Washington (37-61) at Atlanta (46-51)

Mostly Cloudy Currently: Atlanta, GA
Temp: 54° F
  • Game info: 1:35 pm EDT Sun Jul 20, 2008
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Major league batting leader Chipper Jones has excelled against the Atlanta Braves’ NL East rivals, except surprisingly not so much against the lowly Washington Nationals.

Jones looks to get untracked Sunday when the Braves and Nationals finish their three-game set at Turner Field.

The Braves All-Star third baseman is enjoying a banner year, hitting .374 with a team-high 57 runs and 18 homers. Jones has done plenty of damage within the NL East, batting .482 (40-for-83) combined against Philadelphia, the New York Mets and Florida.

Last-place Washington (37-61), though, has limited Jones to a .289 average (11-for-38). He’s 2-for-7 in this series and 4-for-21 in his last five games against the Nationals, who have won four of those to take a 6-4 lead in the season series.

Jones had a single in four at-bats as Atlanta (46-51) lost 8-2 on Saturday. Washington All-Star shortstop Cristian Guzman had two hits and three RBIs and center fielder Willie Harris added three hits and scored three times.

Harris, a former Brave and Georgia native, is hitting .353 (24-for-68) in his last 22 games.

“He is playing tremendous for us in the leadoff hole,” Washington manager Manny Acta said. “And he can flat out play center field.”

The Nationals are last in the majors with 364 runs and placed first baseman Dmitri Young on the 15-day disabled list Saturday when he missed his second straight start after complaining of having high blood sugar and feeling lightheaded due to diabetes.

Paul Lo Duca has started at first base in both games of this series and is 3-for-10 with four RBIs.

Atlanta remains without shortstop Yunel Escobar, who has been out since July 9 with a left shoulder strain and could be headed to the disabled list Monday when reliever Rafael Soriano is expected to be activated.

The Braves have lost 10 of their last 16 games.

Odalis Perez (2-7, 3.71 ERA) looks for his first win since May 28 for Washington. Perez is 0-3 in his last five starts despite a 2.42 ERA in that span.

The veteran left-hander turned in another solid outing last Sunday against Houston, giving up three runs over six innings in a 5-0 loss.

Perez is 1-3 with a 4.95 ERA in seven career starts against the Braves, who he began his career with in 1998. Jones is 7-for-19 (.368) lifetime against Perez.

Jo-Jo Reyes (3-8, 4.40), meanwhile, has lost four straight starts for Atlanta, pitching past the fifth inning just once while posting a 5.60 ERA during that stretch. He lasted four innings in his final outing before the All-Star break on July 11 and gave up two runs in a 4-0 loss at San Diego.

The left-hander, who is 2-4 with a 6.16 ERA in eight starts at home this season, has never faced the Nationals.

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Starting Pitchers

O. Perez Was vs. J. Reyes Pit
7-12 Record 3-11
4.34 ERA 5.81
119 K 78
55 BB 52
1.48 WHIP 1.65

Scoreboard

Sunday, Jul 20