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Dec 5, 2012 12:13am
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ATLANTA - Washington relied on its offence for its second straight win over
Atlanta, leaving manager Davey Johnson feeling relaxed and happy. Ryan Fitzpatrick Womens Jersey . Bryce Harper
homered and Danny Espinosa added a three-run shot to help Washington strengthen
its hold on first place in the NL East by beating the struggling Atlanta Braves
8-4 on Saturday. Following Friday nights 7-4 win in the series opener, the
Nationals have scored seven or more runs in back to back games for the first
time this season. “The offence scoring seven runs two days in a row, I feel like
Im on vacation or something,” Johnson said. Stephen Strasburg (5-1) was not
sharp, but backed by the Nationals 12 hits, he still won. He set a season high
with four walks while giving up four runs and six hits in five innings. He had
six strikeouts. “Hes usually the one picking us up and we picked him up today,”
Johnson said. “I just dont think he had a good feel of the fastball. He was
throwing good and hard. There was nothing physically wrong with him.” The
temperature for the first pitch was 90 degrees, and Strasburg soon was shaking
sweat off his right arm between pitches. The heat may have contributed to
Strasburgs difficulty controlling his fastball. “Id try one thing and it wouldnt
work and Id try another thing and it wouldnt work,” Strasburg said. “It was just
one of those days. Im not really happy with it, but the bottom line is we won.”
The Braves season-worst losing streak reached six games as they fell three games
behind the Nationals. Before the game, the Braves placed Chipper Jones on the
15-day disabled list Saturday with a bruised left leg. Dan Ugglas two-run, tying
homer in the fifth was the big hit for the short-handed Braves. Catcher
Brian McCann is still recovering from an illness and did not start. First
baseman Freddie Freeman was a late scratch as he continues to struggle with his
vision while wearing contacts. “Were not playing particularly well right now,”
Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. “And there are no excuses. Weve just need to
get it going. “I like the fact that we battled back against Strasburg.”
Juan Francisco had three hits, including a double off Tom Gorzelanny to lead off
the ninth. Craig Stammen gave a one-out walk to pinch-hitter Jack Wilson.
Tyler Clippard earned his third save by striking out Michael Bourn and ending
the game on McCanns pinch-hit popout. Espinosa doubled off Mike Minor to lead
off the game and scored on Adam LaRoches fly ball. Espinosa pushed the lead to
4-0 with his three-run homer off Minor in the second. Francisco had a
run-scoring single and fill-in catcher J.C. Boscan also drove in a run in the
second inning. The Braves pulled even at 4-4 on Ugglas homer off Strasburg. The
Nationals answered with two runs off Kris Medlen (1-1) in the sixth.
Pinch-hitter Chad Tracys double drove in Ian Desmond, who doubled. Tracy pulled
up with an apparent groin injury between first and second and had to leave the
game. Johnson said Tracy was hopeful he “just popped some scar tissue” and wont
have to go on the disabled list. Rick Ankiel, the pinch-hitter for Strasburg,
added a run-scoring triple off the centre-field wall. Michael Bourn appeared set
to make the catch before backing into the wall, losing his balance and the ball.
Washington added two runs off Jonny Venters in the seventh. Harper lined his
third homer over the left-field wall. Ryan Zimmerman singled and scored on
LaRoches double. There were loud boos for Jason Heyward in the fifth inning when
he bobbled a single by Harper in right field for an error and then took a
lackadaisical approach to picking up the ball as Harper raced to second base. “I
just saw he wasnt coming up on it hard and I took advantage of that,” Harper
said. Minor gave up four runs on six hits in five innings, marking the sixth
straight start he has allowed four or more runs. His ERA climbed slightly to
6.98. “I feel like there are more positives out of this game than the previous
games,” Minor said. “It was another home run, it was four runs. But I feel like
I pitched a lot better. I used all my pitches today.” NOTES: Johnson announced
after the game RHP Chien-Ming Wang will move into LHP Ross Detwilers spot in the
rotation, and Detwiler will work out of the bullpen. Wang earned the win in his
season debut as he gave up one run in three innings after relieving Detwiler in
Friday nights 7-4 win. ... Boscan was recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett when Jones
was placed on the DL. ... Atlanta RHP Brandon Beachy (1.77) and Washington LHP
Gio Gonzalez (1.98) will match two of baseballs best ERAs when the teams finish
the three-game series on Sunday night. Mario Williams Womens Jersey . The Italian
football federation made the announcement on its website. Balotelli had been
included in the starting lineup that coach Cesare Prandelli announced Thursday.
Andre Reed Jersey . Johnson pitched seven
solid innings and ended his career-worst four-game losing skid, leading the
Miami Marlins past the Milwaukee Brewers 6-2 Thursday. http://www.billsteamstore.com/fred-jackson-jerseys
. – After a late start to the year, Jim Furyk might be getting up to speed. Bruce Smith Jersey . “I think he was sort of
stunned,” the colts owner, Paul Reddam, said Friday. “His immediate reaction
was, Well, should I just go home today?” Reddam responded: “No, youve got to
ride. Steve Johnson Youth Jersey .J. —The New
York Red Bulls goalkeeper Ryan Meara had arthroscopic surgery Thursday to repair
his left hip, and is expected to miss the rest of the season.MIAMI –
LeBron James is the MVP of the NBA Finals. James finished with 26 points, 13
assists and 11 rebounds in Game 5 of the title series Thursday night, leading
the Miami Heat to a 121-106 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder. Miami won
the second title in franchise history, and James won for thee first time in
three finals appearances. Steve Johnson Womens Jersey. James and the
Cleveland Cavaliers were swept by the San Antonio Spurs in 2007, then he and the
Heat fell in six games to the Dallas Mavericks last season. Asked Thursday what
the title meant, James said, “It means everything.” ’ ’ ’ 

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