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Washington Nationals Rock Derek Lowe as Atlanta Braves’ Skid Continues

August 2nd, 2011 at 11:44 PM
By Cody Fields

The Atlanta Braves and Derek Lowe saw their struggles continue as the Washington Nationals teed off in the middle innings to take the second game of a three-game set.

At first, it seemed like a normal Derek Lowe start when he gave up a single in the first inning and induced three ground outs.

Jayson Werth then led off the second with a single and stole second. He was also able to take third on the steal by way of a David Ross throwing error, setting up Ian Desmond to drive in Werth via sacrifice fly for the first run of the game.

The Braves, however, answered and then some in the second. After Ross and Jose Constanza led off with singles off Washington starter John Lannan and Lowe hit into a force out on a bunt attempt, the newly acquired Michael Bourn hit an RBI double, which was followed by a ground out by Martin Prado to score another run.

It seemed like smooth sailing when Lowe hurled a scoreless third and Constanza produced an RBI single in the fourth, but then the wheels fell off.

Though Werth led off with a ground out, Lowe issued a walk to Jonny Gomes and hits to Desmond and Wilson Ramos to load the bases. Lannan then hit a grounder to Freddie Freeman, who attempted to get the lead runner at home, but Ross' foot was off the plate, which left the sacks loaded for former Brave Rick Ankiel. Ankiel took a 2-0 sinker that stayed up out of the park for a grand slam to put Washington up 6-3.

Lowe eventually worked out of that inning, but gave up a lead off triple to Gomes in the fifth, which was followed by a home run by Desmond, resulting in Lowe's exist after four-plus innings.

Lowe has now given up at least three runs in his last six starts, and has given up four or more runs in four of those starts.

Christhian Martinez also gave up a solo shot to Michael Morse in the sixth to bring the score to its final of 9-3.

Chipper Jones sat out yet again with a strained right quadriceps.

On a positive note for the sputtering Braves, Bourn is now 3-for-9 in an Atlanta uniform, and Constanza is 8-for-20 since being called up July 29.

Dan Uggla extended his major league best hitting streak to 24 games with a single in the fifth inning.

With the Philadelphia Phillies win over the Colorado Rockies, the Braves have now fallen to eight games out of first place, and it may be time to focus on a Wild Card berth in the playoffs, where Atlanta leads a surging Arizona Diamondbacks team by a slim two-game margin.

Brandon Beachy (4-2, 3.27 ERA) will look to snap the Braves' losing streak at three Wednesday night as Chien-Ming Wang (0-1, 9.00 ERA) will look to continue Washington's annoyance of Atlanta.

Tags: Atlanta, Atlanta Braves, Dan Uggla, Derek Lowe, John Lannan, MLB, Rick Ankiel, Washington Nationals

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