for this game

Five-run eighth leads Nationals to sixth straight win

Aug 31, 2008 - 9:58 PM By Rich Dubroff PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

WASHINGTON (Ticker) -- Aaron Boone's go-ahead, three-run homer highlighted a five-run eighth inning as the Washington Nationals posted their sixth consecutive victory with an 8-4 triumph over the Atlanta Braves.

The Nationals are enjoying their longest winning streak since a 10-game run from June 2-12, 2005.

With his team trailing, 4-3, in the eighth and Ryan Zimmerman and Elijah Dukes on base, Boone slammed an 0-1 pitch from Elmer Dessens (0-1) into the left field bullpen. It was Boone's eighth home run of the year - and his first since May 27.

"It was good," Boone said. "A good job of not executing ... I think they still thought I was bunting and they wanted to stay aggressive with me."

Garrett Mock (1-3) pitched a scoreless eighth in relief of Collin Balester to pick up his first major-league victory.

Boone, who fills in at first and third, says the attitude around the team has been much better recently. The club suffered through a 12-game losing streak earlier this month.

"It's refreshing," Boone said. "As disappointing as this year's been at times, I think it's starting to turn."

Wil Nieves and Cristian Guzman added RBI singles later in the inning for insurance, as the Nationals sent 11 men to the plate in the inning.

"We had one bad inning - the eighth," Atlanta manager Bobby Cox said. "It was a nightmare."

The Braves, who have lost 16 of 20, took a 4-2 lead after Yunel Escobar hit a three-run home run in the fourth.

Jair Jurrjens recovered from awful performances in his last two starts to toss six respectable innings, but did not factor in the decision. He overcame some early adversity, surrendering three hits and a pair of runs in the first inning as Washington took a 2-1 edge, but settled down thereafter.

Jurrjens gave up five hits and three runs, striking out seven and walking three.

"It's hard for them to go out there every day and save the starters," Jurrjens said. "I wouldn't want to be in their situation, either ... I feel their pain."

Escobar, who tied a team record in Friday night's game by grounding into three double plays, broke an 0-for-13 slump in dramatic fashion with his go-ahead, three-run shot off Balester. Escobar, who had been given the day off on Saturday, was back in the lineup and hitting in the fifth spot. All-Star catcher Brian McCann typically hits fifth, but he was given the afternoon off, along with fellow All-Star Chipper Jones.

Atlanta took a 1-0 lead in the first when Martin Prado doubled with one out and scored on Infante's single.

Washington scored twice in the first off Jurrjens. Willie Harris led off with a double and Guzman followed suit. After Zimmerman struck out, Harris scored on Dukes' infield out and Guzman came home on Boone's infield single.

Washington trimmed Atlanta's lead to 4-3 in the fourth on Harris' RBI single.

Ballester pitched seven innings, allowing four runs and seven hits. He walked three and struck out five.

"He basically split the game," Washington manager Manny Acta said. "In the first part of the game, he had no command of any of his pitches. Then the second part of it, he got command of his curveball and his fastball and was able to pitch ahead and pitch in and out."








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

    BATTERIES: ATL - JAIR JURRJENS, BLAINE BOYER (7TH), ELMER DESSENS (8TH), WILL
    OHMAN (8TH) AND CLINT SAMMONS
    WAS - COLLIN BALESTER, GARRETT MOCK (8TH), JESUS COLOME
    (9TH) AND

    Aug 31 4:24 PM
  • 10
    roots
    McTool Added 5 roots

    Braves 4, Nationals 8  Bot 8, 0 OutsAug 31 4:13 PM


  • NL
    AT WASHINGTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY CRISTIAN GUZMAN SCORED WIL NIEVES.
    SITUATION: 5 RUNS IN, C GUZMAN ON FIRST, W HARRIS ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ATLANTA 4
    WASHINGTON 8 BOTTOM, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: R ZIMMERMAN (.281, 2-FOR-4)

    Braves 4, Nationals 8  Bot 8, 0 OutsAug 31 4:10 PM


  • NL
    AT WASHINGTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY WIL NIEVES SCORED EMILIO BONIFACIO.
    SITUATION: 4 RUNS IN, W NIEVES ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ATLANTA 4
    WASHINGTON 7 BOTTOM, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: G MOCK (.000, 0 HR, 0 RBI)

    Braves 4, Nationals 7  Bot 8, 0 OutsAug 31 4:03 PM


  • NL
    AT WASHINGTON - SCORING UPDATE
    THREE-RUN HOME RUN BY AARON BOONE (6) TO LEFT CENTER WITH 0
    OUT IN THE 8TH OFF ELMER DESSENS SCORED RYAN ZIMMERMAN AND ELIJAH
    DUKES.
    CURRENT SCORE: ATLANTA 4, WASHINGTON 6
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: R LANGERHANS (.227, 0-FOR-3)

    Braves 4, Nationals 6  Bot 8, 0 OutsAug 31 3:55 PM
  • 5
    roots
    RUWTbot Took away 42 roots

    Braves 4, Nationals 6  Bot 8, 0 OutsAug 31 3:55 PM
  • 47
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 42 roots (Close Finish)

    Braves 4, Nationals 3  Bot 7, 0 OutsAug 31 3:23 PM
  • 5
    roots
    alamowx Added 5 roots

    Braves 4, Nationals 3  Top 5, 0 OutsAug 31 2:49 PM


  • NL
    AT WASHINGTON - SCORING UPDATE
    THREE-RUN HOME RUN BY YUNEL ESCOBAR (8) TO LEFT WITH 0 OUT
    IN THE 4TH OFF COLLIN BALESTER SCORED MARTIN PRADO AND OMAR
    INFANTE.
    CURRENT SCORE: ATLANTA 4, WASHINGTON 2
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: J FRANCOEUR (.231, 1-FOR-1)

    Braves 4, Nationals 2  Top 4, 0 OutsAug 31 2:32 PM


  • NL
    AT WASHINGTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY AARON BOONE SCORED CRISTIAN GUZMAN.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, A BOONE ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ATLANTA 1
    WASHINGTON 2 BOTTOM, 1ST
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: R LANGERHANS (.235, 1 HR, 6 RBI)

    Braves 1, Nationals 2  Bot 1, 0 OutsAug 31 1:49 PM


  • NL
    AT WASHINGTON - SCORING UPDATE
    GROUND OUT BY ELIJAH DUKES SCORED WILLIE HARRIS.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, C GUZMAN ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ATLANTA 1
    WASHINGTON 1 BOTTOM, 1ST
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: A BOONE (.249, 5 HR, 21 RBI)

    Braves 1, Nationals 1  Bot 1, 0 OutsAug 31 1:48 PM


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

    CURRENT PITCHERS: ATL - JAIR JURRJENS
    WAS - COLLIN BALESTER

    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: W HARRIS (.250, 12 HR, 40 RBI)
    C GUZMAN (.307, 6 HR, 40 RBI)
    R ZIMMERMAN (.278, 9 HR

    Braves 1, Nationals 0  Bot 1, 0 OutsAug 31 1:40 PM