Braves 6, Nationals 1

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WASHINGTON (AP)—Andruw Jones’ sixth-inning home run Monday night helped him pass a legendary name in Atlanta Braves history. More importantly to the slugging outfielder, the drive helped keep his team’s faint playoff hopes alive.

Jones hit a tiebreaking, two-run homer and Kyle Davies won for the first time since April 30 to lead Atlanta over the Washington Nationals 6-1.

Jones’ shot off Tony Armas (8-12) was the 336th of his career, moving him past Hall of Famer Hank Aaron for third place in club history since the team moved from Milwaukee in 1966. Dale Murphy holds the Atlanta record with 371, and Chipper Jones has 354.

“It’s always good (to set) records. When you’re passing a legend like Hank Aaron, your name just goes in the record book,” Andruw Jones said. “After that, we’re just trying to win games and go out there and have fun.”

Daryle Ward added a pinch-hit, three-run homer in the eighth inning in his first appearance against the Nationals since they traded him to the Braves on Aug. 31. Andruw Jones also doubled and scored three runs for Atlanta.

Davies allowed one run and four hits, struck out five and walked two in five-plus innings. Davies had been 0-3 with a 14.40 ERA in three starts since returning from the disabled list on Sept. 1 after being sidelined since May 17 with a torn groin.

He worked out of a bases loaded jam in the fourth when he got Melvin Dorta to pop out.

Davies was checked by the team trainer during the fifth inning, when he felt a pop in his surgically repaired groin, but he stayed in the game after a few warmup pitches. He was removed in the sixth after allowing a leadoff single.

“It loosened up a lot, so maybe it is a good thing,” Davies said. “They said that would happen (when) you tear some adhesions and stuff. It was kind of a good feeling afterward. It didn’t burn, didn’t hurt, just kind of released some of the tension that was down there.”

Oscar Villareal, Macay McBride and Chad Paronto combined for four scoreless innings of relief after Davies left.

Armas fell to 0-4 in his last six starts. He allowed three runs, six hits and three walks while striking out four over 6 2-3 innings.

With none out in the sixth, Andruw Jones hit a 2-2 pitch into the mezzanine section in left field, scoring Adam LaRoche, who had led off with a single.

“I was making my pitches, and I hung one,” Armas said. “He won the battle. He’s a good hitter and you can’t make mistakes with him.”

The Braves scored their first run in the second inning when Willy Aybar’s two-out single scored Andruw Jones, who had led off the inning with a double.

The Nationals answered in the bottom half when Jose Vidro singled, moved to third on Robert Fick’s single and scored on Nook Logan’s sacrifice fly.

Washington loaded the bases with two outs in the seventh inning but Villareal struck out Felipe Lopez to end the threat.

Ward put the game out of reach when he homered on an 0-2 pitch from reliever Brett Campbell in the eighth. It was Ward’s first home run since he was acquired by the Braves.

“I was happy that I was able to get the job done,” Ward said. “There’s always going to be some sense of revenge. You can’t lie about that or hold it back. You do want to put it to them, and to get a hit like that is a point on my side.”

Notes

Slumping 3B Ryan Zimmerman was given the day off, his first since Aug. 23 and fifth this season. The Nationals’ rookie is 12-for-55 in his last 13 games. … Nationals C Brian Schneider sat for the second straight game with a sore groin and is listed as day to day. He is in the midst of a 10-game hitting streak that has raised his average to a season-high .251. … Monday’s game was a make-up of a rainout from April 22. … Andruw Jones snapped an 0-for-9 skid with his second-inning single. … Aaron hit 398 of his record 755 home runs while the Braves were in Milwaukee. … Armas had his longest outing since going seven innings on Aug. 13 against the New York Mets. … Logan reached on a bunt single in the seventh inning. He has six bunt singles in 17 games since being acquired from Detroit on Sept. 1. … Ward has nine career pinch-hit home runs, including four this season, which ties Cincinnati’s Javier Valentin for the major league lead. Ward leads the majors with 18 pinch hits.

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