(Sports Network) - The Nationals got a boost on Tuesday with a new addition to their rotation. The Atlanta Braves hope for the same tonight when Jair Jurrjens comes off the disabled list to start the rubber match of a three-game series versus Washington at Turner Field.
Jurrjens hasn't started since April 29 due to a strained left hamstring. The 24-year-old went 14-10 with a 2.60 earned run average in 34 starts last year, but was just 0-3 with a 6.38 ERA in five starts prior to his injury. Jurrjens gave up four runs in six innings in his third and final rehab start with Triple-A Gwinnett last Thursday.
"[Thursday's rehab start] was an improvement from the first two for sure," Jurrjens told Atlanta's website. "I feel ready to help this team out, and I'm just going to wait for the decision and hope I can be up here soon."
Manager Bobby Cox's decision is to go with Jurrjens tonight and shift Kenshin Kawakami to the bullpen rather than Kris Medlen, who originally replaced Jurrjens in the rotation. Kawakami earns the demotion after going 1-9 with a 4.48 ERA in 15 starts this year, with that first victory coming this past Saturday versus the Tigers.
The right-handed Jurrjens, meanwhile, is 2-1 with a 2.98 ERA in seven career starts versus the Nationals.
Behind seven strong innings from Tim Hudson, the Braves took Monday's opener, 5-0, over the Nationals and phenom Stephen Strasburg, but Derek Lowe wasn't nearly as effective in last night's contest. The right-hander yielded four runs and eight hits over 5 2/3 innings in a 7-2 setback, National League East- leading Atlanta's fifth in eight games.
"I wasn't as sharp as I would have liked," Lowe said. "I got into a lot of deep counts. You have to give them credit."
Atlanta's loss was also only its third setback in its last 20 contests at home, where it hasn't lost a series since dropping two of three to Philadelphia on April 20-22.
Martin Prado and Gregor Blanco both had two hits, while Chipper Jones went 0- for-4 to snap his hitting streak at 11 straight games.
Making his first start since June 6, Craig Stammen pitched 7 1/3 innings for Washington to win for the first time since April 19. His two-run, five-hit performance snapped the Nationals' five-game losing streak and was just their third victory in 14 games, as well as just their second in their last 14 road contests.
"I had some things I needed to prove and tonight was a good night for me," Stammen said. "I had some good games when I went down to Triple-A so my confidence was pretty good. It was just a matter of executing and for the most part I did that tonight."
Alberto Gonzalez went 4-for-4 with an RBI and Josh Willingham belted a two-run homer for the Nationals, who have won seven of their last nine versus the Braves, including three of five this season.
Washington starter J.D. Martin seeks his first victory of the season as he is 0-3 with a 3.03 ERA in five starts since joining the rotation on May 29. He got a no-decision on Friday versus the Orioles, allowing three unearned runs on six hits over 4 1/3 innings after losing back-to-back starts.
The right-hander, who went 5-4 with a 4.44 ERA in 15 starts a season ago, faced the Braves for the first and only other time on Oct. 4, with the 27- year-old yielding a run on six hits over six innings of a no-decision.