Nationals Fall Short Against Braves, 3-1
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Michael Morse continues to keep up a torrid pace this season. Whether he’s playing first base or left field, Morse continues to knock the cover off the ball. Morse hit a 415-foot solo home run tonight, his 24th of the season, and is on pace for nearly 30 home runs. Morse has been the one constant in the Nationals lineup all season, but going forward he and Zimmerman form quite the 1-2 punch in the middle of a lineup.
The Nationals struggled all night against Derek Lowe. The Nationals have been plagued by leaving men on base all season, but tonight the Nats could only muster three hits all game. Lowe had a good showing, pitching 6 innings allowing the three hits and a walk while striking out six. Lowe also was the victim of the Morse home run.
Lowe was followed by three stellar innings out of the Braves bullpen as O’Flaherty, Venters and Kimbrel – who recorded his 41st save – combined for three innings and three strikeouts while not allowing a hit.
Lowe helped his own cause by hitting a solo home run of his own. Not to be outdone, Chipper Jones hit a solo shot as well. The Braves third run came on an infield single by Dan Uggla that scored Martin Prado.
The Nats wasted what ended up being a good outing from starting pitcher John Lannan. Lannan lost his four consecutive start, but lowered his ERA again despite the loss. The lack of run support killed what would have been an otherwise acceptable line. Lannan went 7 innings, giving up the 2 home runs and the unearned run, while striking out six and walking one.
The Nationals took game one of the series 9-2 on Tuesday night and will look to win the series tomorrow night as the Nats send Chien-Ming Wang (2-2, 3.82 ERA) to the bump to face Tim Hudson (13-8, 3.10 ERA). The game can be heard live on The Fan with the first pitch at 7:10 pm.
Follow Brendan Darr on twitter: @BrendanDarr1067