Thursday, July 28, 2005

MLB: Atlanta Braves 5, Nationals 4 (July 28)

WP: Ryan Drese (3-4)
LP: Jorge Sosa (6-1)
S: Chris Reitsma (12)

Major League Baseball might as well just sign the Nationals' ownership papers over to 21-year-old Jeff Francoeur, because 12 games into his Major League career he has already shown that he owns the Washington club.

With two solo homers today, Francoeur powered the Braves to a sweep of the Nationals and a three game lead in the National League East. In the three game series, he went 5-for-9, drove in four runs and scored four more.

For the Nationals, it was another one-run loss. All three games in this crucial series were one-run losses.

Leading 1-0 gooing into the inning, the Braves jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the fourth on a Francoeur home run and a Marcus Giles double that plated two runs.

The Nats cut the lead in half with RBI singles by Carlos Baerga and Jose Guillen in the fifth and sixth innings, respectively, but the Braves added an insurance run with another Francoeur homer in the bottom of the sixth.

That run proved crucial, because Jose Vidro hit a two run homer, his sixth homer of the year, to cut the lead to 5-4 in the seventh.

The Nationals threatened in the eighth, getting men on the corners with two out, but pinch hitter Ryan Church struck out on a pitch out of the strike zone to end the inning.

The Nationals will look to get back on track when they go to Florida to face another NL East foe, the Marlins, in a three game series starting tomorrow at 7:35 p.m.

The Nationals will send Tony Armas Jr. (5-4, 4.73 ERA, throws right) to face Marlins ace Josh Beckett (9-6, 3.33 ERA, throws right).

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