Washington (60-84) at Atlanta (83-62)

Partly Cloudy Currently: Atlanta, GA, US
Temp: 84° F
  • Game info: 7:10 pm EDT Tue Sep 14, 2010
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Prior to his last outing, Jair Jurrjens(notes) had not lost at home in more than a year. A matchup with the lowly Washington Nationals could help him get back on track at Turner Field.

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 same could be said of second baseman Omar Infante(notes), batting .371 in his last 31 games. Infante is hitting .353 against Washington this season, and is 4 for 13 lifetime against Hernandez.

Fellow infielder Martin Prado(notes) is 9 for 16 with six doubles off the Nationals starter.

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.

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Starting Pitchers

L. Hernandez MIL vs. J. Jurrjens COL
10-12 Record 7-6
3.66 ERA 4.64
114 K 86
64 BB 42
1.32 WHIP 1.39


Tuesday, Sep 14