for this game

Braves hold off Nationals, win third straight

Jul 19, 2008 - 4:20 AM By Phil Foley PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

ATLANTA (Ticker) -- All-Star Brian McCann and the Atlanta Braves started off the second half on a positive note.

McCann delivered a three-run double and rookie Brent Lillibridge added two hits and two RBI as the Braves posted their third straight win, a 7-6 triumph over the Washington Nationals on Friday.

Tim Hudson (10-7) improved to 8-1 lifetime against the Nationals despite allowing five runs and nine hits in 6 2/3 innings. The righthander, who walked one and struck out two, had lost four of his previous six decisions.

"Normally, we're on the wrong end of these kind of games," said Hudson, whose team won for just the sixth time in 28 one-run games. "We got some two-out hits and scored a couple of runs. It was nice to see. If we would have played this game the whole season, our record would have been a lot better."

McCann has been nothing but impressive in his first four years with Atlanta en route to becoming the first Brave to be named to the National League All-Star team in each of his first three full seasons in the majors. However, the 24-year-old catcher sat around Yankee Stadium for most of Tuesday's epic 15-inning contest before being inserted into the lineup in the last frame.

As has been the case the last three All-Star Games, McCann has been behind the plate each time when the American League has secured the victory. But things have gone much more smoothly for the Atlanta native here at Turner Field.

McCann snapped a 2-2 tie with his double down the right field line off Tim Redding (7-4) in the third inning. It was the 28th two-base hit of the year for the slow-footed McCann, who later scored on Mark Kotsay's single to give the Braves a 6-2 lead.

"I just closed my eyes and swung," joked McCann, who is third in the National League in doubles. "We got some guys over and got some big hits."

"He's been awesome," Hudson said. "It seems like every time I pitch, he's doing something to drive in some runs. That's what All-Star catchers do. He's a run producer. He's going to get some runs for us one way or another."

The early run support was just enough for Hudson (10-7), who improved to 104-2 when staked to a lead of three or more runs.

"It was one of those nights where I really didn't have a good feeling where the ball was going," he said. "It was big to get a nice lead. It took the pressure off."

Blaine Boyer recorded the final out of the seventh and first two of the eighth before Will Ohman struck out Kory Casto to close out the frame.

Trailing by two runs entering the ninth, Washington halved the deficit on Paul Lo Duca's RBI groundout. But with the tying run on third and two outs, Mike Gonzalez induced a flyout to right field by Austin Kearns to preserve the victory and notch his fourth save of the campaign - and 34th in a row, the longest active streak in the major leagues.

"That's what happens when you don't throw for three days during the All-Star break," said Gonzalez, who missed most of last season and the first three months of 2008 due to "Tommy John" surgery. "Today was the worst I felt since (the surgery). I felt a little rusty. Thankfully, I got it out of the way."

Lillibridge gave Atlanta the lead with a two-run double in the second inning, but Washington tied it in the third on RBI singles by former Brave Ryan Langerhans and Lo Duca. Ronnie Belliard cut the deficit to 6-3 with a run-scoring base hit in the top of the sixth, but Kelly Johnson answered with one of his own in the bottom half.

Washington chipped away in the seventh on a sacrifice fly by Jesus Flores and an RBI single by All-Star Cristian Guzman.

Redding allowed six runs, six hits and three walks with three strikeouts in four innings for Washington, which has dropped 10 of its last 12 games.

"Despite not winning the last couple of weeks, I like the way the team has played," Nationals manager Manny Acta said. "I like the fight. They came out against their closer and gave him a battle."

Washington played without Dmitri Young, who was a late scratch due to vision problems. The 34-year-old, who is diabetic, was unsuccessful in getting his high blood sugar under control.

With Young sidelined, the Nationals - who are carrying four catchers - put Lo Duca at first base.








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

    BATTERIES: WAS - TIM REDDING, JASON BERGMANN (5TH), CHARLIE MANNING (7TH) AND
    JOHNNY ESTRADA
    ATL - TIM HUDSON, BLAINE BOYER (7TH), WILL OHMAN (8TH),
    MIKE GONZALEZ (9TH) AND B

    Jul 18 10:08 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    GROUND OUT BY PAUL LO DUCA SCORED FELIPE LOPEZ.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, W HARRIS ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 6
    ATLANTA 7 TOP, 9TH
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: C GUZMAN (.312, 1-FOR-4, RBI)

    Nationals 6, Braves 7  Top 9, 0 OutsJul 18 10:05 PM
  • 40
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 35 roots (Close Finish)

    Nationals 6, Braves 7  Top 9, 0 OutsJul 18 10:05 PM
  • 5
    roots
    McTool Added 5 roots

    Nationals 5, Braves 7  Top 9, 0 OutsJul 18 9:59 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY CRISTIAN GUZMAN SCORED WILLIE HARRIS.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, C GUZMAN ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 5
    ATLANTA 7 TOP, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: A KEARNS (.207, 1-FOR-3)

    Nationals 5, Braves 7  Top 7, 0 OutsJul 18 9:28 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY JESUS FLORES SCORED RYAN LANGERHANS.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, NONE ON, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 4
    ATLANTA 7 TOP, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: W HARRIS (.223, 1-FOR-3)

    Nationals 4, Braves 7  Top 7, 0 OutsJul 18 9:21 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY KELLY JOHNSON SCORED BRENT LILLIBRIDGE.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, K JOHNSON ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 3
    ATLANTA 7 BOTTOM, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: C JONES (.377, 1-FOR-2, BB)

    Nationals 3, Braves 7  Bot 6, 0 OutsJul 18 9:15 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY RONNIE BELLIARD SCORED AUSTIN KEARNS.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, R BELLIARD ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 3
    ATLANTA 6 TOP, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: K CASTO (.221, 1-FOR-2)

    Nationals 3, Braves 6  Top 6, 0 OutsJul 18 9:06 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY MARK KOTSAY SCORED BRIAN MCCANN.
    SITUATION: 4 RUNS IN, M KOTSAY ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 2
    ATLANTA 6 BOTTOM, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: B LILLIBRIDGE (.256, 1-FOR-1, 2 RBI)

    Nationals 2, Braves 6  Bot 3, 0 OutsJul 18 8:30 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY BRIAN MCCANN SCORED GREGOR BLANCO, CHIPPER JONES
    AND MARK TEIXEIRA.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, B MCCANN ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 2
    ATLANTA 5 BOTTOM, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: J FRANCOEUR (.234, 0-FOR-0, HBP)

    Nationals 2, Braves 5  Bot 3, 0 OutsJul 18 8:26 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY PAUL LO DUCA SCORED RYAN LANGERHANS.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, P LO DUCA ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 2
    ATLANTA 2 TOP, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: C GUZMAN (.312, 0-FOR-1)

    Nationals 2, Braves 2  Top 3, 0 OutsJul 18 8:13 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY RYAN LANGERHANS SCORED KORY CASTO.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, R LANGERHANS ON FIRST, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 1
    ATLANTA 2 TOP, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: T REDDING (.167, 0 HR, 3 RBI)

    Nationals 1, Braves 2  Top 3, 0 OutsJul 18 8:08 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY BRENT LILLIBRIDGE SCORED MARK TEIXEIRA AND JEFF
    FRANCOEUR.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, B LILLIBRIDGE ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 0
    ATLANTA 2 BOTTOM, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: T HUDSON (.111, 0 HR, 2 RBI)

    Nationals 0, Braves 2  Bot 2, 0 OutsJul 18 8:01 PM