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Cormier, Jones carry Braves past Nationals

Sep 20, 2006 - 3:25 PM WASHINGTON (Ticker) -- The Atlanta Braves used the long ball to close out their three-game series.

Lance Cormier pitched into the seventh inning and Andruw Jones and Brian McCann both homered as the Braves posted a 7-3 triumph over the Washington Nationals.

Cormier (4-5) yielded just two runs and six hits in 6 1/3 innings for his first win against Washington this season. The 26-year-old righthander walked four and struck out five in improving to 3-3 lifetime against the Nationals.

"I'm just trying to continue to believe that I've got the stuff to be a starter," Cormier said. "Just go out there when you have the chance to start and give it everything you have."

"Lance came up with another gem, I thought, after the first inning," Braves manager Bobby Cox said. "His curveball was really working, and that's a great pitch because nobody can hit that thing."

Atlanta took the lead for good when McCann belted his 21st homer - a three-run shot - off starter Ramon Ortiz (10-15), who is winless in his last three starts. The blast helped the Braves register at least 200 homers in a season for the fifth time in franchise history.

"We've got a lot of guys with power," McCann said. "Especially considering we don't play in a hitter's park."

Jones opened the scoring with an RBI single in the first and launched his 36th blast in the fifth, his second of the series. One inning later, Jeff Francoeur belted his 26th homer against Chris Booker to extend the lead to 6-2.

With the win, Atlanta captured its sixth consecutive season series against Washington and has won 10 of the last 12 overall.

Braves third baseman Chipper Jones left the contest in the seventh due to a sore toe on his right foot and is listed as day-to-day. He doubled and scored a pair of runs before exiting.

Ortiz gave up five runs and eight hits in five innings, falling to 1-5 in seven career starts against Atlanta.

"I don't feel good because I like to win, I like to pitch good," Ortiz said. "I like to have fun every day. I am not having fun right now."

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