Jurrjens takes the mound Tuesday when the Atlanta Braves try to hand the Nationals their season-high seventh straight loss.
After going 8-0 with a 1.87 ERA in his previous 11 home starts, Jurrjens (7-5, 4.53 ERA) was tagged for seven runs and 10 hits over 3 2-3 innings of Thursday’s 11-4 loss to St. Louis. It was his first defeat in eight outings overall and first at Turner Field since Sept. 5, 2009.
“Everything I threw was up,” said Jurrjens, who fell to 6-1 with a 3.17 ERA in nine home starts in 2010. “… It seemed like I was throwing batting practice the whole game.”
Still one game behind NL East leader Philadelphia, the wild card-leading Braves (83-62) will look for a better outing from Jurrjens, who is 3-0 with a 2.03 ERA in his last five starts versus Washington.
He’ll face a Nationals club hitting .186 and scoring 1.7 runs per game during its six-game losing streak. Washington struck out 15 times in Monday’s 4-0 loss, with veteran Braves starter Derek Lowe(notes) recording a career-high 12 strikeouts.
“Our hitters to a man said that was the best they’ve seen him,” said Nationals manager Jim Riggleman, whose team hasn’t dropped seven straight since an eight-game skid Aug. 28-Sept. 5, 2009.
Washington (60-84), a season-worst 24 games below .500, will try to rebound with Livan Hernandez(notes) (9-11, 3.82) on the hill seeking to avoid his own third straight loss. The veteran right-hander yielded three runs in 6 1-3 innings of Wednesday’s 3-2 loss to the New York Mets.
Hernandez is one victory shy of reaching double digits in wins for the 11th time in 15 seasons, but is 6-16 with a 5.18 ERA in 30 career starts against Atlanta.
Braves center fielder Nate McLouth(notes) is only 2 for 15 with five strikeouts versus Hernandez, but is batting .409 (9 for 21) with two homers and eight RBIs during his current seven-game hitting streak.
“I’m feeling good,” McLouth said. “A lot of things are coming together.”
The Braves are a major league-best 52-21 at home and have won or tied their last 20 series at Turner Field. Washington has dropped five of seven at Atlanta this season, averaging 2.6 runs in those games.