Nats Strike Out Early and Often, Lose to Braves 6-3


Apr 12, 2014; Atlanta, GA, USA; Washington Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond (20) avoids the tag by Atlanta Braves catcher Evan Gattis (24) after striking out in the third inning at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

When the Nationals look to avoid a sweep in Atlanta tomorrow, not spotting the Braves four first inning runs will be a good place to start. The Nationals fell behind early, stranded eleven runners on base, and lost 6-3.

Starting against one another for the second time in less than a week, Nationals Taylor Jordan (0-1) struggled early against the Atlanta bats while Braves Alex Wood (2-1) allowed one run in five innings of work. Neither starter was particularly sharp, but Wood pitched out of enough trouble to record the win.

Anthony Rendon led off the game with his second home run of the year, but the Braves countered in the bottom of the first with four runs of their own. The Braves added a run in the fifth to take a 5-1 lead. The Nationals scored once in the sixth and again in the eighth, but unlike Friday, they could not capitalize on their scoring opportunities. Freddie Freeman finished off the Braves scoring with a home run in the eighth. Craig Kimbrel closed out a perfect ninth for his fifth save.

The Nats squandered multiple chances, recording eleven hits and five walks against Braves pitchers, but they never got the big hit when they needed it. The Nats struck out fourteen times on the night with first baseman Adam LaRoche recording the dreaded golden sombrero, striking out four times in five at bats.

On a positive note, Blake Treinen made his Major League debut for the Nats, relieving Jordan and pitching two innings, striking out one. Treinen threw in the high 90s with good movement and a sharp slider.

After going hitless on Friday for the first time in his past 11 games, dating back to last year, Rendon recorded his sixth multi-hit game of the season.
The Nationals are now 7-21 in their last 28 games against the Braves, 1-4 in ’14. Sunday, the Nationals look to avoid the sweep with starter Gio Gonzalez (2-0) going against Aaron Harang (1-1).