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Smoltz reaches 3,000 strikeouts, but Braves get shut out by Nats

CBSSports.com wire reports
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ATLANTA -- John Smoltz got two standing ovations, a video tribute and a congratulatory text message from his friend Greg Maddux on the night he joined the 3,000 strikeout club.

About the only thing he didn't get was a victory.

Smoltz became the 16th pitcher in major league history to reach the plateau, but was outpitched by John Lannan in the Washington Nationals' 6-0 win over the Atlanta Braves on Tuesday night.

Smoltz fanned Felipe Lopez in the third inning, the veteran hurler's fourth of the game, to reach the mark. He struck out 10 for the second straight start and for the 45th time in his 20-year career.

Lopez whiffed on a split-finger fastball, a pitch Smoltz first debuted in 1992 NLCS and one that the Atlanta ace still credits for helping win the '96 NL Cy Young Award.

"That guy is good," Lopez said. "He's freaking nasty. He's tough. He never follows a pattern. He changes it up."

Maddux, Smoltz's longtime teammate with the Braves, offered his own words of praise.

"I already got a text (message) from Maddux," Smoltz said, "He said I've lost one hair for every strikeout I've made."

Smoltz's two teenage daughters watched the game from the front row behind the Braves' dugout. His parents were in Arizona but left a message on his cell phone.

Nationals team president Stan Kasten, who used to work in the same capacity for Atlanta, walked through the Braves' clubhouse to shake the pitcher's hand.

The crowd at Turner Field gave Smoltz two standing ovations, and huge Mitsubishi TV screen flashed many of his career highlights.

"Today, for one single moment," Smoltz said, "it was an incredible feeling."

Among the 15 pitchers ahead of him on the 3,000 strikeout list, Smoltz reached the mark faster than all but Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, Nolan Ryan, Curt Schilling and Roger Clemens.

Maddux is the only other active pitcher with more strikeouts (3,287).

Lannan, a rookie, allowed five hits in seven innings and the Nationals snapped a three-game losing streak. Washington had lost six of seven and is just 3-15 since winning its first three games of the season.

"A win like that, with John Smoltz chasing 3,000 strikeouts, is worth two or three losses," Nationals manager Manny Acta said. "It was nice regardless of the score."

The Braves' five-game winning streak ended.

Smoltz (3-1) allowed a run and five hits in seven innings, and didn't walk a batter. Still, his ERA rose 22 points to 0.78. He got no run support from an offense that came into the game leading the NL with a .286 average.

Willie Harris' RBI double in the second gave the Nationals a 1-0 lead. Washington added five runs in the ninth off reliever Jorge Campillo, who made a throwing error in the inning. Four of the runs were unearned.

Just two of Atlanta's eight baserunners reached second, and none got as far as third.

Lannan gave up six runs and nine hits in his first appearance of the season against the Braves, in Washington on April 12. He was much better in his last start, Thursday at New York. In that one, Lannan struck out 11 without a walk in six innings and got a no-decision in a 3-2 loss to the Mets.

"I've been working on locating my fastball," Lannan said. "If it's up, I get hurt. I left it out the first time (against Atlanta) and got hurt."

Ray King and Luis Ayala pitched the eighth for Washington. Jon Rauch pitched the ninth.

Smoltz was quick to acknowledge Lannan's performance in the face of history.

"I've got to tip by hat to Lannan," Smoltz said. "He outpitched me."

Notes

  • Braves 3B Chipper Jones, the NL's leading hitter with a .430 average, went 0-for-4. Jones had hit safely in 13 straight games and in 18 of 19 this year.
  • Smoltz's 270 career strikeouts against the Washington-Montreal franchise are his second-most against an opponent. He has 275 against the Mets.
  • Nationals closer Chad Cordero will have his right shoulder examined on Tuesday by Dr. James Andrews.
  • Braves LHP Mike Hampton (pectoral) will make a rehab start at Triple-A Richmond on Friday.
 
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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John Smoltz K's 10 on his way to becoming the 16th pitcher to join the 3,000-strikeout club.  (AP)
John Smoltz K's 10 on his way to becoming the 16th pitcher to join the 3,000-strikeout club. (AP)

Players of the Game
Atlanta

J. Smoltz
IP 7.0
H 5
ER 1
BB 0
K 10
Washington

J. Lannan
IP 7.0
H 5
ER 0
BB 3
K 4
 
Washington Nationals
Felipe Lopez, 2B5121013 .275
Cristian Guzman, SS5001014 .303
Ryan Zimmerman, 3B5012021 .225
Nick Johnson, 1B4000131 .222
Austin Kearns, RF5000022 .213
Lastings Milledge, CF4220000 .284
Willie Harris, LF3121110 .179
Wil Nieves, C4120001 .182
John Lannan, P3000021 .000
    Ray King, P0000000 .000
    Luis Ayala, P0000000 .000
   a- Rob Mackowiak, PH0100100 .077
    Jon Rauch, P0000000 .000
Totals38695312  
a-walked for Ayala in the 9th
Batting
2B - Ryan Zimmerman (5, Resop), Lastings Milledge 2 (7, Smoltz, Campillo), Willie Harris (2, Smoltz)
RBI - Felipe Lopez (2), Cristian Guzman (7), Ryan Zimmerman 2 (9), Willie Harris (3)
2-OUT RBI - Ryan Zimmerman 2 (4), Willie Harris (2)
Team LOB - 8
Washington Nationals
John Lannan (W,1-2) 7500340 3.42
Ray King (H,4) 0.2000000 3.18
Luis Ayala (H,5) 0.1000000 3.60
Jon Rauch 1000020 5.19
Pitches-Strikes - John Lannan 95-59, Ray King 7-5, Luis Ayala 1-1, Jon Rauch 9-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - John Lannan 10-7, Ray King 1-1, Luis Ayala 1-0
Batters Faced - John Lannan 29, Ray King 2, Luis Ayala 1, Jon Rauch 3
Atlanta Braves
Kelly Johnson, 2B4000001 .231
Yunel Escobar, SS4020011 .316
Chipper Jones, 3B4000002 .430
Mark Teixeira, 1B4000010 .235
Jeff Francoeur, RF2010200 .296
Brian McCann, C4000013 .275
Matt Diaz, LF4020011 .300
Mark Kotsay, CF4000024 .257
John Smoltz, P2000000 .000
   a- Martin Prado, PH0000100 .280
    Blaine Boyer, P0000000 .000
    Royce Ring, P0000000 .000
    Jorge Campillo, P0000000 .000
    Chris Resop, P0000000 .000
Totals3205036  
a-walked for Smoltz in the 7th
Fielding
E - Jorge Campillo (1, Throwing), John Smoltz (3, Throwing)
Atlanta Braves
John Smoltz (L,3-1) 75110100 0.78
Blaine Boyer 0.2100000 3.55
Royce Ring 0.1000010 10.80
Jorge Campillo 0.1251210 1.23
Chris Resop 0.2100100 8.59
IBB - N. Johnson by Chris Resop
Pitches-Strikes - John Smoltz 105-68, Blaine Boyer 15-8, Royce Ring 6-4, Jorge Campillo 26-12, Chris Resop 13-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - John Smoltz 9-3, Jorge Campillo 1-0, Chris Resop 2-0
Batters Faced - John Smoltz 27, Blaine Boyer 3, Royce Ring 1, Jorge Campillo 6, Chris Resop 4
Game Information
Attendance - 23482
Game Time - 2:48
Temperature - 76
Umpires - Home - Dan Iassogna, First Base - Dale Scott, Second Base - Rob Drake, Third Base - Ron Kulpa