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Braves Fall to Nats 5-3 in Bourn's Debut

Freddie extended his streak, Monday night, but the Braves took a loss in game one of the series against the Nationals.
Freddie extended his streak, Monday night, but the Braves took a loss in game one of the series against the Nationals.

Michael Bourn began his stint as a Brave in fine fashion, slapping a fastball to the opposite field for a single to lead off the game. Braves fans at Nationals Park made some noise, but the elation was short-lived. Prado smoked a line drive to Ryan Zimmerman at third that began one of three Braves double plays on the night. In the bottom half of the inning, former Brave Rick Ankiel wasn't to be outdone by his leadoff center fielder counterpart, cranking a homer to right center to start the scoring for the night.

Jair Jurrjens was able to keep the Braves within reasonable striking distance, but really looked bad. He couldn't hit the targets that Rossy threw up to save his life. Meanwhile, the Braves' bats were not clutch in the least. Like yesterday's game, the Braves got double digit hits in a loss. All three of the Braves' runs came off of solo shots. Uggla led off the second with one to tie up the game at one apiece, not wasting any time in extending his hitting streak to 23 games. Livan Hernandez punished Jurrjens for giving the eighth hitter, Wilson Ramos, an intentional pass in the second inning. With runners on the corners, one of the better hitting pitchers stroked one through the hole into right to score Jayson Werth. This gave the Nats a lead that they would never relinquish.

The best opportunity for the Braves came in the fourth, when the Braves loaded the bases with just one out. David Ross stepped to the plate and grounded into the most routine of 6-4-3 double plays. Then, in the fifth, Ankiel crushed an inside Jurrjens fastball into the upper deck for a homer reminiscent of the one that he hit into McCovey cove during the playoffs last year. The larger of Ankiel's two solo homers on the night gave the Nats a 3-1 lead. The Nats tacked on two more in the sixth, both of which would be charged to Jurrjens who exited without getting an out in the inning. Anthony Varvaro pitched two decent innings to keep the Braves in the game, and Scott Proctor even pitched a perfect eighth.

David Ross knocked a solo homer to left during the seventh inning, and Uggla refused to give up in the ninth against Drew Storen. Uggla homered again in the ninth to invoke hopes for a rally, making the game a 5-3 affair. Heyward got on base with one out but Alex Gonzalez grounded to short to force out Heyward at second and end the game.

The Nationals tied the season series at five games each with tonight's win. Freeman also extended his hitting streak tonight to 16 games. Tomorrow, Derek Lowe will face off against John Lannan at 7:05.

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