Braves Vs. Nationals: Gio Gonzalez Shaky In 3-2 Washington Loss

Gio Gonzalez struggled to find a rhythm all afternoon, as the Braves rallied for a 3-2 win.

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Braves Vs. Nationals Recap: Atlanta Rallies For 3-2 Win

Despite jumping out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning, the Washington Nationals could not hold off the Atlanta Braves who downed the Nats 3-2 at Nationals Park Sunday afternoon.

Steve Lombardozzi and Bryce Harper led off the game with back-to-back home runs, but the Nats offense fell silent afterwards. They mustered just four hits off of Atlanta the rest of the afternoon. Braves starter Tommy Hanson settled down after being shaky for the first two batters, going seven innings and striking out six.

Gio Gonzalez had a rare lapse on the mound today for the Nats, going just 4.2 innings and allowing seven hits and three earned runs. Gonzalez's start was plagued by timely hitting from the Braves, as Dan Uggla pulled the Braves within a run with an RBI double in the third inning. In the fifth, Jason Heyward gave the Braves the lead with a two-run single.

Eric O'Flaherty and Craig Kimbrel came out of the bullpen to preserve the victory for the Braves.

For more Nationals coverage and conversation, visit Federal Baseball, SB Nation's Nats blog. For the Braves perspective, check out Talking Chop. For news and updates from the Nationals series against Atlanta, stay tuned to this StoryStream from SB Nation DC. Still not enough baseball for you? Head on over to SB Nation's MLB Hub Page, Baseball Nation, for all the latest news from all 30 MLB teams.

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Braves Vs. Nationals: Lefty Reliever Mike Gonzalez Called Up For Sunday's Contest

It appears the Washington Nationals have added some left-handed help to their bullpen for Sunday's contest against the Atlanta Braves. Via William Ladson of MLB.com:

Gonzalez was signed in early May by Washington to add bullpen depth. The veteran 34-year-old lefty has 56 career saves and posted a 4.39 ERA in 53 1/3 innings for the Orioles and Rangers last season.

The promotion of Gonzalez likely means right-handed reliever Ryan Perry is headed down to the minors.

For more Nationals coverage and conversation, visit Federal Baseball, SB Nation's Nats blog. For the Braves perspective, check out Talking Chop. For news and updates from the Nationals series against Atlanta, stay tuned to this StoryStream from SB Nation DC. Still not enough baseball for you? Head on over to SB Nation's MLB Hub Page, Baseball Nation, for all the latest news from all 30 MLB teams.

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Braves Vs. Nationals Lineups: Michael Morse Again Batting Fifth, Playing Rightfield

The Washington Nationals take the field on Sunday looking to take down the Atlanta Braves and complete a rain-shortened two-game weekend sweep. Early-season Cy Young candidate Gio Gonzalez will be on the hill for Washington. Here is today's Nationals lineup, via Mark Zuckerman of CSNwashington.com:

The Nationals have taken six straight games from Atlanta, four this season. In those six contests, Washington has outscored Atlanta 31-11.

For more Nationals coverage and conversation, visit Federal Baseball, SB Nation's Nats blog. For the Braves perspective, check out Talking Chop. For news and updates from the Nationals series against Atlanta, stay tuned to this StoryStream from SB Nation DC. Still not enough baseball for you? Head on over to SB Nation's MLB Hub Page, Baseball Nation, for all the latest news from all 30 MLB teams.

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Braves Vs. Nationals: Gio Gonzalez Looks To Win Sixth Straight Start

The Atlanta Braves (28-25) have likely had just about enough of the Washington Nationals (30-21) already this season, in particular the arms on the mound that continue to dominate the Braves bats. A day after Stephen Strasbug shut down Atlanta 2-0, co-ace of the Washington rotation Gio Gonzalez will take the mound, looking to win his sixth consecutive start.

The Nationals have taken six straight games from Atlanta, four this season. In those six games, the Nationals have outscored the Braves 31-11. Overall, Atlanta has lost nine of their last 11 games to fall six games behind Washington in the NL East standings.

Gonzalez (7-1, 2.04 ERA) will be facing an Atlanta ballclub he defeated just one week ago, 7-2 at Turner Field. In that start, Gonzalez went seven strong innings, striking out ten and allowing just two runs on one hit and three walks.

Tommy Hanson (5-4, 3.84 ERA) gets the start for Atlanta. Hanson is 4-2 with a 2.41 ERA this season in seven road starts. He has not fared well recently, however, against the Nationals, compiling an 0-3 record with a 4.73 ERA in his last five starts against Washington.

For more Nationals coverage and conversation, visit Federal Baseball, SB Nation's Nats blog. For the Braves perspective, check out Talking Chop. For news and updates from the Nationals series against Atlanta, stay tuned to this StoryStream from SB Nation DC. Still not enough baseball for you? Head on over to SB Nation's MLB Hub Page, Baseball Nation, for all the latest news from all 30 MLB teams.

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Michael Morse Season Debut: Left Fielder Goes Hitless For Nationals

Last season, Washington Nationals left fielder Michael Morse finished with 31 home runs and 95 RBIs, while batting .303, placing him in the top-10 of the National League in each category. But Morse suffered a strained lat muscle during spring training last March, and as a result, was forced to miss the first 50 games of this season.

Batting fifth, the Florida native was back in the lineup at last on Saturday against the Atlanta Braves -- a 2-0 win for the Nats, as they improved to 30-21 on the season.

Morse, though, went just 0-for-4 in his season debut. He was eventually pulled during the top of the ninth inning with two outs remaining.

"He looked good," Washington manager Davey Johnson told reporters afterward. "I said, ‘Don't get the idea that I'm gonna be defending for you,' but it worked out just perfect. He got four at-bats, and he should be fresh for [the next game]."

For more Washington Nationals coverage and conversation, visit Federal Baseball, SB Nation's Nats blog. For the Braves perspective, check out Talking Chop. For news and updates from the Nationals series against Atlanta, stay tuned to this StoryStream from SB Nation DC.

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Braves Vs. Nationals Final Score: Stephen Strasburg Pitches Seven Shutout Innings In 2-0 Win

Stephen Strasburg (6-1) struck out nine in seven innings during the Washington Nationals' 2-0 win over the Atlanta Braves on Saturday at Nationals Park. Strasburg gave up just four hits and no walks on 90 pitches before he was relieved by Sean Burnett. Washington improved to 30-21 with the win, and remain one game ahead of the New York Mets atop the NL East.

Brandon Beachy (5-4) was solid on mound for the Braves, if not quite up to Strasburg's standard. He gave up both earned runs off three hits and four walks while striking out six in 6 1/3 innings of work. He gave up a solo home run to Jesus Flores in the fifth inning, however, for what would prove to be the game-winning run. Xavier Nady added to the Nats' lead with a double in the seventh inning to score Danny Espinosa.

Flores' homer was just his second on the year. He was walked in his only other appearance at the plate. Bryce Harper was walked twice and had a single to left field.

Game 3 of the series will be played at 1:35 p.m. ET on Sunday, and will pit Gio Gonzalez (7-1) against the Braves' Daniel Bard (5-5) at the mound.

For more Nationals coverage and conversation, visit Federal Baseball, SB Nation's Nats blog. For the Braves perspective, check out Talking Chop. For news and updates from the Nationals series against Atlanta, stay tuned to this StoryStream from SB Nation DC.

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Braves Vs. Nationals: Michael Morse Making Season Debut On Saturday, Batting Fifth

Michael Morse will be making his season debut Saturday for the Washington Nationals when they face the Atlanta Braves. Morse, sidelined to start the 2012 season because of a strained lat suffered in spring training, will be batting fifth and playing right field. Today's Washington lineup, via @NationalsPR:

Last season, Morse led the team with 31 home runs and 95 runs batted in.

For more Nationals coverage and conversation, visit Federal Baseball, SB Nation's Nats blog. For the Braves perspective, check out Talking Chop. For news and updates from the Nationals series against Atlanta, stay tuned to this StoryStream from SB Nation DC. Still not enough baseball for you? Head on over to SB Nation's MLB Hub Page, Baseball Nation, for all the latest news from all 30 MLB teams.

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Braves Vs. Nationals: After Friday Rainout, Michael Morse Expected To Make Season Debut Saturday

The Washington Nationals (29-12) and Atlanta Braves (28-24) were supposed to begin a three game divisional matchup on Friday evening at Nats Park, but heavy rains in the Washington, D.C.-area washed that plan away. Now the two teams will play a rain-shortened two-game series beginning Saturday afternoon, with Stephen Strasburg taking the mound for Washington.

Strasburg is 5-1 with a 2.64 ERA so far this season, but is just 1-2 with a 5.28 ERA in three career starts against Atlanta. That 5.28 ERA is the highest against any opponent the young right hander has faced more than once in his budding career.

Brandon Beachy (5-3, 1.77) will take the bump for the Braves. Beachy's 1.77 ERA is the best in the big leagues.

Michael Morse is expected to make his season debut on Saturday for the Nationals. Last season, Morse led the team with 31 home runs and 95 runs batted in, but has been sidelined to start the 2012 campaign due to a strained lat suffered in spring training.

For more Nationals coverage and conversation, visit Federal Baseball, SB Nation's Nats blog. For the Braves perspective, check out Talking Chop. For news and updates from the Nationals series against Atlanta, stay tuned to this StoryStream from SB Nation DC. Still not enough baseball for you? Head on over to SB Nation's MLB Hub Page, Baseball Nation, for all the latest news from all 30 MLB teams.

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Braves Vs. Nationals: Friday's Game Postponed

Michael Morse's 2012 debut will have to wait a day, as the Washington Nationals postponed their game with the Atlanta Braves due to inclement weather. The Nationals officially called the game at approximately 6:45 p.m.

There have been no announcements as far as when the game will be made up. The two teams will now open the series Saturday with a first pitch at 4:05 p.m. Neither team has revealed plans as to how the postponement will affect the starting rotations, as Stephen Strasburg was set to be the starter for Friday's game.

For more Nationals coverage and conversation, visit Federal Baseball, SB Nation's Nats blog. For the Braves perspective, check out Talking Chop. For news and updates from the Nationals series in Miami, stay tuned to this StoryStream from SB Nation DC. Still not enough baseball for you? Head on over to SB Nation's MLB Hub Page, Baseball Nation, for all the latest news from all 30 MLB teams.

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Braves Vs. Nationals Lineups: Michael Morse, Andrelton To Make Season Debut

The Washington Nationals enter a three-game series this weekend with the Atlanta Braves with a slim lead in the NL East race. They will receive some help, as slugger MIchael Morse will be playing in his first game of the season after spending two months on the disabled list. The Braves will welcome shortstop prospect Andrelton Simmons to the squad to make his MLB debut. Here are the lineups for both teams.

Atlanta Braves

Michael Bourn 8
Martin Prado 5
Brian McCann 2
Dan Uggla 4
Freddie Freeman 3
Jason Heyward 9
Andrelton Simmons 6
Mike Minor 1
Jose Constanza 7

Washington Nationals

Danny Espinosa 4
Bryce Harper 8
Ryan Zimmerman 5
Michael Morse 9
Adam LaRoche 3
Ian Desmond 6
Xavier Nady 7
Jesus Flores 2
Stephen Strasburg 1

For more Nationals coverage and conversation, visit Federal Baseball, SB Nation's Nats blog. For the Braves perspective, check out Talking Chop. For news and updates from the Nationals series in Miami, stay tuned to this StoryStream from SB Nation DC.

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Braves Vs. Nationals: Washington Clings To First Place As Atlanta Comes To Town

Stephen Strasburg takes the mound as the Nationals look to end a three-game skid with the Braves in town.

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