ATLANTA (AP) -- Washington's collection of former Atlanta players overpowered the Braves.
Willie Harris and Ryan Langerhans combined for five hits and five runs, John Lannan won his rookie matchup against Jair Jurrjens and the Nationals rolled past the Braves, 8-2 on Saturday night.Harris, a part-time starter for Atlanta last season, had three hits, two RBIs, a stolen base and scored three runs. He has five hits in the first two games of the series."There is no explanation for it," Harris said. "I'm just seeing the ball well. It's definitely good to get those hits but it's no different from playing anybody else."Harris, who spent most of his time with the Braves in left field because Andruw Jones was in center, is starting in center field for the Nationals. Harris made a diving catch of a line drive by Gregor Blanco to end the game."[Jones] was my teacher," Harris said. "I learned a lot from Andruw."Harris is hitting .353 (24-for-68) in his last 22 games."He is playing tremendous for us in the leadoff hole," Washington manager Manny Acta said. "And he can flat out play center field."Harris and Cristian Guzman drove in runs with triples. Guzman was 2-for-4 with three RBIs.Langerhans, another former Braves outfielder, was 2-for-3 with two doubles and two runs scored, giving him four hits in the first two games of the series.Former Braves catcher Johnny Estrada also started and was 1-for-4.Washington ended a six-game road losing streak with only its second win in its last 12 road games.Lannan (6-9) gave up one run on seven hits in six innings to earn his second straight win, another strong road start.Lannan lowered his road ERA to 2.44. Four of his six wins have come on the road.Greg Norton hit a ninth-inning home run off Nationals closer Jon Rauch.The Braves left the bases loaded in the fourth and fifth innings. They scored their first run in the fifth. Jurrjens, who walked with one out, scored on Chipper Jones' single.Brian McCann lined out to right field to end the fifth, and Norton left the bases loaded in the fourth with a long fly to center."We can't hit the ball any better with men on," Braves manager Bobby Cox said. "If they're at people and they run 'em down, that's the game of baseball."Lannan said he wasn't trying to change his approach with the bases loaded."I was trying to attack them with my fastball and not get too pretty," Lannan said.Jurrjens (9-5), allowed eight hits and five runs in 6 1/3 innings.Jurrjens said he was rusty after the All-Star break but added "that's just excuses.""I didn't have my great stuff today and I didn't make my pitches when I needed to make pitches," he said. "They hit balls right in the perfect spot."Harris started a three-run third inning off Jurrjens with a single. Harris stole second and scored on Paul Lo Duca's double to right. Guzman followed with a triple to right to drive in Lo Duca. Guzman scored on Austin Kearns' fly to right for a 3-0 lead.Jurrjens retired 11 of 12 batters before leaving the game in the Nationals' two-run seventh. Langerhans led off with a double and scored on the triple to right by Harris, knocking Jurrjens out of the game. Guzman added a run-scoring single off Buddy Carlyle.Washington padded its lead with three runs off Royce Ring in the eighth. Harris drove in Langerhans with his third hit, a single. Lo Duca and Guzman added run-scoring singles.
RHP Rafael Soriano, who has been on the disabled list since June 6 with a sore right elbow, threw in the bullpen before the game and is expected to be activated on Monday, according to Braves general manager Frank Wren. ... 1B Dmitri Young, a diabetic, was placed on the disabled list after missing his second straight game with high blood sugar, difficulty focusing and dizziness. The Nationals will activate 3B Ryan Zimmerman, who will join the team on Tuesday in San Francisco. ... Rauch pitched the ninth inning for the Nationals after missing Friday night's game due to what Acta called "family issues."