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Atlanta at Washington

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Atlanta (1-1)0010010103101
Washington (1-1) «01300011x6100

Ankiel propels Nats to soggy win over Braves

CBSSports.com wire reports
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WASHINGTON -- Tommy Hanson's control issues put Atlanta in a hole early, and some of the Braves' hardest hits ended up in fielders' gloves.

Hanson (0-1) gave up four runs, three earned, in a rain-shortened start as the Braves lost 6-3 to the Washington Nationals on Saturday.

"I felt good, I'd just go through spurts where I'd make pitches, and then I wouldn't make pitches," Hanson said. "That's not going to cut it."

The Atlanta hitters had troubles of their own despite getting 10 hits. The Braves stranded runners on second and third in the second, fourth and sixth innings.

"We hit the ball as hard as anybody," Atlanta manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "We just didn't get that blooper when we needed to, with people on base."

Hanson allowed five hits, walked two and struck out one in 3 2/3 innings before a 55-minute rain delay ended his outing. Most of the damage came in a three-run third.

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Jayson Werth led off with a double -- one of his three hits -- Ryan Zimmerman was hit by a pitch and Michael Morse had a sacrifice fly. Rick Ankiel struck the hardest blow with a three-run home run to give the Nationals a 4-1 lead.

"My fastballs were catching way too much of the plate. I was just a little bit off with my command," Hanson said. "I'm not worried about it.

The Braves used five relievers to finish the game. Scott Linebrink and Peter Moylan each allowed a run.

After the delay, Gonzalez said it was an easy decision to remove Hanson, especially after he had some back issues in spring training.

"We want Tommy for the next 32 starts. For me, it wasn't even a difficult decision," Gonzalez said. "That's a no-brainer for me."

John Lannan (1-0) worked five innings, allowing a run and five hits for the win, Washington's first of the season.

Chipper Jones drove in a run with a single in the top of the third inning, and the Braves added a pair of solo home runs.

Chad Gaudin allowed a leadoff home run to Dan Uggla in the sixth and Drew Storen gave up an eighth-inning home run to Alex Gonzalez. It was the first homer of the season for both players.

"It's always good to get that first one out of the way," Uggla said. "First hit, first everything."

Washington's Sean Burnett pitched 1 1/3 scoreless innings for his first save, including two strong defensive plays robbing the Braves of hits. Burnett started the ninth with a nice pickup of Martin Prado's short-hop grounder up the middle, and closed the game with a catch of a comebacker by Jones.

"On offense, we could have easily had 15 or 16 hits today," Jones said. "It just seemed like they had somebody making a great play on the other end of the line drive or something. There's nothing you can do, just tip your cap."

Prado had perhaps the most difficult day at the plate for Atlanta, going 0 for 5 from the leadoff spot despite making hard contact every time.

"You can't control that," Prado said. "Hit the ball hard somewhere, and what happens, happens. That's all I can control."

The Nationals scored their fifth run in the seventh. Zimmerman opened the inning with a triple and came home a few batters later when Ankiel laid down a suicide squeeze bunt to give Washington a 5-2 lead.

Zimmerman drove in Washington's final run with an eighth-inning single.

Hanson opening appearance of the season may not have gone the way he would have liked, but he doesn't think this game will set a tone for the season.

"I'm not worried about it," Hanson said. "It's my first start, and I know I can pitch better than that. I'm going to chalk it up as one of those days."

Notes

  • Riggleman said that for the time being he would divide the playing time of Ramos and Rodriguez. Later in the season, he expects Ramos to play more. Riggleman discussed the situation with Rodriguez, and he reacted favorably. "We've got to develop Ramos' game," Riggleman said. Rodriguez can catch several more years, Riggleman believes, and the 39-year-old is eager to work with Ramos. "He's the future of our ballclub," Rodriguez said. "There's still a lot of baseball in me."
  • Braves RHP Jair Jurrjens, who's been slowed with a rib cage injury, will throw again on the side on Sunday, manager Fredi Gonzalez said. It's possible he could still make his scheduled start on Wednesday in Milwaukee, but could also make a minor league start before returning to the rotation.
  • The game's start was delayed by 32 minutes.
 
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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Rick Ankiel hits a three-run home run in the third inning to help the Nationals put away the Braves. (US Presswire)
Rick Ankiel hits a three-run home run in the third inning to help the Nationals put away the Braves. (US Presswire)

Players of the Game
Atlanta

A. Gonzalez
AB 3
R 1
H 3
HR 1
RBI 1
Washington

J. Werth
AB 4
R 1
H 3
HR 0
RBI 0
 
Atlanta Braves
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Martin Prado, LF5000004 .000
Nate McLouth, CF4110020 .125
Chipper Jones, 3B5021001 .444
Brian McCann, C4010012 .375
Dan Uggla, 2B4111002 .125
Jason Heyward, RF3000100 .200
Alex Gonzalez, SS3131100 .500
Freddie Freeman, 1B4020010 .286
Tommy Hanson, P1000002 .000
    Cristhian Martinez, P0000000 .000
   a- Brooks Conrad, PH1000012 .000
    Scott Linebrink, P0000000 .000
    George Sherrill, P0000000 .000
   b- Eric Hinske, PH1000000 .000
    Peter Moylan, P0000000 .000
    Eric O'Flaherty, P0000000 .000
Totals35310325  
a-struck out for Cr. Martinez in the 6th
b-grounded out for Sherrill in the 8th
Batting
2B - Freddie Freeman (1, Slaten)
HR - Dan Uggla (1, Gaudin), Alex Gonzalez (1, Storen)
SH - Tommy Hanson (1)
RBI - Chipper Jones (1), Dan Uggla (1), Alex Gonzalez (1)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
E - Tommy Hanson (1, Throwing)
Atlanta Braves
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Tommy Hanson (L,0-1) 3.2543211 7.36
Cristhian Martinez 1.1100100 0.00
Scott Linebrink 1211010 9.00
George Sherrill 1000110 0.00
Peter Moylan 0.2211110 9.00
Eric O'Flaherty 0.1000000 0.00
IBB - Hairston by George Sherrill
HBP - Zimmerman (by Tommy Hanson)
Pitches-Strikes - Tommy Hanson 66-36, Cristhian Martinez 20-13, Scott Linebrink 21-13, George Sherrill 16-8, Peter Moylan 21-12, Eric O'Flaherty 1-1
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Tommy Hanson 6-4, Cristhian Martinez 2-2, George Sherrill 2-0, Peter Moylan 1-0
Batters Faced - Tommy Hanson 19, Cristhian Martinez 6, Scott Linebrink 5, George Sherrill 4, Peter Moylan 5, Eric O'Flaherty 1
Washington Nationals
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Ian Desmond, SS5100005 .000
Jayson Werth, RF4130101 .500
Ryan Zimmerman, 3B3221101 .500
Adam LaRoche, 1B5000008 .111
Michael Morse, LF1101100 .000
    Tyler Clippard, P0000000 .000
   a- Jerry Hairston Jr., PH0000100 .000
    Drew Storen, P0000000 .000
    Sean Burnett, P0000000 .000
Rick Ankiel, CF3113001 .167
Danny Espinosa, 2B3001021 .333
Wilson Ramos, C4030010 .750
John Lannan, P0000100 .000
    Chad Gaudin, P0000000 .000
    Doug Slaten, P0000000 .000
    Laynce Nix, LF2010011 .333
Totals30610654  
a-was walked intentionally for Clippard in the 7th
Batting
2B - Jayson Werth 2 (2, Hanson, Hanson)
3B - Ryan Zimmerman (1, Linebrink)
HR - Rick Ankiel (1, Hanson)
SF - Michael Morse (1), Danny Espinosa (1)
SH - Rick Ankiel (1), John Lannan (1)
RBI - Ryan Zimmerman (1), Michael Morse (1), Rick Ankiel 3 (3), Danny Espinosa (1)
2-OUT RBI - Ryan Zimmerman (1), Rick Ankiel 2 (2)
Team LOB - 10
Fielding
DP - Espinosa-Desmond-LaRoche
Washington Nationals
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
John Lannan (W,1-0) 5511130 1.80
Chad Gaudin (H,1) 0.1111101 27.00
Doug Slaten0100000 0.00
Tyler Clippard (H,1) 1.2200010 0.00
Drew Storen (H,1) 0.2111011 13.50
Sean Burnett (S,1) 1.1000000 0.00
HBP - McLouth (by John Lannan)
WP - John Lannan (1)
Pitches-Strikes - John Lannan 68-38, Chad Gaudin 12-5, Doug Slaten 1-1, Tyler Clippard 26-17, Drew Storen 9-7, Sean Burnett 22-15
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - John Lannan 7-5, Tyler Clippard 1-2, Sean Burnett 3-1
Batters Faced - John Lannan 22, Chad Gaudin 3, Doug Slaten 1, Tyler Clippard 6, Drew Storen 3, Sean Burnett 4
Game Information
Attendance - 21941
Game Time - 2:56
Temperature - 43
Umpires - Home - Jim Reynolds, First Base - Mike DiMuro, Second Base - Andy Fletcher, Third Base - Tim Welke