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Washington at Atlanta

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Washington «1000101014110
Atlanta1000001103112

Nationals capitalize on miscue to split with Braves

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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ATLANTA -- The Atlanta Braves split a doubleheader and felt like they had been swept.

Brad Wilkerson scored on a wild throw as the Washington Nationals manufactured a run in the ninth inning, beating the Braves 4-3 in the nightcap Wednesday.

In the opener, Andruw Jones hit his 43rd homer and drove in all five runs to lead the Braves past the Nationals 5-3.

It was two more tight games between NL East rivals that have been doing this all season. Ten of their 15 meetings have been decided by one run, three others by two runs.

"Losing that second game the way we did, it almost feels like we've been swept," said Adam LaRoche, who was thrown out at the plate trying to score the go-ahead run in the eighth. "That's a tough loss."

Atlanta rallied from a 3-1 deficit, but Wilkerson led off the ninth with a single off Chris Reitsma (3-5), moved to second on a sacrifice bunt, then took off for third on a steal.

When the throw by rookie catcher Brian McCann sailed into left field, Wilkerson sped home with the go-ahead run. Chad Cordero worked the ninth for his 43rd save, tying John Wetteland's 1993 franchise record with the Montreal Expos.

"We've played a ton of one-run games," LaRoche said. "I know we've won some of them, but it just feels like we've lost most of them."

Actually, the Braves have a 6-4 edge on the Nationals in one-run games. Washington holds an 8-7 lead overall and remained six games behind first-place Atlanta.

"I guess they decided to give me a birthday present," said National manager Frank Robinson, who turned 70.

Wilkerson noticed Reitsma's slow windup and decided to take a chance, knowing how the Nationals have struggled to score runs.

"If you get thrown out, it looks bad," Wilkerson said. "But I took the risk, and it worked out."

McCann had a good pitch to handle, but "I tried to hurry up the throw and it sailed on me. It's terrible."

Atlanta rookie Wilson Betemit had a career-best four hits, including a two-out, bases-loaded single in the eighth. The tying run scored, but LaRoche was tagged out on a strong throw by right fielder Jose Guillen.

Betemit's run-scoring hit off Mike Stanton (1-1) denied Washington starter Livan Hernandez his first win at Turner Field. He remained 2-13 in his regular-season career against the Braves, including 0-7 in Atlanta.

Hernandez usually saves his wins for the postseason, beating Atlanta three times in the playoffs.

"I have pitched a lot of good games, but lose," he said. "But the most important thing is for the team to win."

McCann's errant throw wasn't the only miscue by Atlanta. Second baseman Pete Orr fumbled the ball trying to turn a a double play, allowing a run to score in the seventh. Newcomer Todd Hollandsworth ran the Braves out of a potentially big inning in the bottom half, getting caught off second during an aborted bunt.

John Thomson has yet to win in four starts since coming off the DL. But, in his most effective appearance, the Braves starter gave up eight hits and two runs in six innings.

Notes

  • Thomson struggled in his first three starts coming off a long stay on the DL. He gave up 16 earned runs in 13 1/3 innings.
  • Chipper Jones left the second game because of a stomach virus.
 
Copyright 2014 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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Brad Wilkerson scores the go-ahead run after a wild throw by Braves catcher Brian McCann.  (AP)
Brad Wilkerson scores the go-ahead run after a wild throw by Braves catcher Brian McCann. (AP)

Players of the Game
Washington

J. Vidro
AB 4
R 2
H 3
HR 0
RBI 0
Atlanta

W. Betemit
AB 4
R 0
H 4
HR 0
RBI 1
 
Washington Nationals
Brad Wilkerson, LF5120010 .251
Jose Vidro, 2B4230000 .269
Nick Johnson, 1B3110210 .292
Jose Guillen, RF5020001 .303
Preston Wilson, CF4012011 .257
Carlos Baerga, 3B3000014 .259
    Vinny Castilla, 3B1000000 .249
Brian Schneider, C3000100 .281
Cristian Guzman, SS4020000 .196
Livan Hernandez, P4000003 .232
    Mike Stanton, P0000000 .000
    Chad Cordero, P0000000 .000
Totals364112349 
Batting
2B - Preston Wilson (26, Thomson), Cristian Guzman 2 (12, Thomson, Kolb)
SH - Jose Vidro (2)
RBI - Preston Wilson 2 (72)
2-OUT RBI - Preston Wilson (33)
SB - Brad Wilkerson (7, off Reitsma/McCann)
CS - Brad Wilkerson (10, 3rd base by Thomson/Estrada)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Jose Guillen 1
DP - Hernandez-Guzman-N. Johnson, Vidro-Guzman-N. Johnson
Washington Nationals
Livan Hernandez 7.11033430 3.86
Mike Stanton (BS,1; W,2-3) 0.2100010 5.76
Chad Cordero (S,43) 1000110 0.94
IBB - LaRoche by Livan Hernandez
Pitches-Strikes - Livan Hernandez 127-72, Mike Stanton 4-4, Chad Cordero 25-14
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Livan Hernandez 10-6, Chad Cordero 1-1
Batters Faced - Livan Hernandez 33, Mike Stanton 2, Chad Cordero 4
Atlanta Braves
Pete Orr, 2B5111011 .291
Kelly Johnson, LF4010112 .243
Chipper Jones, 3B1001000 .301
    Marcus Giles, 3B3110001 .304
Andruw Jones, CF4010002 .274
Adam LaRoche, 1B3000111 .249
Todd Hollandsworth, RF3010110 .257
Johnny Estrada, C2020100 .265
    Ryan Langerhans, PR0100000 .249
    Brian McCann, C1000013 .273
Wilson Betemit, SS4041000 .302
John Thomson, P2000004 .211
    John Foster, P0000000 .000
    Blaine Boyer, P0000000 .000
   a- Jeff Francoeur, PH0000100 .342
    Dan Kolb, P0000000 .000
    Chris Reitsma, P0000000 .000
   b- Julio Franco, PH1000000 .289
Totals3331135514 
a-walked for Boyer in the 7th
b-flied out for Reitsma in the 9th
Batting
2B - Marcus Giles (40, Hernandez)
SF - Chipper Jones (2)
RBI - Pete Orr (8), Chipper Jones (51), Wilson Betemit (17)
2-OUT RBI - Wilson Betemit (7)
CS - Todd Hollandsworth (5, 3rd base by Hernandez/Schneider)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
DP - Estrada-Jones
E - Brian McCann (3, Wild throw), Pete Orr (6, Orr fumbled ball tryign to turn DP)
Atlanta Braves
John Thomson 6822230 4.80
John Foster 0.1110100 3.29
Blaine Boyer 0.2000010 1.82
Dan Kolb 1100000 4.85
Chris Reitsma (L,3-5) 1111000 4.06
Pitches-Strikes - John Thomson 89-56, John Foster 17-8, Blaine Boyer 10-6, Dan Kolb 16-9, Chris Reitsma 14-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - John Thomson 10-4, Blaine Boyer 1-0, Dan Kolb 2-1, Chris Reitsma 3-0
Batters Faced - John Thomson 27, John Foster 3, Blaine Boyer 2, Dan Kolb 4, Chris Reitsma 4
Game Information
Attendance - 25555
Game Time - 3:02
Temperature - 82
Umpires - Home - Jim Wolf, First Base - Sam Holbrook, Second Base - Larry Vanover, Third Base - James Hoye