|Washington (52-56) «||1||1||0||0||1||2||0||0||x||5||8||1|
WASHINGTON -- Rick Ankiel has been on a tear since coming off the disabled list a month ago. Against the Atlanta Braves on Monday night he gave his best performance yet with two home runs in a 5-3 win.
Ankiel led off the bottom of the first with a homer to center field, and his homer in the fifth inning landed deep in the second deck in left. It was the fifth multihomer game of his career, and the solo shots gave Ankiel five home runs this season.
"Sometimes you say, 'It's not how far, it's how many,' but both of those were pretty far," teammate Jayson Werth said.
Werth is the only other National with a first-inning leadoff homer this season, doing it on June 16 against St. Louis.
Ankiel was hitting .204 with one home run and nine RBI when he came off the disabled list on July 1 after recovering from a strained rib cage muscle. Since then, he's batting .351 with four homers and 10 RBI.
|More on Braves at Nationals|
"One thing, he's getting to play," Nationals manager Davey Johnson said. "It's awfully hard to sit, especially if you're capable of being a power hitter like he is."
Atlanta second baseman Dan Uggla homered twice, in the second and ninth innings, giving him 22 this season. Uggla went 3 for 4, extending his career-long hitting streak to 23 games.
The Nationals have been one of the few teams to figure out Atlanta starter Jair Jurrjens (12-4), who allowed five runs and seven hits in five-plus innings and lost for the first time in eight starts. The last time Jurrjens faced the Nationals on July 17, he gave up six runs in five innings.
The two home runs he gave up to Ankiel marked only the second time this season Jurrjens has allowed more than one in a game.
"It seems like we hit him pretty well. I'm not really sure why, but hey, good for us," Ankiel said. "You go up there looking for a pitch to drive, and tonight it worked out."
In the second inning Atlanta intentionally walked No. 8 hitter Wilson Ramos with two outs and a runner on third to face Hernandez, who slapped an opposite-field single to give the Nationals a 2-1 lead.
Hernandez, who is 7 for 34 with five RBI this season, laughed when asked what he thought of the other team issuing a walk to put him at the plate.
"I get mad," Hernandez said. "They leave me the hole there, then I go over there and get lucky."
Center fielder Michael Bourn hit leadoff in his first appearance for the Braves after being acquired from Houston on Sunday. He got his first hit with his new team, a single, on the second pitch of the game and finished 1 for 4.
"I'm not trying to do anything out of the normal," Bourn said. "I know it's going to be a bit different for a little while, but as time goes on, I'll get more used to it."
|Rick Ankiel celebrates his first of two home runs against the Braves with teammate Ryan Zimmerman. (Getty Images)|
|Players of the Game|
|Michael Bourn, CF||4||0||1||0||0||0||1||.303|
|Martin Prado, 3B||4||0||0||0||0||0||1||.276|
|Freddie Freeman, 1B||4||0||1||0||0||2||0||.296|
|Dan Uggla, 2B||4||2||3||2||0||0||0||.212|
|Jason Heyward, RF||3||0||1||0||0||0||0||.224|
|David Ross, C||4||1||1||1||0||2||2||.268|
|Alex Gonzalez, SS||4||0||1||0||0||0||1||.232|
|Jair Jurrjens, P||2||0||0||0||0||0||1||.098|
|Anthony Varvaro, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a- Brooks Conrad, PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.240|
|Scott Proctor, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Jose Constanza, LF||3||0||2||0||0||0||0||.375|
|a-struck out for Varvaro in the 8th|
|HR - Dan Uggla 2 (22, Hernandez, Storen), David Ross (5, Coffey)|
|RBI - Dan Uggla 2 (49), David Ross (19)|
|2-OUT RBI - David Ross (10)|
|CS - Jose Constanza (1, 2nd base by Hernandez/Ramos)|
|Team LOB - 4|
|E - Dan Uggla (12, Throwing)|
|Jair Jurrjens (L,12-4)||5||7||5||5||2||1||2||2.63|
|IBB - Ramos by Jair Jurrjens|
|WP - Jair Jurrjens (4)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Jair Jurrjens 87-53, Anthony Varvaro 27-20, Scott Proctor 9-8|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jair Jurrjens 9-5, Anthony Varvaro 1-1|
|Batters Faced - Jair Jurrjens 24, Anthony Varvaro 7, Scott Proctor 3|
|Rick Ankiel, CF||4||2||2||2||0||1||2||.242|
|Danny Espinosa, 2B||4||0||0||0||0||1||0||.226|
|Ryan Zimmerman, 3B||4||0||1||0||0||0||0||.279|
|Michael Morse, 1B||4||1||2||0||0||1||1||.314|
|Jayson Werth, RF||3||2||1||0||1||1||1||.224|
|Laynce Nix, LF||4||0||1||1||0||0||1||.267|
|Drew Storen, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Ian Desmond, SS||4||0||0||1||0||0||1||.225|
|Wilson Ramos, C||2||0||0||0||1||0||1||.248|
|Livan Hernandez, P||2||0||1||1||0||0||0||.206|
|a- Jonny Gomes, PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||1||.211|
|Todd Coffey, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Ryan Mattheus, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Brian Bixler, LF||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.176|
|a-struck out for Hernandez in the 6th|
|2B - Jayson Werth (21, Jurrjens)|
|HR - Rick Ankiel 2 (5, Jurrjens, Jurrjens)|
|RBI - Rick Ankiel 2 (19), Laynce Nix (39), Ian Desmond (28), Livan Hernandez (5)|
|2-OUT RBI - Livan Hernandez (2)|
|Team LOB - 5|
|DP - Zimmerman-Morse, Desmond-Espinosa-Morse, Hernandez-Desmond-Morse|
|E - Danny Espinosa (9, Throwing)|
|Livan Hernandez (W,6-10)||6||6||1||1||0||3||1||4.08|
|Ryan Mattheus (H,3)||1||1||0||0||0||1||0||1.54|
|Drew Storen (S,27)||1||2||1||1||0||1||1||2.87|
|HBP - Heyward (by Livan Hernandez)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Livan Hernandez 81-55, Todd Coffey 14-7, Ryan Mattheus 14-7, Drew Storen 14-9|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Livan Hernandez 5-6, Todd Coffey 3-0, Ryan Mattheus 1-1, Drew Storen 1-1|
|Batters Faced - Livan Hernandez 21, Todd Coffey 4, Ryan Mattheus 4, Drew Storen 5|
|Attendance - 19940|
|Game Time - 2:30|
|Temperature - 86|
|Umpires - Home - Jeff Nelson, First Base - Victor Carapazza, Second Base - Marty Foster, Third Base - Mark Lollo|