Nationals Vs. Braves: Wilson Ramos Rams One Into Stands For 5-2 Nationals Win

In almost an opposite peformance of Friday night's debacle the Nationals got the hits and the pitching to pull out a 5-2 victory over the Atlanta Braves and return to .500.

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Nationals Vs. Braves Final: Nationals Bring It To Braves In 5-2 Victory

On Friday night the Atlanta Braves celebrated their 10,000th franchise victory against the Washington Nationals. On Saturday night the mood is a little more somber in Atlanta as the Nationals celebrated the Braves 9,993rd franchise loss. The Nationals cooled off the Braves with a 5-2 victory at Turner Field.

In the top of the sixth inning with the Nationals clinging to a 3-2 lead, catcher Wilson Ramos delivered a two-run bomb over the left centerfield wall at least 10 rows up into the stands to give the Nats a 5-2 lead which they kept. Closer Drew Storen earned his 24th save of the season.

Starter John Lannan, coming off a start where he suffered a nasal contusion due to be hit in the face by a line drive, pitched well enough to earn his sixth win of the season. He ultimately went five innings giving up two runs on five hits, walking four and striking out four. It was impressive performance considering the injury and scare he sustained over a week ago.

With the victory the Nationals return to .500 with a record of 47-47.

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Nationals Vs. Braves Score: Nationals Hanging On 3-2 Against Braves

The Washington Nationals are hanging on to a slim 3-2 lead going into the sixth inning much in part to their starting pitcher. John Lannan has pitched five innings giving up two runs on two hits while walking four and striking out three.

Lannan also has been getting the job done with the bat. In the second inning Lannan hit a two run single to score center fielder Rick Ankiel and catcher Wilson Ramos for his first hit of the 2011 season. The southpaw also broke a 0-for-32 streak. Earlier in the inning Ramos hit a ground rule double to score first baseman Michael Morse.

The only dark spot to Lannan's performance Saturday night so far has been a two-run home run from the Atlanta Braves Alex Gonzalez. Atlanta is a strong team that can wreck plenty of havoc fast so the Nationals need to keep on their NL East rivals and not take their cleats off their necks.

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Nationals Vs. Braves: Washington Looks To Strike Back Against Atlanta After Blowout

The Washington Nationals will look to redeem themselves Saturday night against the red hot Atlanta Braves after suffering an embarrassing 11-1 blowout in their first game back from the All-Star Break on Friday. Nothing seemed to work for Washington as pitching, offense and bullpen all had massive breakdowns while the team committed a horrid five errors in the game.

Southpaw John Lannan (5-6, 3.64 ERA) will be taken to the task of getting the Nationals back on the right track. It is Lannan's first game back on the mound after getting hit in the face by a line drive hit by Colorado Rockies player Ty Wigginton during his last start. Lannan miraculously escaped with just a nasal contusion.

"I feel great," Lannan said. "I'm not thinking too much about [injury]. I'm more mad about the pitch sequence that I threw to [Wiggington]. It's not going to be a thought. I'm going to trust my pitches. I'm going to go out there like a regular game."

While Saturday's game is a "regular game" it might not exactly feel like it as both the team and the fans have begun to use it as a sort of gauge of how far off the Nationals might be from contending in the NL East. If Friday's bad luck and bad play continue, then it might mean the Nats are a bit farther off than they think. Lannan will be opposed by Braves pitcher Tommy Hanson (10-4, 2.44 ERA).

Nationals Line-Up

Roger Bernadina LF

Danny Espinosa 2B

Ryan Zimmerman 3B

Michael Morse 1B

Jayson Werth RF

Rick Ankiel CF

Wilson Ramos C

Ian Desmond SS

John Lannan R

Braves Line-Up

Jordan Schafer CF

Martin Prado 3B

Brian McCann C

Freddie Freeman 1B

Dan Uggla 2B

Jason Heyward RF

Alex Gonzalez SS

Wilkin Ramirez LF

Tommy Hanson P

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