for this game

Harris, Nationals pound Braves

Jul 20, 2008 - 10:57 PM By Phil Foley PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

ATLANTA (Ticker) -- Willie Harris gave the Atlanta Braves another reason to rue the day they didn't re-sign him.

Harris homered, drove in five runs and reached base five times and Austin Kearns homered and scored five times to lead the Washington Nationals to a 15-6 rout of the Braves in the rubber game of the three- game set Sunday afternoon.

Jesus Flores set a career high with five hits and Felipe Lopez had three hits and drove in three runs for the Nationals, who scored the most runs since the franchise moved to Washington. The 17 hits also were a season high.

"Hitting is contagious," Harris said. "We're swinging the bats really well right now. It's good for our hitters and good for our pitchers, too."

Harris, a native of Georgia, spent the better part of last season with his hometown club, batting .270 with two homers and 32 RBI in 117 games for the Braves. But Atlanta and the former Kennesaw State standout parted ways in the offseason as Harris became one of many former Braves on a struggling Nationals club.

After Harris' weekend performance, the Braves may have been better off keeping him.

"I looked forward to this series," Harris said. "I had a bunch of friends (in the stands). I want to beat my old team."

The 30-year old Harris, who pounded out five hits, scored four times and drove in two runs in the first two games of the three-game set, was at it again Sunday.

Harris, who walked in the first, helped the Nationals extend the lead to 3-1 by smashing a two-run single off Atlanta starter Jo-Jo Reyes (3-9) in the second before drawing a walk with the bases loaded in the third. He followed by capping a six-run fourth with a two-run shot into the right field stands for his sixth homer of the season.

"Willie Harris has been a sparkplug for us," Nationals manager Manny Acta said. "He's having some good at-bats."

Harris, who is batting .480 (12-for-25) with a homer and 10 RBI against the Braves this season, is hitting just .205 (27-for-132) with five homers and 10 RBI against the rest of the league.

His supporting cast, which tattooed Atlanta pitching for 14 hits Saturday night, had the bats working again Sunday.

After scoring three runs in the second, Washington added three more in the third and six in the fourth. The Nationals added two runs in the fifth. Kearns hit his 100th career homer in the fourth.

Former Braves pitcher Odalis Perez (3-7) benefited from the offensive outburst, notching his first win since May 28, despite allowing five runs and nine hits while walking two and striking out four over five frames.

"I'd say (the offense helped me) - 15 runs, 17 hits," Perez said. "I may not have pitched that well, but sometimes you deserve games like that."

The loss capped another miserable series for the Braves, who may quickly be turning into sellers at the trade deadline.

"That's part of the game," said Teixeira, who was 3-for-4 with two homers and three RBIs the contest. "I've always said that I wanted to stay here and wee my way through it. But business is business and things have to change."

Atlanta's pitching staff allowed 29 runs and 42 hits in the three-game set to a club that entered Sunday's contest with a major league-low .241 batting average.

"It's really frustrating," second baseman Kelly Johnson said. "All of us have been on winning teams and winning organizations. It needs to change."

Reyes was the latest Atlanta starter to get tattooed by the light-hitting club, allowing six runs and seven hits, walking four and striking out one in 2 1/3 frames.

His bullpen mates were not much better. Buddy Carlyle allowed six runs over the next 1 2/3 frames, which included issuing a free pass to Harris with the bases loaded.

The ball four call by plate umpire Chris Guccione drew the ire of Braves manager Bobby Cox, who was promptly ejected before even leaving the Atlanta dugout. It was the sixth time this season and the 141st time in his career that the cantankerous Cox has been ejected.

Things just got worse for the Braves after Cox left as the club quickly fell behind by 10 after Washington put up a six-spot in the fourth.

"It was pretty embarrassing," Teixeira said. "We couldn't do anything. It's tough to watch when you do that, it's not only frustrating but it's tough to swallow when we're here in a must win situation. ? We've been playing better than that. It's as bad as you can play a game. We got our butts kicked."

Martin Prado smacked a pinch-hit two-run homer in the fourth for the Braves, who have dropped 23 of their last 37 games.








  • NL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    WASHINGTON 0 3 3 6 2 0 0 0 1 15 17 1
    ATLANTA 1 0 1 3 0 0 0 0 1 6 11 4 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: WAS - ODALIS PEREZ, STEVEN SHELL (6TH), CHARLIE MANNING (7TH), JOEL
    HANRAHAN (8TH), JESUS COLOME (9TH) AND JESUS FLORES
    ATL - JO-JO REYES, BUDDY CARLYLE (3RD), VLAD

    Jul 20 5:03 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY MARK TEIXEIRA (19) TO RIGHT WITH 0 OUT IN
    THE 9TH OFF JESUS COLOME.
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 15, ATLANTA 6
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: J FRANCOEUR (.234, 1-FOR-3, BB)

    Nationals 15, Braves 6  Bot 9, 0 OutsJul 20 4:56 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY FELIPE LOPEZ SCORED AUSTIN KEARNS.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J FLORES ON FIRST, R BELLIARD ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 15
    ATLANTA 5 TOP, 9TH
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: R LANGERHANS (.273, 2-FOR-5, RBI)

    Nationals 15, Braves 5  Top 9, 0 OutsJul 20 4:52 PM
  • 25
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 25 roots

    Nationals 14, Braves 5  Bot 5, 0 OutsJul 20 3:36 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY FELIPE LOPEZ SCORED JESUS FLORES.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, F LOPEZ ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 14
    ATLANTA 5 TOP, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: R LANGERHANS (.286, 2-FOR-3, RBI)

    Nationals 14, Braves 5  Top 5, 0 OutsJul 20 3:35 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY JESUS FLORES SCORED AUSTIN KEARNS.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J FLORES ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 13
    ATLANTA 5 TOP, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: F LOPEZ (.240, 2-FOR-2, BB, RBI)

    Nationals 13, Braves 5  Top 5, 0 OutsJul 20 3:33 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY CHIPPER JONES SCORED KELLY JOHNSON.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, C JONES ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 12
    ATLANTA 5 BOTTOM, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: M TEIXEIRA (.277, 2-FOR-2, HR, 2 RBI)

    Nationals 12, Braves 5  Bot 4, 0 OutsJul 20 3:17 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY MARTIN PRADO (1) TO LEFT WITH 0 OUT IN
    THE 4TH OFF ODALIS PEREZ SCORED CORKY MILLER.
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 12, ATLANTA 4
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: G BLANCO (.263, 1-FOR-1, BB)

    Nationals 12, Braves 4  Bot 4, 0 OutsJul 20 3:12 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY WILLIE HARRIS (6) TO RIGHT WITH 2 OUT
    IN THE 4TH OFF BUDDY CARLYLE SCORED ODALIS PEREZ.
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 12, ATLANTA 2
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: P LO DUCA (.227, 0-FOR-3)

    Nationals 12, Braves 2  Top 4, 0 OutsJul 20 3:07 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    . ERROR BY CORKY MILLER ALLOWED FELIPE LOPEZ AND RYAN
    LANGERHANS TO SCORE.
    SITUATION: 4 RUNS IN, O PEREZ ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 10
    ATLANTA 2 TOP, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: W HARRIS (.245, 1-FOR-1, 2 BB, 3 RBI)

    Nationals 10, Braves 2  Top 4, 0 OutsJul 20 3:07 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY AUSTIN KEARNS (5) TO LEFT WITH 0 OUT IN
    THE 4TH OFF BUDDY CARLYLE SCORED CRISTIAN GUZMAN.
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 8, ATLANTA 2
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: R BELLIARD (.237, 1-FOR-1, BB)

    Nationals 8, Braves 2  Top 4, 0 OutsJul 20 2:56 PM
  • EDog The umpire Chris Guccioni SUCKS!!!

    Nationals 6, Braves 1  Bot 3, 0 OutsJul 20 2:48 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY MARK TEIXEIRA (18) TO LEFT WITH 1 OUT IN
    THE 3RD OFF ODALIS PEREZ.
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 6, ATLANTA 2
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: J FRANCOEUR (.235, 1-FOR-1)

    Nationals 6, Braves 2  Bot 3, 0 OutsJul 20 2:48 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    BASES LOADED WALK TO WILLIE HARRIS SCORED FELIPE LOPEZ.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, W HARRIS ON FIRST, O PEREZ ON SECOND, R
    LANGERHANS ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 6
    ATLANTA 1 TOP, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: P LO DUCA (.229, 0-FOR-2)

    Nationals 6, Braves 1  Top 3, 0 OutsJul 20 2:38 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY RYAN LANGERHANS SCORED RONNIE BELLIARD.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, R LANGERHANS ON FIRST, F LOPEZ ON SECOND, J
    FLORES ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 5
    ATLANTA 1 TOP, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: O PEREZ (.231, 0-FOR-1)

    Nationals 5, Braves 1  Top 3, 0 OutsJul 20 2:32 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY JESUS FLORES SCORED AUSTIN KEARNS.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J FLORES ON FIRST, R BELLIARD ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 4
    ATLANTA 1 TOP, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: F LOPEZ (.235, 0-FOR-0, BB, RBI)

    Nationals 4, Braves 1  Top 3, 0 OutsJul 20 2:28 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY WILLIE HARRIS SCORED JESUS FLORES AND FELIPE
    LOPEZ.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, W HARRIS ON SECOND, O PEREZ ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 3
    ATLANTA 1 TOP, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: P LO DUCA (.231, 0-FOR-1)

    Nationals 3, Braves 1  Top 2, 0 OutsJul 20 2:06 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    BASES LOADED WALK TO FELIPE LOPEZ SCORED AUSTIN KEARNS.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, F LOPEZ ON FIRST, J FLORES ON SECOND, R
    BELLIARD ON THIRD, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 1
    ATLANTA 1 TOP, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: R LANGERHANS (.256, 0 HR, 4 RBI)

    Nationals 1, Braves 1  Top 2, 0 OutsJul 20 2:00 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY MARK TEIXEIRA SCORED GREGOR BLANCO.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, M TEIXEIRA ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 0
    ATLANTA 1 BOTTOM, 1ST
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: J FRANCOEUR (.233, 9 HR, 44 RBI)

    Nationals 0, Braves 1  Bot 1, 0 OutsJul 20 1:49 PM