MLB

more stats

National League Preview from The Sports Network



Saturday, August 17th (All times Eastern)

Washington Nationals (59-62) at Atlanta Braves (75-47), 7:10 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: Washington - Stephen Strasburg (6-9, 2.83) Atlanta - Mike Minor (12-5, 2.87)

(Sports Network) - The Atlanta Braves can't make it easy on themselves all the time and will try to stay hot Saturday in the second portion of a three-game series versus the Washington Nationals at Turner Field.

The Braves needed 10 innings to hand Washington a 3-2 loss in Friday's series opener, as Justin Upton cracked a game-winning home run in the bottom of the 10th. Upton clubbed a solo shot to left-center field for the Braves, winners in three straight and 18 of the last 20 games.

"I didn't think it was going to be out ... but it carried enough," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said of Upton's game-winning homer.

Upton, Jason Heyward and Andrelton Simmons had two hits apiece for Atlanta.

Scott Downs picked up the win with a scoreless top of the 10th and starter Alex Wood limited the NL East-rival Nationals to a run in 6 1/3 innings with nine K's and no walks.

Atlanta is 15 1/2 games ahead of Washington for the division lead and is closing in on an NL East title, the first since 2005.

The Braves are 5-2 on a nine-game homestand and will turn to Mike Minor in Saturday's tilt with Washington. Minor is 3-0 in his last four starts and has won four of his past five decisions, including Sunday's 9-4 win over Miami in which he scattered four runs across seven innings.

Minor is 6-3 in 13 home starts and 3-2 with a 4.30 earned run average in seven career starts against the Nationals. In 24 overall starts, the left-handed Minor owns a 12-5 record to go along with a 2.87 ERA.

Washington's chances of making a playoff push are dwindling and the club has dropped consecutive games since winning five in a row. The Nationals opened a 10-game road trip in dramatic fashion on Friday, as Ian Krol served up Upton's blast in the 10th to take the loss.

Taylor Jordan's start was wasted and he held the Braves to a pair of unearned runs in six innings, while Jayson Werth provided two hits and an RBI for the Nationals, who are 9 1/2 games off a wild card berth.

"It's not easy losing, that's for sure," Werth said. "It's kind of been the story of the year for us so far. We play just good enough to lose."

Werth has posted three straight multi-hit games and six over his past eight.

Nationals young star Bryce Harper was hit by a pitch twice. Wood drilled the left-handed batter in the fourth inning and Luis Avilan beaned the All-Star in the upper part of his back during the eighth before both dugouts were issued warnings.

"I feel bad for him, especially because I don't want to hit him in that part of the body. It was a bad day for me," Avilan said. "I was thinking, 'I hope he doesn't think I hit him on purpose.' You know the situation. We were leading, 2-1. I don't want to put the (go-ahead) run at first. I feel bad. If I'm going to hit him on purpose, I'm not going to hit him almost in his head because it's dangerous."

Stephen Strasburg draws the start for the Nationals Saturday and he halted a five-start winless (0-3) drought in Sunday's 6-0 win over Philadelphia. The hard-throwing Strasburg struck out 10 batters for his first career shutout and complete game to improve to 6-9 in 23 starts with a 2.83 earned run average.

Strasburg, a right-hander, is only 1-5 in 10 road starts this season and 3-4 with a 3.43 ERA in 11 career starts against the Braves.

The Braves are 11-3 against the Nationals this season, have won the last six matchups between the clubs and recorded a three-game sweep over them last week.

08/17 10:45:24 ET

TV
  • Hoops Headquarters: Final Four Special

    Tomorrow at 7:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • CBS Sports Spectacular: NCAA March Madness Confidential

    Sunday at 5:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NCAA Basketball Tournament Championship

    Monday at 9:00 pm on WRAL-TV

Scoreboard
Local
Final
CHA 102
DET 78
7:30pm Tonight
FLA
CAR
 
Final
PHI 9
ATL 2
Final
MIN 4
BOS 4
Final
HOU 3
DET 2
Final
NYY 0
TAM 3
Final
BOS 7
TOR 9
Final
MIA 8
WAS 0
Final
NYM 4
STL 5
Final
OAK 4
ANA 1
Final
KAN 4
LOS 4
Final
CIN 0
ARI 3
Final
SEA 4
CWS 12
Final
SFG 5
CLE 2
Final
CHC 11
MIL 7
Final
CWS 2
SDP 8
Final
COL 10
TEX 4
Final
BAL 3
PIT 3
12:05pm Today
STL
NYM
 
1:05pm Today
DET
NYY
 
1:05pm Today
NYY
PIT
 
1:05pm Today
PHI
TAM
 
3:05pm Today
CIN
CLE
 
3:05pm Today
SDP
MIL
 
3:10pm Today
ARI
CWS
 
6:05pm Tonight
ATL
BAL
 
7:05pm Tonight
MIN
BOS
 
7:05pm Tonight
CCH
HOU
 
10:05pm Tonight
ANA
LOS
 
10:15pm Tonight
SFG
OAK
 
Final
CHA 102
DET 78
Final
WAS 106
PHI 93
Final
ORL 91
SAN 103
Final
NYK 98
BRK 100
Final
BOS 100
IND 87
Final
MIL 95
CHI 91
Final
OKC 131
DAL 135
Final
HOU 115
SAC 111
Final
MIN 99
TOR 113
Final
UTA 98
DEN 84
Final
POR 122
LAC 126
Final
LAL 92
NOP 113
8:00pm Tonight
CLE
MIA
 
8:30pm Tonight
DAL
HOU
 
10:30pm Tonight
GSW
PHO
 
Final
LAMON 62
LOYC 63
7:00pm Tonight
EVAN
NARZ
 
9:00pm Tonight
MIAMI
STAN
 
Final
BUF 4
TOR 3
Final
PIT 1
PHI 4
Final
ANA 5
EDM 1
Final
SJS 5
COL 1
7:00pm Tonight
CLB
NYI
 
7:30pm Tonight
DET
BOS
 
7:30pm Tonight
FLA
CAR
 
7:30pm Tonight
OTT
TAM
 
7:30pm Tonight
MON
WAS
 
8:00pm Tonight
STL
CAL
 
8:00pm Tonight
MIN
NYR
 
8:30pm Tonight
CHI
VAN
 
10:30pm Tonight
LOS
EDM