Washington (34-44) at Atlanta (45-33)

Mostly Cloudy Currently: Atlanta, GA
Temp: 68° F
  • Game info: 7:10 pm EDT Wed Jun 30, 2010
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The Atlanta Braves haven’t lost consecutive games at home in more than two months.

The Washington Nationals haven’t won two road games in a row since the middle of May.

Washington will seek to end both of those streaks Wednesday when the teams conclude their three-game set at Turner Field.

The NL East-leading Braves (45-33) are a league-best 27-9 at home, where they haven’t lost a series since losing the final two of a three-game set to Philadelphia from April 20-22 - also the last time they dropped consecutive games at home.

Atlanta won this series’ opener 5-0, but managed just five hits Tuesday in a 7-2 loss to Washington (34-44).

Playing its first game since rookie Jason Heyward(notes) went on the disabled list with a deep bruise in his left thumb, Atlanta was ineffective against Nationals right-hander Craig Stammen(notes), who allowed two runs in 7 1-3 innings after being called up from Triple-A Syracuse.

Chipper Jones(notes), Brian McCann(notes), Troy Glaus(notes) and Eric Hinske(notes) combined to go hitless in 16 at-bats as Washington snapped a five-game overall slide and a season-high seven-game road losing streak.

“(Stammen) very rarely missed up,” McCann said. “He was ahead in the count and used all his pitches. He pitched a great game and you move on.”

Atlanta, which has lost five of six at home to Washington, will try to bounce back with Jair Jurrjens(notes) (0-3, 6.38 ERA) expected to make his first start since April 29. The right-hander has been on the disabled list due to a strained left hamstring since then.

Jurrjens, 2-1 with a 2.98 ERA in seven starts against Washington, is looking for his first victory since Sept 28 against Florida.

Nationals right-hander J.D. Martin(notes) (0-3, 3.03) has waited even longer since his last win, going 0-3 with a 3.83 ERA since beating the New York Mets last Sept. 18.

Martin was staked to a 6-0 lead Friday at Baltimore, but allowed three unearned runs in the fifth following two errors by shortstop Ian Desmond(notes). Manager Jim Riggleman pulled him after 4 2/3 innings of the eventual 7-6 loss.

“It got a little rough for me in the fifth. I wasn’t very good,” Martin told the Nationals’ official website. “The curveball felt OK. I was just leaving it up. Fastball location (wasn’t good) - I was leaving the ball over the plate. Fortunately for me, I got away with a lot of pitches.”

This will be Martin’s second start against Atlanta. He yielded one run over six innings of a 2-1, 15-inning loss at Turner Field on Oct. 4.

Martin should be careful against Braves second baseman Martin Prado(notes), who is batting a major league-best .393 at home after going 2 for 3 with an RBI triple and a double Tuesday.

Turner Field has not been Josh Willingham’s(notes) favorite park, but the Nationals left fielder looked right at home Tuesday, going 2 for 5 with a two-run homer. Willingham had been batting .131 in his previous 31 games in Atlanta.

Washington hasn’t won consecutive road games since May 12 and 13 against New York and Colorado. The Nationals have since dropped 21 of 26 away from the nation’s capital.

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Starting Pitchers

J. Martin CWS vs. J. Jurrjens Col
1-5 Record 7-6
4.13 ERA 4.64
31 K 86
11 BB 42
1.40 WHIP 1.39


Wednesday, Jun 30