Washington at Atlanta

Atlanta «20630011x13162

Braves 13, Nationals 6

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports

ATLANTA -- The Atlanta Braves understand the only way they can make a late-season push for a wild-card playoff spot: They have to score a lot of runs to make up for spotty pitching.

The plan worked Sunday as starting pitcher Oscar Villarreal lasted only three innings but the Braves had 16 hits, including three homers, to beat the Washington Nationals 13-6.

The Braves scored a combined 23 runs in winning the final two games of the three-game series with Washington, sparking reminders of a hot streak in mid-July when Atlanta scored 10 or more runs in five straight games.

"It's going to take something like that, it's going to take an explosion for a couple of weeks," said Adam LaRoche, who hit a three-run double in the Braves' six-run third inning.

Jeff Francoeur, Chipper Jones and Andruw Jones hit home runs and Brian McCann had four hits for Atlanta.

Despite their drop to fourth in the NL East, the Braves rank third in the league in runs and second in homers.

"That doesn't surprise me because you look right across the page at our pitching stats and they tell the story," said Chipper Jones, referring to the team's 10th-place NL ranking with a 4.64 ERA. "If you don't pitch, you're not going to play winning baseball."

The Braves won Sunday despite giving up 12 hits.

Villarreal, who has been pushing into service as a starter after spending most of the season in the bullpen, gave up six hits and four runs in three innings. Macay McBride (4-1) pitched two scoreless innings for the win.

Alfonso Soriano hit three doubles and a single for the Nationals and stole two bases.

"It means nothing, because we lost the game," Soriano said.

The Nationals left Atlanta with a 5.02 ERA -- last in the NL. They fell a season-high 20 games below .500 and have not won a series since winning two of three from San Francisco July 31-Aug. 2.

The Braves, coming off a 10-1 romp over the Nationals on Saturday, chased Washington's starting pitcher after 2 2/3 innings for the second straight day.

Billy Traber couldn't hold a 3-0, first-inning lead. He gave up two runs in the bottom of the first and was knocked out in the third.

Traber (3-3) gave up eight hits and eight runs, one day after Pedro Astacio gave up eight hits and six runs in 2 2/3 innings.

"I didn't pitch the greatest," Traber said. "The bottom line is we didn't make the pitches we were supposed to make. And when I say we, I mean me."

The Nationals scored three runs in the first on four hits, including doubles by Soriano, Daryle Ward and Ryan Church.

The Braves cut Washington's lead to 3-2 in the bottom of the first when Edgar Renteria doubled and scored on Chipper Jones' 21st homer, his third in the last four games.

Bernie Castro led off the third with a single, stole second and scored on Austin Kearns' single for a 4-2 lead.

The Braves answered with six runs in the bottom of the third, twice making Washington manager Frank Robinson pay for ordering intentional walks. The Braves hit four doubles in the inning, including a two-run drive by Edgar Renteria that tied the game.

With two outs, Traber gave an intentional walk to Francoeur, but McCann followed with a run-scoring double. Robinson then ordered an intentional walk to Matt Diaz, loading the bases, to set up the three-run double by LaRoche.

"I was trying to find a way for him to be successful," Robinson said of Traber.

Francoeur's three-run homer off Saul Rivera gave the Braves an 11-4 lead in the fourth inning.

Brian Schneider's two-run double in the fifth cut the lead to 11-6.

McCann led off Atlanta's seventh with a double and scored on a sacrifice fly by LaRoche, giving him four RBI.

Andruw Jones hit his 30th homer in the eighth off Chad Cordero.


Soriano was picked off first base by Villarreal in the second inning. Soriano stole third base in the fourth and swiped second in the sixth. He has 34 steals this season. ... The Braves lead the season series with the Nationals 8-7, with a three-game series left at Washington Sept. 18-20. ... Andruw Jones reached 30 homers for the seventh time in his career.

Copyright 2015 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

B. McCann
AB 5
R 2
H 4
HR 0

A. Soriano
AB 5
R 1
H 4
HR 0

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Washington Nationals
Alfonso Soriano, LF5140000 .294
Bernie Castro, 2B5110015 .256
Ryan Zimmerman, 3B5011012 .278
Daryle Ward, 1B5220012 .311
Austin Kearns, RF3222200 .264
Ryan Church, CF3011111 .246
Brian Schneider, C4012014 .244
Henry Mateo, SS4000001 .231
Billy Traber, P1000000 .100
    Saul Rivera, P1000000 .000
   a- Jose Vidro, PH1000000 .295
    Jason Bergmann, P0000000 .000
   b- Robert Fick, PH1000000 .233
    Chad Cordero, P0000000 .000
a-grounded out for Rivera in the 6th
b-lined out for Bergmann in the 8th
2B - Alfonso Soriano 3 (35, Villarreal, Cormier, McBride), Daryle Ward (9, Villarreal), Ryan Church (12, Villarreal), Brian Schneider (13, Cormier)
RBI - Ryan Zimmerman (86), Austin Kearns 2 (70), Ryan Church (23), Brian Schneider 2 (45)
2-OUT RBI - Austin Kearns 2 (30), Ryan Church (11), Brian Schneider 2 (21)
SB - Alfonso Soriano 2 (34, 3rd base off Cormier/McCann, 2nd base off Cormier/McCann), Bernie Castro (2, 2nd base off Villarreal/McCann)
PK - Alfonso Soriano (2, Villarreal)
Team LOB - 8
DP - Castro-Mateo-Ward
Washington Nationals
Billy Traber (L,3-3) 2.2888231 7.14
Saul Rivera 2.1433011 4.57
Jason Bergmann 2311040 6.98
Chad Cordero 1111011 3.24
IBB - Francoeur by Billy Traber, by Diaz
HBP - A. Jones (by Saul Rivera)
Pitches-Strikes - Billy Traber 60-34, Saul Rivera 41-27, Jason Bergmann 35-23, Chad Cordero 20-13
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Billy Traber 4-0, Saul Rivera 2-4, Jason Bergmann 1-1, Chad Cordero 1-1
Batters Faced - Billy Traber 17, Saul Rivera 12, Jason Bergmann 9, Chad Cordero 4
Atlanta Braves
Marcus Giles, 2B5230011 .273
Edgar Renteria, SS5222014 .300
Chipper Jones, 3B4112012 .324
    Macay McBride, P0000000 .000
   a- Pete Orr, PH1000010 .246
    Tyler Yates, P0000000 .000
Andruw Jones, CF4211021 .263
Jeff Francoeur, RF4213110 .257
Brian McCann, C5241000 .341
Matt Diaz, LF3110112 .344
Adam LaRoche, 1B3024001 .279
Oscar Villarreal, P0000000 .000
   b- Tony Pena, PH2110001 .125
    Lance Cormier, P1000001 .000
    Martin Prado, 3B1000011 .286
a-struck out for McBride in the 8th
b-singled for Villarreal in the 3rd
2B - Marcus Giles (28, Traber), Edgar Renteria 2 (31, Traber, Traber), Brian McCann 2 (25, Traber, Bergmann), Adam LaRoche (31, Traber)
HR - Chipper Jones (21, Traber), Andruw Jones (30, C. Cordero), Jeff Francoeur (24, Rivera)
SF - Adam LaRoche (6)
RBI - Edgar Renteria 2 (54), Chipper Jones 2 (72), Andruw Jones (103), Jeff Francoeur 3 (89), Brian McCann (66), Adam LaRoche 4 (75)
2-OUT RBI - Jeff Francoeur 3 (45), Brian McCann (35), Adam LaRoche 3 (27)
Team LOB - 5
DP - Giles-Renteria-LaRoche
E - Matt Diaz (3, ), Chipper Jones (17, )
Atlanta Braves
Oscar Villarreal 3643120 4.17
Lance Cormier 3422100 5.87
Macay McBride (W,4-1) 2100130 3.79
Tyler Yates 1100000 4.41
WP - Oscar Villarreal (4)
Pitches-Strikes - Oscar Villarreal 73-46, Lance Cormier 56-36, Macay McBride 25-18, Tyler Yates 6-5
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Oscar Villarreal 5-2, Lance Cormier 6-3, Tyler Yates 1-1
Batters Faced - Oscar Villarreal 16, Lance Cormier 14, Macay McBride 8, Tyler Yates 3
Game Information
Attendance - 30587
Game Time - 3:00
Temperature - 86
Umpires - Home - James Hoye, First Base - Brian Runge, Second Base - Mike Winters, Third Base - Mike Muchlinski