for this game

Fick comes off bench early to send Nationals to victory

Sep 16, 2007 - 4:02 AM By Rich Dubroff PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

WASHINGTON (Ticker) - Robert Fick's three-run, pinch-hit home run in the third inning boosted the Washington Nationals to a 7-4 win over the Atlanta Braves on Saturday night.

Fick was taking the place of first baseman Dmitri Young, who left the game after getting hit in the side of the head by a grounder off the bat of Atlanta's Mark Teixeira in the top of the third.

The Nationals were trailing, 3-2, when D'Angelo Jimenez led off with a liner off Teixeira's glove at first. Jimenez, who finished with a season-high three hits, made it to second and advanced to third when Atlanta right fielder Jeff Francoeur threw wildly to second.

Ryan Zimmerman walked and Fick followed with his second home run of the year to right field off Atlanta starter Lance Cormier (2-6), who surrendered five runs - four earned - and three hits over just two innings.

It's been a frustrating year for Fick, who lost his mother to cancer this spring - and success has been rare. He's batting just .211 with 15 RBI in 107 games.

"To be honest, I haven't been coming through for the team all year," Fick said.

"He's a better hitter than what he's shown this year," Washington manager Manny Acta said. "It was a great at-bat. He saw a lot of pitches." Fick fouled off six pitches before delivering his unexpected blast.

"I was trying to keep my swing short," Fick said. "The last thing on my mind was actually trying to hit a fly ball to right field. I'm not going to lie. It was pretty lucky for me to come through like that."

The loss damaged the Braves' fading wild-card hopes. Atlanta (75-73) trails five teams in the chase and sits five games behind wild-card leader San Diego (79-67).

"We're going to stay optimistic," Teixeira said. "We're going to try to win every game. Hopefully, we'll get on a roll."

On Friday, the Braves used eight pitchers in their 13-inning win. They hoped Cormier would get deep in the game. He didn't.

"That's the hardest thing to take," Cormier said. "I have to be out there to the sixth or seventh inning."

Jimenez gave Washington a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first when he hit his first home run since April 16, 2006. The home run scored plated Nook Logan, who reached on an error by Braves second baseman Kelly Johnson.

Chipper Jones belted a three-run, line-drive home run to right field in the third off Jason Bergmann (5-5) to give Atlanta a 3-2 lead in the third. Corky Miller led off the fourth with a home run off Bergmann - his first since May 26, 2002 when he was with Cincinnati.

Bergmann regrouped after Miller's blast, allowing a total of four runs and eight hits over 6 2/3 innings. The win was Bergmann's fourth straight, with three of his five wins coming against the Braves.

"I've had five starts against them," Bergmann said. "If you have the opportunity to go against them (five times), you have a chance to win three."

Relievers Arnie Munoz and Jon Rauch bridged the four-out gap to closer Chad Cordero, who pitched a scoreless ninth for his 34th save in 43 opportunities.

Atlanta loaded the bases against Cordero in the ninth, but Jones hit into a game-ending double play. Jones bemoaned his team's tired bullpen allowing two crucial runs to Washington in the eighth.

"If we don't give up those runs in that inning, the ninth could be a lot different," Jones said. "Such is the story of our season."








  • NL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    ATLANTA 0 0 3 1 0 0 0 0 0 4 11 2
    WASHINGTON 2 0 3 0 0 0 0 2 x 7 8 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: ATL - LANCE CORMIER, BUDDY CARLYLE (3RD), PETER MOYLAN (5TH), RON
    MAHAY (7TH), ROYCE RING (8TH) AND CORKY MILLER
    WAS - JASON BERGMANN, ARNIE MUNOZ (7TH), JON RAUCH

    Sep 15 9:57 PM


  • NL
    AT WASHINGTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY RONNIE BELLIARD SCORED AUSTIN KEARNS.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, R BELLIARD ON FIRST, W PENA ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ATLANTA 4
    WASHINGTON 7 BOTTOM, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: B SCHNEIDER (.233, 1-FOR-2, BB)

    Braves vs. NationalsSep 15 9:45 PM


  • NL
    AT WASHINGTON - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY AUSTIN KEARNS SCORED RYAN ZIMMERMAN.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, A KEARNS ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ATLANTA 4
    WASHINGTON 6 BOTTOM, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: W PENA (.289, 0-FOR-3)

    Braves vs. NationalsSep 15 9:40 PM


  • NL
    AT WASHINGTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY CORKY MILLER (1) TO LEFT WITH 0 OUT IN THE
    4TH OFF JASON BERGMANN.
    CURRENT SCORE: ATLANTA 4, WASHINGTON 5
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: B CARLYLE (.143, 0 HR, 3 RBI)

    Braves vs. NationalsSep 15 8:28 PM


  • NL
    AT WASHINGTON - SCORING UPDATE
    THREE-RUN HOME RUN BY ROBERT FICK (2) TO RIGHT WITH 0 OUT
    IN THE 3RD OFF LANCE CORMIER SCORED D'ANGELO JIMENEZ AND RYAN
    ZIMMERMAN.
    CURRENT SCORE: ATLANTA 3, WASHINGTON 5
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: A KEARNS (.265, 0-FOR-0, BB)

    Braves vs. NationalsSep 15 8:16 PM


  • NL
    AT WASHINGTON - SCORING UPDATE
    THREE-RUN HOME RUN BY CHIPPER JONES (26) TO RIGHT WITH 1
    OUT IN THE 3RD OFF JASON BERGMANN SCORED KELLY JOHNSON AND EDGAR
    RENTERIA.
    CURRENT SCORE: ATLANTA 3, WASHINGTON 2
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: M TEIXEIRA (.321, 0-FOR-1)

    Braves vs. NationalsSep 15 7:57 PM


  • NL
    AT WASHINGTON - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY D'ANGELO JIMENEZ (1) TO RIGHT WITH 0
    OUT IN THE 1ST OFF LANCE CORMIER SCORED NOOK LOGAN.
    CURRENT SCORE: ATLANTA 0, WASHINGTON 2
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: R ZIMMERMAN (.268, 24 HR, 87 RBI)

    Braves vs. NationalsSep 15 7:21 PM
  • 5
    roots
    cramyamel Added 5 roots

    Braves vs. NationalsSep 10 8:46 PM