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Nationals Vs. Braves: In Up And Down Battle, Atlanta Leads Washington 7-6 After Five Innings

Sunday afternoon's game began ugly, with starter Tom Gorzelanny giving up two runs in the first inning on three walks, one hit and a wild pitch, but the Nationals rebounded nicely to take a 6-2 lead into the bottom of the fifth inning. Unfortunately, the Braves bats exploded against Nats relievers Henry Rodriguez and Sean Burnett, and Washington now trails 7-6 after a five run Atlanta fifth.

Nationals starter Gorzelanny only lasted two innings, as he injured himself scoring on a Roger Bernadina triple in the second. Gorzelanny left the game with what is being described as a sprained right ankle. Henry Rodriguez relieved Gorzelanny, and was effective in the third and fourth innings, before having the wheels come off in the fifth. Sean Burnett relieved Rodriguez, and much to the chagrin of Washington skipper Davey Johnson, gave up a three run home run to his first batter, Braves catcher Brian McCann.

The Nationals bats, led by leadoff hitter Roger Bernadina, roughed up Braves starter Jair Jurrjens, the National League's leader in wins and ERA entering the game. Jurrjens allowed six runs on eight hits in his five innings of work. It was his worst start of the year, trumping a June 14th loss to the New York Mets in which he allowed four earned runs in five innings pitched. The Braves young ace entered the day with a 1.87 ERA, but after being battered by the Washington lineup, he left with that figure registering at 2.26.

Bernandina is two for two on the day, with a triple, single, two runs scored and two stolen bases. The Nationals scored four runs in the fourth inning off of Jurrjens, with Ian Desmond, Ryan Zimmerman and Danny Espinosa all driving in Nats runners.