Washington at Atlanta

Washington (64-79) «0010031117130
Atlanta (73-70)201000010481

Nationals 7, Braves 4

CBSSports.com wire reports

ATLANTA -- A loss to Washington left the Braves talking about the need to sweep the New York Mets in a series beginning Monday. But even that might not be enough to revive Atlanta's playoff hopes.

Ryan Church hit a three-run homer to give Washington the lead, D'Angelo Jimenez drove in three runs with three hits and the Nationals beat the Atlanta Braves 7-4 on Sunday.

The Braves trail New York by 8½ games in the NL East, their largest deficit of the season. They are 4½ behind San Diego in a crowded wild-card race.

The Braves led 3-1 through five innings before Church hit the go-ahead homer off Lance Cormier in the sixth. Ryan Zimmerman also went deep as Washington sent the Braves to their fifth loss on a nine-game homestand.

The Braves' best comeback hope ended when Chipper Jones, who hit a two-run homer in the first, hit a bases-loaded groundout to end the seventh.

"We had the right guy up there with Chipper," said Braves manager Bobby Cox. "He just can't do it every time."

Neither can the Braves, who made every playoff field from 1991-2005 before falling short last year.

"The goal doesn't change, although now we have to have the mindset that we have to sweep them," Jones said of the three-game series with the Mets. "Of course, we had that mindset the last time they came in here and we got swept."

Jason Bergmann (4-5) gave up two hits in the first, including Jones' two-run shot, but yielded only two hits and one more run over the next five innings.

Overall, Bergmann gave up four hits and three runs in six innings to win his second straight start. He struck out six with two walks.

Chad Cordero worked the ninth for his 32nd save in 40 chances.

Dmitri Young hit a one-out single to left in the sixth inning, then chugged to third on Kearns' double to center. Church followed by hitting a 3-2 pitch over the 400-foot mark in center for a three-run homer, giving the Nationals a 4-3 lead.

"We were trying to not give into him," Cormier said.

"We had a base open and I didn't make the pitch I needed to make. It's very disappointing. ... The guys gave me the lead and I just didn't keep it."

Cormier (2-5) struck out Church on breaking balls in the second and fourth innings before giving up the homer on a pitch so flat Church said he didn't know it was supposed to be a curveball.

"I was able to stay on it," Church said. "In that situation, you want to elevate the ball. ... It took nine pitches to finally get it. I didn't in my first two at-bats."

Cormier gave up seven hits and four runs with a walk and five strikeouts in six innings.

Willie Harris led off the first with a double to right and scored on Jones' 25th homer.

The Nationals scored only one run in the third on three hits and a walk. Jesus Flores led off with a single to left, moved to second on Bergmann's sacrifice bunt and scored on a single to right by Jimenez.

With the bases loaded following a single by Ronnie Belliard, a groundout by Zimmerman and an intentional walk to Young, Austin Kearns grounded out to second base to end the inning.

The Braves took a 3-1 lead in the third when Jones walked and scored on Mark Teixeira's double to the wall in center.

Pinch-hitter Ryan Langerhans led off the seventh with a bunt single off Peter Moylan and scored on a double to right by Jimenez.

The Braves couldn't answer in the bottom of the seventh. They loaded the bases against Luis Ayala, but left-hander Arnie Munoz ended the threat with Jones' grounder to second.

"What made the difference is it's September and I've never seen the guy before," Jones said of Munoz. "When you don't know what a guy's got, what his tendencies are, it's advantage, pitcher. ... I got myself out trying to make something happen."

Teixeira led off the eighth with a homer off Jon Rauch, but Zimmerman answered with a homer off Jose Ascanio in the ninth.


  • The Braves are 7-2 at home against the Nationals and 31-34 in all other home games.
  • Jimenez hit leadoff for the first time this season as SS Felipe Lopez was given a rest until coming in the game in the eighth as a defensive replacement.
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

D. Jimenez
AB 5
R 0
H 3
HR 0

R. Church
AB 4
R 1
H 1
HR 1

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Washington Nationals
D'Angelo Jimenez, SS5033000 .183
    Jon Rauch, P0000000 .000
    Chad Cordero, P0000000 .000
Ronnie Belliard, 2B4010022 .278
Ryan Zimmerman, 3B5111001 .266
Dmitri Young, 1B2120200 .328
    Justin Maxwell, PR0000000 .000
    Luis Ayala, P0000000 .000
    Arnie Munoz, P0000000 .000
    Nook Logan, CF1000000 .269
Austin Kearns, RF5110016 .266
Ryan Church, CF4113021 .266
    Felipe Lopez, SS1000000 .244
Wily Mo Pena, LF5010011 .223
Jesus Flores, C3210200 .257
Jason Bergmann, P1000000 .100
   a- Ryan Langerhans, PH1110000 .162
    Robert Fick, 1B2010013 .218
a-hit a bunt single for Bergmann in the 7th
2B - D'Angelo Jimenez (3, Moylan), Dmitri Young (37, Cormier), Austin Kearns (31, Cormier)
HR - Ryan Zimmerman (23, Ascanio), Ryan Church (12, Cormier)
SH - Ronnie Belliard (4), Jason Bergmann (4)
RBI - D'Angelo Jimenez 3 (7), Ryan Zimmerman (83), Ryan Church 3 (59)
2-OUT RBI - D'Angelo Jimenez (2)
SB - Ryan Langerhans (3, 2nd base off Moylan/McCann)
Team LOB - 11
DP - F. Lopez-Belliard-Fick
Washington Nationals
Jason Bergmann (W,4-5) 6433261 4.31
Luis Ayala (H,6) 0.2200110 3.03
Arnie Munoz (H,1) 0.1000000 0.00
Jon Rauch (H,26) 1211001 3.89
Chad Cordero (S,32) 1000020 3.04
Pitches-Strikes - Jason Bergmann 87-54, Luis Ayala 18-11, Arnie Munoz 3-2, Jon Rauch 12-8, Chad Cordero 15-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jason Bergmann 5-7, Luis Ayala 1-0, Arnie Munoz 1-0, Jon Rauch 1-1, Chad Cordero 1-0
Batters Faced - Jason Bergmann 24, Luis Ayala 5, Arnie Munoz 1, Jon Rauch 4, Chad Cordero 3
Atlanta Braves
Willie Harris, LF5110032 .286
Edgar Renteria, SS3000101 .335
Chipper Jones, 3B3212103 .330
Mark Teixeira, 1B4122010 .303
Brian McCann, C4010011 .275
Jeff Francoeur, RF4010001 .294
Andruw Jones, CF4010001 .223
Kelly Johnson, 2B3010120 .288
Lance Cormier, P2000011 .000
    Peter Moylan, P0000000 .000
   a- Pete Orr, PH0000000 .183
    Ron Mahay, P0000000 .000
    Jose Ascanio, P0000000 .000
    Royce Ring, P0000000 .000
   b- Matt Diaz, PH1000010 .343
a-hit a sacrifice bunt for Moylan in the 7th
b-struck out for Ring in the 9th
2B - Willie Harris (19, Bergmann), Mark Teixeira (29, Bergmann), Brian McCann (36, Bergmann)
HR - Chipper Jones (25, Bergmann), Mark Teixeira (24, Rauch)
SH - Pete Orr (1)
RBI - Chipper Jones 2 (87), Mark Teixeira 2 (85)
2-OUT RBI - Mark Teixeira (33)
Team LOB - 6
E - Mark Teixeira (4, Misplayed grounder)
Atlanta Braves
Lance Cormier (L,2-5) 6744151 6.60
Peter Moylan 1211100 1.92
Ron Mahay 0.2211100 2.47
Jose Ascanio 1211111 3.97
Royce Ring 0.1000010 3.00
IBB - Young by Lance Cormier, Young by Peter Moylan
Pitches-Strikes - Lance Cormier 103-61, Peter Moylan 16-9, Ron Mahay 28-16, Jose Ascanio 27-16, Royce Ring 3-3
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Lance Cormier 8-5, Peter Moylan 2-1, Jose Ascanio 3-0
Batters Faced - Lance Cormier 26, Peter Moylan 6, Ron Mahay 5, Jose Ascanio 7, Royce Ring 1
Game Information
Attendance - 31582
Game Time - 2:59
Temperature - 86
Umpires - Home - Jim Reynolds, First Base - Gary Cederstrom, Second Base - Lance Barksdale, Third Base - Tim Welke