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Washington at Atlanta

W: J. Bergmann (1-0) L: J. Sosa (9-3)
S: C. Cordero (42)
HR: WAS - J. Guillen (24)   ATL - None

Nationals 3, Braves 2

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports

ATLANTA -- The Washington Nationals are 11 games under .500 since the end of June, and know they could have been knocked out of the NL playoff race by now.

Nationals manager Frank Robinson says there is just one problem: "You look and look and we're still there."

Washington beat the Atlanta Braves 3-2 Tuesday night, earning a win Robinson said his team needed "very badly." The Nationals are 1½ games behind Philadelphia and Florida in the NL wild-card race.

"They're giving us a chance," Robinson said of the other wild-card contenders. "You know the old saying, don't let a guy hang around. If you have a chance to knock him out, knock him out. They've had a chance to knock us out."

The Nationals are still in the wild-card race despite losing records in July (9-18) and August (12-14).

Rookie Jason Bergmann earned his first major-league win, leading a Washington bullpen that pitched 6 1/3 shutout innings after starter John Patterson left early with stomach cramps.

"You've got to say thank you to the bullpen," said Jose Guillen, who was 2-for-3 with his 24th home run for Washington.

Bergmann (1-0) pitched two shutout innings in his second major-league appearance. He also scored the tying run in the fifth.

Hector Carrasco also pitched two shutout innings and Gary Majewski gave up two hits but no runs in 1 1/3 innings. Chad Cordero worked the ninth for his 42nd save in 46 opportunities.

The win moved Washington back above .500 in one-run games -- a season-long gauge of the team's success.

The Nationals are 27-26 in one-run games, but only 5-20 since leading the NL East by 5½ games on July 3.

"A lot of people in baseball are trying to figure out how we can win," Guillen said. "It's kind of tough. It drives people crazy. ... I don't know how we are still there. I think we should be in last place."

They are last in the division, but the Nationals are only six games behind the Braves.

"It's no big deal," said Atlanta's Andruw Jones, who was 0-for-4 but gave Washington a scare with a ninth-inning drive caught by Preston Wilson in front of the wall in center field. "It's one loss. We had opportunities, we didn't take advantage."

The Braves were 1-for-13 with runners in scoring position, leaving 13 runners on base.

"We left way too many guys on," Braves manager Bobby Cox said.

Patterson was pulled in the third after consecutive walks to Chipper Jones and Andruw Jones forced in a run. Johnny Estrada led off the inning with a double and scored on Marcus Giles' single.

Patterson had his shortest outing in 25 starts this season.

"I thought I was going to throw up on the field," Patterson said. "That's a bad feeling."

The Braves loaded the bases again in the fourth, but Bergmann ended the threat by striking out Giles.

Bergmann gave up three hits and two walks.

The Nationals trailed 2-0 before Guillen led off the fourth inning with his homer. One pitch after Jorge Sosa (9-3) threw a changeup over his head, sending him sprawling to the dirt, Guillen lined the homer into the left-field seats.

Sosa gave up nine hits and three runs in five innings.

The Nationals took the lead in the fifth. Bergmann led off with a single for his first career hit and scored with one out on Jose Vidro's double to the wall in center. Vidro was thrown out trying to stretch the hit to a triple. Nick Johnson followed with another double to center that would have easily driven in Vidro from second.

After Sosa issued an intentional walk to Guillen, Wilson added a run-scoring single to give Washington a 3-2 lead.


The Braves' Double-A team from Mississippi attended the game and also plans to attend Wednesday's doubleheader. The team was chased from Montgomery, Ala., Monday by Hurricane Katrina. The team plans to return to its Pearl, Miss., home Thursday but may not be able to complete its home schedule due to widespread power outages in the area. ... Newly acquired OF Todd Hollandsworth made his Braves debut as a pinch hitter in the eighth with an infield hit. ... The Braves were without shortstop and leadoff hitter Rafael Furcal, who was a late scratch due to a sore knee. Cox said he did not know if Furcal would play Wednesday.
Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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Players of the Game

J. Guillen
AB 3
R 1
H 2
HR 1

J. Estrada
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 0

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Washington Nationals
Brad Wilkerson, LF5020001 .249
Jose Vidro, 2B4011113 .262
Nick Johnson, 1B5110014 .291
Jose Guillen, RF3121101 .301
Preston Wilson, CF4011021 .260
Brian Schneider, C4000013 .281
Vinny Castilla, 3B4020011 .249
Cristian Guzman, SS4000012 .194
John Patterson, P1010000 .087
    Jason Bergmann, P1110000 .500
    Hector Carrasco, P1000010 .000
    Gary Majewski, P0000000 .000
   a- Carlos Baerga, PH1000000 .267
    Chad Cordero, P0000000 .000
a-flied out for Majewski in the 9th
2B - Jose Vidro (20, Sosa), Nick Johnson (31, Sosa)
HR - Jose Guillen (24, Sosa)
RBI - Jose Vidro (31), Jose Guillen (68), Preston Wilson (70)
2-OUT RBI - Preston Wilson (32)
SB - Brad Wilkerson (6, 2nd base off Reitsma/Estrada)
Team LOB - 9
Washington Nationals
John Patterson 2.2322320 2.50
Jason Bergmann (W,1-0) 2300220 0.00
Hector Carrasco (H,9) 2100130 2.13
Gary Majewski (H,21) 1.1200000 2.91
Chad Cordero (S,42) 1000110 0.95
Pitches-Strikes - John Patterson 61-0, Jason Bergmann 49-0, Hector Carrasco 34-0, Gary Majewski 22-0, Chad Cordero 21-0
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - John Patterson 1-4, Jason Bergmann 3-1, Hector Carrasco 1-2, Gary Majewski 1-3
Batters Faced - John Patterson 13, Jason Bergmann 11, Hector Carrasco 8, Gary Majewski 6, Chad Cordero 4
Atlanta Braves
Kelly Johnson, LF4100113 .243
Marcus Giles, 2B5011015 .303
Chipper Jones, 3B4010110 .300
Andruw Jones, CF4001101 .270
Adam LaRoche, 1B3010203 .253
    Ryan Langerhans, PR0000000 .245
Jeff Francoeur, RF4010113 .349
Johnny Estrada, C4120012 .260
Wilson Betemit, SS4020021 .295
Jorge Sosa, P1000102 .050
    Blaine Boyer, P0000000 .000
   a- Pete Orr, PH1000010 .295
    John Foster, P0000000 .000
    Dan Kolb, P0000000 .000
   b- Todd Hollandsworth, PH1010000 .257
    Chris Reitsma, P0000000 .000
a-struck out for Boyer in the 6th
b-singled for Kolb in the 8th
2B - Johnny Estrada (25, Patterson)
RBI - Marcus Giles (48), Andruw Jones (103)
2-OUT RBI - Marcus Giles (24), Andruw Jones (43)
CS - Jeff Francoeur (2, 2nd base by Patterson/Schneider)
Team LOB - 13
Outfield Assists - Andruw Jones 1
Atlanta Braves
Jorge Sosa (L,9-3) 5933121 2.70
Blaine Boyer 1000020 1.86
John Foster 1000100 3.33
Dan Kolb 1100030 4.94
Chris Reitsma 1100010 4.01
IBB - Guillen by Jorge Sosa
Pitches-Strikes - Jorge Sosa 86-0, Blaine Boyer 8-0, John Foster 14-0, Dan Kolb 14-0, Chris Reitsma 15-0
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jorge Sosa 4-8, Blaine Boyer 1-0
Batters Faced - Jorge Sosa 24, Blaine Boyer 3, John Foster 4, Dan Kolb 4, Chris Reitsma 4
Game Information
Attendance - 20001
Game Time - 3:11
Temperature - 82
Umpires - Home - Larry Vanover, First Base - Randy Marsh, Second Base - Jim Wolf, Third Base - Sam Holbrook