Atlanta at Washington

W: B. Perez (1-0) L: C. James (10-4)
HR: ATL - None   WAS - N. Johnson (23), J. Vidro (7)

Nationals 9, Braves 2

CBS wire reports

WASHINGTON -- As Atlanta clings to its slim postseason chances, starter Lance Cormier gave the Braves just what they needed.

Cormier allowed two runs and six hits over 6 1/3 innings and the Braves hit three home runs in a 7-3 victory over the Washington Nationals on Wednesday night.

"Lance came up with another gem I thought," manager Bobby Cox said. "His curveball was really working, and that's a great pitch, because nobody can hit that thing."

Atlanta, which has 10 games remaining, is games behind Los Angeles and Philadelphia, the NL wild-card co-leaders. The Braves have been in the playoffs every year since 1991.

Brian McCann hit a three-run homer in the third and Andruw Jones, who had an RBI single in the first, hit a solo shot -- his 36th -- in the fifth. Jeff Francoeur added a solo homer, his 26th, in the sixth.

The Braves have 202 home runs this season, fifth-most in franchise history.

"Especially considering we don't play in a hitter's park," it's impressive, said McCann, who has 21 homers. "We've got a lot of guys with power."

Cormier (4-5) won for the second time in his last three starts. He walked four, struck out five and gave up Ryan Zimmerman's 19th home run in the first inning.

"I'm just trying to continue to believe that I've got the stuff to be a starter," Cormier said. "Just go out there when you have the chance to start and give it everything you have."

Ramon Ortiz (10-15) allowed five runs and eight hits, including the home runs to McCann and Jones, in five innings. In his last eight starts, he is 1-6 with an 8.08 ERA. He has lost all three games since his near no-hitter against St. Louis on Sept. 4, and he is tied with the Cardinals' Jason Marquis for the National League lead in losses.

"Every time I make a mistake -- home run," Ortiz said. "I don't want to think about my last three games. I have to keep pitching well. I want to finish strong. I want to do the best I can my last three games."

Zimmerman's homer gave him 99 RBI for the season, tops among NL rookies. He scored in the fourth on Bernie Castro's infield single.

Cormier left with one out in the seventh after Nook Logan reached on a bunt single and Jose Vidro walked. Reliever Chad Paronto forced groundouts from Alfonso Soriano and Felipe Lopez to end the threat.

Edgar Renteria had an RBI double in the ninth for Atlanta.

Brian Schneider of the Nationals doubled in the ninth to extend his hitting streak to a career-high 11 games. He scored on a two-out single by Brandon Harper.


Braves 3B Chipper Jones left the game after the sixth inning because of soreness in the second toe on his right foot. Cox said he could start Thursday at Colorado. ... Braves closer Bob Wickman agreed to a $6.5 million, one-year contract extension for 2007. ... Nationals RHP Brett Campbell will miss the next 7-10 days with a back strain. ... Self-help guru Dr. Phil McGraw threw out the ceremonial first pitch. ... Zimmerman's last homer was Sept. 2 against Arizona. ... Logan has seven bunt hits since being acquired from Detroit on Sept. 1. ... The Braves' record for home runs in a season is 235 in 2003.

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

B. Perez
IP 6.0
H 1
ER 0
BB 0
K 3

N. Johnson
AB 4
R 3
H 2
HR 1

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Marcus Giles, 2B3000000 .266
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Edgar Renteria, SS3110000 .293
   b- Tony Pena, PH-SS1000000 .182
Chipper Jones, 3B3010001 .318
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Ryan Langerhans, LF-CF3110000 .235
Chuck James, P1000000 .032
    Joey Devine, P0000000 .000
   c- Scott Thorman, PH1000000 .235
    Kevin Barry, P0000000 .000
    Ken Ray, P0000000 .000
   d- Daryle Ward, PH-LF1000001 .298
a-grounded out for Giles in the 8th
b-grounded out for Renteria in the 8th
c-popped out for Devine in the 6th
d-grounded out for Ray in the 8th
2B - Edgar Renteria (36, Rivera), Ryan Langerhans (15, Wagner)
RBI - Pete Orr (8), Brian McCann (77)
2-OUT RBI - Brian McCann (38)
Team LOB - 3
Atlanta Braves
Chuck James (L,10-4) 4.1555672 3.62
Joey Devine 0.2000000 11.81
Kevin Barry 1.1444110 5.76
Ken Ray 0.2100110 4.66
Peter Moylan 1000000 5.40
IBB - Vidro by Chuck James
Pitches-Strikes - Chuck James 105-64, Joey Devine 10-7, Kevin Barry 38-26, Ken Ray 10-5, Peter Moylan 15-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Chuck James 2-4, Peter Moylan 2-1
Batters Faced - Chuck James 24, Joey Devine 2, Kevin Barry 9, Ken Ray 4, Peter Moylan 3
Washington Nationals
Alfonso Soriano, LF5012034 .284
Felipe Lopez, SS4000131 .274
Ryan Zimmerman, 3B5121002 .281
Nick Johnson, 1B4321101 .293
Austin Kearns, RF4121101 .267
Jose Vidro, 2B4112112 .286
Brandon Harper, C2111100 .345
Nook Logan, CF3111102 .304
Beltran Perez, P1000113 .000
   a- George Lombard, PH0100100 .143
    Saul Rivera, P0000000 .000
   b- Robert Fick, PH1000012 .259
    Ryan Wagner, P0000000 .333
    Jason Bergmann, P0000000 .000
a-walked for Perez in the 6th
b-struck out for Rivera in the 7th
2B - Alfonso Soriano (39, Ray), Ryan Zimmerman (42, Barry), Austin Kearns (33, James)
HR - Nick Johnson (23, James), Jose Vidro (7, James)
SF - Brandon Harper (1)
RBI - Alfonso Soriano 2 (93), Ryan Zimmerman (98), Nick Johnson (77), Austin Kearns (84), Jose Vidro 2 (45), Brandon Harper (5), Nook Logan (7)
2-OUT RBI - Alfonso Soriano 2 (30), Ryan Zimmerman (31)
SB - George Lombard 2 (2, 2nd base off Barry/McCann, 3rd base off Barry/McCann)
Team LOB - 9
E - Felipe Lopez (27, )
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Saul Rivera 1211020 3.88
Ryan Wagner 1111000 4.73
Jason Bergmann 1000010 6.67
Pitches-Strikes - Beltran Perez 70-40, Saul Rivera 22-13, Ryan Wagner 14-9, Jason Bergmann 9-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Beltran Perez 6-9, Saul Rivera 1-1, Ryan Wagner 3-0, Jason Bergmann 1-1
Batters Faced - Beltran Perez 19, Saul Rivera 6, Ryan Wagner 4, Jason Bergmann 3
Game Information
Attendance - 20596
Game Time - 2:37
Temperature - 75
Umpires - Home - Mark Wegner, First Base - Marvin Hudson, Second Base - Jerry Layne, Third Base - Bob Davidson