-4 on the season after allowing seven hits and five runs in five innings of work. He walked two and struck out one. Livan Hernandez captures his sixth win of the season scattering six hits and one run over six innings. Drew Storen allowed the homer to Uggla in the ninth but records his 27th save of the season.
Game 2 in the series is tomorrow with Derek Lowe facing off against Washington's John Lannan.