for this game

Big third inning lifts Braves to rare winning streak

Sep 6, 2008 - 4:06 AM By Phil Foley PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

ATLANTA (Ticker) -- It may have taken almost a month, but the Atlanta Braves finally won back-to-back games again.

Rookie Brandon Jones capped a seven-run third inning with a three-run double and Kelly Johnson continued his hot streak by collecting three hits and driving in two runs to lead the Braves to a 10-5 victory over the woeful Washington Nationals on Friday night.

Josh Anderson had two hits and scored twice for Atlanta, which won two straight for the first time since August 8-9 - a span of 25 games.

"It feels about that (long)," Johnson said of the time between winning streaks. "Hopefully, we can get a swing here, and you'll call it three or four in a row."

Things have not gone as planned in the second half for the injury-depleted Braves (62-80), who have dropped 35 of 47 since the break to fall 18 games below the .500 mark.

Atlanta has not been able to gain any momentum since the historic "Mid-Summer Classic" at Yankee Stadium, posting just a two-game winning streak from July 23-25 before winning three straight in August.

Thanks to a big third inning, the Braves finally notched winning streak No. 3.

"We got a streak going," said Braves manager Bobby Cox, who could not remember the last Atlanta winning streak. "Yeah, it's good."

"I was thinking about (how long it's been since winning two straight games) before the game started," Atlanta starter Jair Jurrjens added. "We're just trying to put some good games together the last month and try to have fun."

The Braves moved eight games ahead of the lowly Nationals in the race for the NL East basement. Remaining out of the cellar has become a rallying cry for the Braves, who two games ago were season high 20-games below .500 for the first time in a full season managed by Cox since the 1979 campaign.

"You don't want to fall into last place," Johnson said. "That's embarrassing. It's good to get these two (wins)."

Atlanta sent 11 men to the plate in the frame, knocking out Washington starter Jason Bergmann (2-11), who has just one win in his last 19 starts.

"I don't know (what happened)," Bergmann said. "Every pitcher has his ups and downs. I wish I could be more consistent."

Jurrjens (12-9) ignited the rally with an infield hit and scored on a double by Johnson.?? Bergmann then had trouble finding the plate, ending his night by walking three batters sandwiched around Brian McCann's sacrifice fly. He left after walking Casey Kotchman to force in Johnson and give Atlanta a 4-1 lead.

Reliever Marco Estrada quickly fell behind Jeff Francoeur, who was batting a miserable .148 (4-for-30) with the bases loaded this season, before walking the struggling right fielder on six pitches to force in another run.

Jones capped the frame by lacing a bases-clearing double into the right-center field gap to stake Atlanta to an 8-1 lead.

The runs were enough for Jurrjens, who allowed one run and six hits while walking three and striking out six over five frames to record his first win since August 9.

"It's a long time (since I got a win)," Jurrjens said. "It's one of those things where you keep battling when you go out there and try to give the team a chance to win."

Meanwhile, Bergmann's miserable 2008 campaign continued.?? The struggling righthander allowed seven runs and five hits, walked three and struck out two.?? The 26-year-old Bergmann lasted just 2 1/3 frames - the second shortest outing of his major league career.

"He's just struggling with his command right now," Nationals pitching coach Randy St. Claire said. "He's not executing pitches when he's out there. ... He's putting a lot of pressure on himself trying to do more than he's capable of. It keeps on getting rougher and rougher."

The Nationals tried to rally back in the seventh by plating three runs against Atlanta starter Elmer Dessens, who has struggled since signing a major league contract here on August 27.

Things have not gone well back in the major leagues for Dessens, who was 10-2 with a 4.03 ERA with the Mexico City Red Devils of the Mexican League. The 37-year-old journeyman has allowed eight runs over three relief appearances and is sporting a 30.00 ERA.

Former Brave Ryan Langerhans drove in two runs and rookie Roger Bernadina tripled in the third to drive in his first big-league run for the Nationals, who have dropped two straight after wining eight of nine games.








  • NL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    WASHINGTON 0 0 1 0 0 1 3 0 0 5 11 1
    ATLANTA 1 0 7 1 1 0 0 0 x 10 10 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: WAS - JASON BERGMANN, MARCO ESTRADA (3RD), LEVALE SPEIGNER (6TH),
    CHARLIE MANNING (7TH), GARRETT MOCK (8TH) AND WIL NIEVES
    ATL - JAIR JURRJENS, BUDDY CARLYLE (6TH),

    Sep 5 10:30 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY WIL NIEVES SCORED RYAN LANGERHANS.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, R BERNADINA ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 5
    ATLANTA 10 TOP, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: E BONIFACIO (.266, 2-FOR-3)

    Nationals 5, Braves 10  Top 7, 0 OutsSep 5 9:57 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    TRIPLE BY RYAN LANGERHANS SCORED PETE ORR AND KORY CASTO.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, R LANGERHANS ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 4
    ATLANTA 10 TOP, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: R BERNADINA (.167, 1-FOR-2, BB, RBI)

    Nationals 4, Braves 10  Top 7, 0 OutsSep 5 9:53 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY AARON BOONE SCORED ROGER BERNADINA.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, A BOONE ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 2
    ATLANTA 10 TOP, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: W HARRIS (.252, 0-FOR-2, BB)

    Nationals 2, Braves 10  Top 6, 0 OutsSep 5 9:32 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY KELLY JOHNSON SCORED GREGOR BLANCO.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, K JOHNSON ON FIRST, J ANDERSON ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 1
    ATLANTA 10 BOTTOM, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: C JONES (.358, 0-FOR-2, BB, RBI)

    Nationals 1, Braves 10  Bot 5, 0 OutsSep 5 9:22 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    ERROR BY EMILIO BONIFACIO ALLOWED KELLY JOHNSON TO SCORE.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, Y ESCOBAR ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 1
    ATLANTA 9 BOTTOM, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: C KOTCHMAN (.160, 1-FOR-1, BB, RBI)

    Nationals 1, Braves 9  Bot 4, 0 OutsSep 5 9:04 PM
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    roots
    McTool Added 5 roots

    Nationals 1, Braves 8  Top 4, 0 OutsSep 5 8:51 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY BRANDON JONES SCORED YUNEL ESCOBAR, CASEY
    KOTCHMAN AND JEFF FRANCOEUR.
    SITUATION: 7 RUNS IN, B JONES ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 1
    ATLANTA 8 BOTTOM, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: J JURRJENS (.113, 1-FOR-1)

    Nationals 1, Braves 8  Bot 3, 0 OutsSep 5 8:44 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    BASES LOADED WALK TO JEFF FRANCOEUR SCORED CHIPPER JONES.
    SITUATION: 4 RUNS IN, J FRANCOEUR ON FIRST, C KOTCHMAN ON SECOND,
    Y ESCOBAR ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 1
    ATLANTA 5 BOTTOM, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: B JONES (.268, 0-FOR-1)

    Nationals 1, Braves 5  Bot 3, 0 OutsSep 5 8:42 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    BASES LOADED WALK TO CASEY KOTCHMAN SCORED KELLY JOHNSON.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, C KOTCHMAN ON FIRST, Y ESCOBAR ON SECOND, C
    JONES ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 1
    ATLANTA 4 BOTTOM, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: J FRANCOEUR (.230, 0-FOR-1)

    Nationals 1, Braves 4  Bot 3, 0 OutsSep 5 8:37 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY BRIAN MCCANN SCORED JOSH ANDERSON.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, C JONES ON FIRST, K JOHNSON ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 1
    ATLANTA 3 BOTTOM, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: Y ESCOBAR (.284, 0-FOR-1)

    Nationals 1, Braves 3  Bot 3, 0 OutsSep 5 8:33 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY KELLY JOHNSON SCORED JAIR JURRJENS.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, K JOHNSON ON SECOND, J ANDERSON ON THIRD, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 1
    ATLANTA 2 BOTTOM, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: C JONES (.359, 0-FOR-1, RBI)

    Nationals 1, Braves 2  Bot 3, 0 OutsSep 5 8:28 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    TRIPLE BY ROGER BERNADINA SCORED RYAN ZIMMERMAN.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, R BERNADINA ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 1
    ATLANTA 1 TOP, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: W NIEVES (.244, 0-FOR-1)

    Nationals 1, Braves 1  Top 3, 0 OutsSep 5 8:20 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    GROUND OUT BY CHIPPER JONES SCORED JOSH ANDERSON.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, NONE ON, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 0
    ATLANTA 1 BOTTOM, 1ST
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: B MCCANN (.295, 23 HR, 78 RBI)

    Nationals 0, Braves 1  Bot 1, 0 OutsSep 5 7:54 PM
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    DDrake Added 10 roots

    Nationals vs. BravesSep 5 4:21 PM