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Church, Jimenez lead Nationals past Braves

Sep 9, 2007 - 10:29 PM ATLANTA (Ticker) -- The Atlanta Braves have played well against the Washington Nationals, but that didn't make Sunday's loss any easier to take.

Ryan Church hit a three-run home run and D'Angelo Jimenez had three RBI as the Nationals avoided a three-game series sweep with a 7-4 victory over the Braves.

Atlanta had won their previous five meetings with Washington, but their failure to run that streak to six dented their playoff aspirations. The Braves now find themselves 8 1/2 games behind the National League East-leading New York Mets (81-61), a team they open a three-game series with Monday at Shea Stadium.

"We've got to go in there and beat them," Braves manager Bobby Cox said. "It's as simple as that. No scientific plan, we've just got to win."

Atlanta (73-70) is five games back of the NL wild card-leading San Diego Padres (77-64), who are in action Sunday at Colorado.

A two-run home run by Chipper Jones - his 25th of the season - and an RBI double by Mark Teixeira staked the Braves to a 3-1 lead through five innings, but Washington quickly erased the lead in the sixth.

Dmitri Young reached on a one-out single off starter Lance Cormier (2-5) and advanced to third moments later on Austin Kearns' double to left. Church then capped an eight-pitch at-bat by blasting his 12th home run of the season over the wall in center field to give Washington a 4-3 lead.

"I was just trying to stay in on it," Church said. "In that situation you want to elevate the ball. I only have a few at-bats, I have to take advantage of them when I get the chance."

Cormier said he simply did not locate the pitch.

"We were not going to give into him," he said. "We attacked him with the curveball. I made a couple of good ones, but (the one on the homer) was a little too much up. I didn't make the pitch I wanted to make."

Church's timely hit allowed starter Jason Bergmann (4-5) to pick up the win. The righthander, who retired nine in a row between the third and sixth innings, allowed three runs, four hits and two walks while striking out six in six innings.

"(Bergmann) threw the ball pretty well, especially after that rough spot (in the first)," Washington manager Manny Acta said. "He had a good curveball today. He has a good repertoire."

Cormier also departed after six innings, having allowed four runs, seven hits and one walk while striking out five.

"Today we had a chance and I didn't keep us ahead," Cormier said. "The last couple of games, we pitched the ball good, hit the ball good and played good defense. I didn't do my part on the mound. Guys gave me a lead and I couldn't keep it."

Washington tacked on another run in the seventh when Jimenez ripped a double to right that plated former Brave Ryan Langerhans. Jimenez finished with three hits after collecting just two hits in his previous 20 games.

Washington didn't exactly coast to victory as Luis Ayala worked into trouble in the seventh. Andruw Jones and Kelly Johnson opened the frame with back-to-back singles and then moved into scoring position on Pete Orr's sacrifice.

Ayala dodged one bullet as he struck out Willie Harris for the second out, but he walked Edgar Renteria to load the bases for Chipper Jones. However, lefthanded reliever Arnie Munoz entered the game and got Chipper Jones to ground into a forceout to end the threat.

"It's September and I've never seen the kid," Chipper Jones said. "When you don't know what a guy's got, it is advantage pitcher. I got myself out trying to make something happen."

After Jimenez made it a 6-3 game with a two-out single in the eighth, Teixeira got the run back for the Braves in the bottom of the inning with his 24th home run of the season.

It was the first baseman's 24th home run of the year and 11th with the Braves, who acquired the switch-hitter at the trade deadline in July.

Ryan Zimmerman's 23rd home run of the season in the ninth padded the lead for Washington closer Chad Cordero, who tossed a perfect ninth to record his 32nd save of the season.








  • NL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    WASHINGTON 0 0 1 0 0 3 1 1 1 7 13 0
    ATLANTA 2 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 4 8 1 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: WAS - JASON BERGMANN, LUIS AYALA (7TH), ARNIE MUNOZ (7TH), JON RAUCH
    (8TH), CHAD CORDERO (9TH) AND JESUS FLORES
    ATL - LANCE CORMIER, PETER MOYLAN (7TH), RON MAHAY


    Sep 9 4:04 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY RYAN ZIMMERMAN (23) TO RIGHT WITH 0 OUT IN
    THE 9TH OFF JOSE ASCANIO.
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 7, ATLANTA 4
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: N LOGAN (.270, 0 HR, 20 RBI)

    Nationals vs. BravesSep 9 3:44 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY MARK TEIXEIRA (11) TO RIGHT WITH 0 OUT IN
    THE 8TH OFF JON RAUCH.
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 6, ATLANTA 4
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: B MCCANN (.276, 1-FOR-3)

    Nationals vs. BravesSep 9 3:37 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY D'ANGELO JIMENEZ SCORED JESUS FLORES.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, D JIMENEZ ON FIRST, R FICK ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 6
    ATLANTA 3 TOP, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: R BELLIARD (.278, 1-FOR-3, SAC)

    Nationals vs. BravesSep 9 3:30 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY D'ANGELO JIMENEZ SCORED RYAN LANGERHANS.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, D JIMENEZ ON SECOND, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 5
    ATLANTA 3 TOP, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: R BELLIARD (.278, 1-FOR-3)

    Nationals vs. BravesSep 9 2:50 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    THREE-RUN HOME RUN BY RYAN CHURCH (12) TO CENTER WITH 1 OUT
    IN THE 6TH OFF LANCE CORMIER SCORED DMITRI YOUNG AND AUSTIN KEARNS.
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 4, ATLANTA 3
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: W PENA (.231, 0-FOR-2)

    Nationals vs. BravesSep 9 2:34 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY MARK TEIXEIRA SCORED CHIPPER JONES.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, M TEIXEIRA ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 1
    ATLANTA 3 BOTTOM, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: B MCCANN (.275, 0-FOR-1)

    Nationals vs. BravesSep 9 1:54 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY D'ANGELO JIMENEZ SCORED JESUS FLORES.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, D JIMENEZ ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 1
    ATLANTA 2 TOP, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: R BELLIARD (.277, 0-FOR-1)

    Nationals vs. BravesSep 9 1:41 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY CHIPPER JONES (25) TO RIGHT WITH 1 OUT
    IN THE 1ST OFF JASON BERGMANN SCORED WILLIE HARRIS.
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 0, ATLANTA 2
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: M TEIXEIRA (.309, 10 HR, 34 RBI)

    Nationals vs. BravesSep 9 1:17 PM