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Francoeur paces Braves in rout of Nationals

Apr 12, 2008 - 11:18 PM WASHINGTON (Ticker) -- Jeff Francoeur homered twice and drove in a career-high seven runs Saturday, powering the Atlanta Braves to a 10-2 victory over the slumping Washington Nationals in a game delayed for 91 minutes at the start due to rain.

Francoeur paced a 13-hit attack with a three-run homer in the first inning, a two-run double in the fourth and a two-run blast in the sixth.

It was the sixth career multi-homer contest for Francoeur, whose previous high for RBI in a game was five.

"I don't think I have had this many RBI since T-ball," Francoeur said. "It is one of those games you don't have too often, so I am definitely going to enjoy it a little bit."

While the 23-year-old right fielder single-handedly beat the Nationals, Braves starter John Smoltz (2-0) was in control on the mound.

Smoltz allowed one run and scattered five hits in six innings with two walks and five strikeouts. In his two starts this season since coming off the disabled list, he has surrendered just one run in 11 innings.

"The offense gave me a huge lift in the first inning." Smoltz said. "The offense won the game for us."

After the first rain delay in Nationals Park history, Washington's John Lannan (0-2) was pounded, giving up four runs in the first. He yielded six runs and nine hits in four innings - both career highs.

"I didn't follow the game plan," Lannan said. "I want away from it. I am upset for doing that."

After starting 3-0, the Nationals suffered their ninth straight loss, the franchise's longest slide since the Montreal Expos dropped nine in a row from September 23-October 1, 2000.

"We aren't going to do it with the type of offense we have been getting," Washington manager Manny Acta said. "Yesterday, we had great pitching but no hitting. That's what happens when you are struggling. We just have to keep working hard."

Kelly Johnson started the game with a double and Chipper Jones walked one out later. Mark Teixeira followed with an RBI single, and Francoeur's first homer staked the Braves to a 4-0 lead.

"It's fun when you have days like this and win like this," Francoeur added. "When you give Smoltzie a lead like that, you know it's pretty much over."

The Nationals got their only run off Smoltz on Willie Harris' RBI triple in the bottom of the fourth.

The Braves tacked on a run in the fifth, then made it 10-1 in the sixth on back-to-back homers by Francoeur and Brian McCann.

The four runs in the first inning were an added boost for Smoltz, who has been battling congestion in his chest. He had trouble sleeping Friday night after taking medicine to combat the problem.

"It was a weird day, the rain delay," Smoltz said. "I didn't get any sleep. The four runs we got in the first inning were like an energy drink."

Washington's Ryan Zimmerman snapped an 0-for-16 slump with a pair of hits.








  • NL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    ATLANTA 4 0 0 2 1 3 0 0 0 10 13 1
    WASHINGTON 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 2 7 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: ATL - JOHN SMOLTZ, WILL OHMAN (7TH), JEFF BENNETT (7TH), BLAINE
    BOYER (8TH), MANNY ACOSTA (9TH) AND BRIAN MCCANN, CORKY MILLER
    (7TH)
    WAS - JOHN LANNAN, JASON BERGM

    Apr 12 5:21 PM


  • NL
    AT WASHINGTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY RYAN ZIMMERMAN SCORED WILLIE HARRIS.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, L MILLEDGE ON FIRST, C GUZMAN ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ATLANTA 10
    WASHINGTON 2 BOTTOM, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: J HANRAHAN (.000, 0 HR, 0 RBI)

    Braves 10, Nationals 2  Bot 7, 0 OutsApr 12 4:46 PM


  • NL
    AT WASHINGTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY BRIAN MCCANN (3) TO RIGHT WITH 2 OUT IN
    THE 6TH OFF JASON BERGMANN.
    CURRENT SCORE: ATLANTA 10, WASHINGTON 1
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: M DIAZ (.279, 2-FOR-3)

    Braves 10, Nationals 1  Top 6, 0 OutsApr 12 4:18 PM


  • NL
    AT WASHINGTON - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY JEFF FRANCOEUR (3) TO LEFT WITH 2 OUT
    IN THE 6TH OFF JASON BERGMANN SCORED YUNEL ESCOBAR.
    CURRENT SCORE: ATLANTA 9, WASHINGTON 1
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: B MCCANN (.333, 2-FOR-3)

    Braves 9, Nationals 1  Top 6, 0 OutsApr 12 4:17 PM


  • NL
    AT WASHINGTON - SCORING UPDATE
    GROUND OUT BY JOHN SMOLTZ SCORED MATT DIAZ.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, NONE ON, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ATLANTA 7
    WASHINGTON 1 TOP, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: K JOHNSON (.313, 2-FOR-3)

    Braves 7, Nationals 1  Top 5, 0 OutsApr 12 4:02 PM


  • NL
    AT WASHINGTON - SCORING UPDATE
    TRIPLE BY WILLIE HARRIS SCORED FELIPE LOPEZ.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, W HARRIS ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ATLANTA 6
    WASHINGTON 1 BOTTOM, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: J LANNAN (.000, 0-FOR-1)

    Braves 6, Nationals 1  Bot 4, 0 OutsApr 12 3:56 PM


  • NL
    AT WASHINGTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY JEFF FRANCOEUR SCORED YUNEL ESCOBAR AND CHIPPER
    JONES.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, J FRANCOEUR ON SECOND, M TEIXEIRA ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ATLANTA 6
    WASHINGTON 0 TOP, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: B MCCANN (.343, 2-FOR-2)

    Braves 6, Nationals 0  Top 4, 0 OutsApr 12 3:47 PM


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

    CURRENT PITCHERS: ATL - JOHN SMOLTZ
    WAS - JOHN LANNAN

    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: C GUZMAN (.294, 2 HR, 6 RBI)
    L MILLEDGE (.289, 1 HR, 5 RBI)
    R ZIMMERMAN (.191, 2 HR, 3

    Braves 4, Nationals 0  Bot 1, 0 OutsApr 12 2:49 PM