Washington (67-63) at Atlanta (74-56) 7:35 pm EDT


Washington (67-63) at Atlanta (74-56), 7:35 pm EDT

ATLANTA (Ticker) -- A couple of pitchers who are having
outstanding seasons duel Monday when the Washington Nationals
and Atlanta Braves open a four-game set at Turner Field.

Washington's John Patterson (8-4, 2.43 ERA) has been
consistently effective the entire season. He has not allowed
more than four earned runs in any of his 24 starts, including
three earned runs or fewer 20 times.

Patterson yielded three runs in 8 1/3 innings last Wednesday vs.
Cincinnati to improve to 4-1 with a 1.89 ERA in five starts
this month.

Atlanta counters with Jorge Sosa (9-2, 2.56), who has done a
sensational job as both a starter and reliever this year. In 13
starts - most of which have come in place of the injured Mike
Hampton - Sosa is 6-2 with a 2.66 ERA and is holding opponents
to a .233 average.

The Dominican righthander has made one start against the
Nationals this year, allowing two runs in five innings of a 5-4
win on July 28.

The Braves are coming off a successful road trip in which they
took two of three from both the Chicago Cubs and Milwaukee
Brewers. In Sunday's game at Milwaukee, Andruw Jones belted two
homers to increase his major league-leading total to 42, as
Atlanta recorded a 5-2 triumph.

The Nationals have lost six of their last nine games, including
two of three vs. St. Louis this past weekend. Washington was
shut out, 6-0, in each of the final two games of the series and
has not scored since the fifth inning of Friday's 4-1 win.