WP: Dan Kolb (3-6)
LP: Gary Majewski (2-2)
S: Chris Reitsma (11)
WAS: 55-46 (2nd in NL East, 2 behind Atlanta)
The Atlanta Braves will not be denied an National League East title.
They just won't. They refuse to, like they have every year since 1992, and it appears there is nothing the Nationals can do to stop them.
In another one-run loss, the Nats dropped to two games behind the Braves in the NL East, and will need a win this afternoon just to salvage something from this series and keep the Braves within easy striking distance.
Last night, Washington jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first on a Jose Guillen single that scored Brad Wilkerson, but that was the only run they would score until the eighth.
In the meantime, the Braves scored three runs; two in the fourth on a Marcus Giles solo homer and a Jeff Francoeur (who?) RBI single, and one in the seventh on a wild pitch by Joey Eischen that scored Francoeur (who again?).
The Nats tied it in the top of the eighth on RBI singles from Guillen and Nick Johnson, but Francoeur came up big again with an RBI double in the bottom half of the inning that plated the winning run.
To answer that "who?" question, Francoeur is a 21-year-old right fielder who was playing in his 11th game ... so probably the best game of his career so far (3-for-4, 2 RBI).
The Nats and Braves wrap up the three game set this afternoon at 1:05, but the suspense is over because the Braves know that the Nationals will be leaving the division lead in Atlanta when they go.
Ryan Drese (3-3, 4.02 ERA, throws right) will pitch for the Nationals agaist Jorge Sosa (5-1, 2.55 ERA, throws right).