Final

Series: Game 1 of 4

Atlanta leads 1-0 (as of 9/4)

Game 1: Thursday, September 4
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Atlanta2
Game 2: Friday, September 5
Washington5Final
Atlanta10
Game 3: Saturday, September 6
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in 10
Atlanta5
Game 4: Sunday, September 7
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in 14
Atlanta4

Nationals 0

(54-87, 23-47 away)

Braves 2

(61-80, 37-32 home)

    7:00 PM ET, September 4, 2008

    Turner Field, Atlanta, Georgia 

    123456789 R H E
    WAS 000000000 0 5 1
    ATL 00110000 - 2 5 0

    W: J. Parr (1-0)

    L: S. Martis (0-1)

    S: M. Gonzalez (9)

    Parr tosses six shutout innings as Braves blank Nationals

    Associated Press

    ATLANTA -- James Parr pitched well in his last three starts with Triple-A Richmond and carried it over to his major league debut Thursday night.

    Parr tossed six sharp innings and combined with three relievers for a five-hitter, leading the Atlanta Braves to a 2-0 victory over the Washington Nationals.

    Parr (1-0) surrendered just two hits -- both to Ronnie Belliard -- walked three and struck out three. The 22-year-old right-hander didn't allow a runner past second base.

    Fast Facts

    •  James Parr won in his MLB debut, tossing six shutout innings in the Braves' 2-0 defeat of the Nationals.

    •  A Brian McCann sacrifice fly and a Gregor Blanco RBI groundout accounted for all the scoring in the game.

    •  The shutout marks the 21st time this season the Nats have been blanked, the most since the 1978 Braves were shut out 24 times.

    -- ESPN Research

    "What a night he had," Atlanta manager Bobby Cox said. "He's sneaky quick. He doesn't light up the radar gun, but he's got a little looping curve and a changeup. I was impressed. It's a great way to break in."

    Parr, who was promoted on Tuesday, went 5-3 with a 3.23 ERA with Richmond, going 3-0 with a 0.96 ERA in his last three starts.

    "I didn't want to change anything," Parr said. "I just pitched the way I had been."

    Parr had his parents, girlfriend and other relatives and friends on hand for his impressive debut. He threw 60 of his 101 pitches for strikes, and was never clocked at more than 88 mph.

    "I was a little nervous, just uncomfortable early," he said. "It was very uncharacteristic of me to walk three guys [all in the first three innings]. I struggled early, then turned it around later."

    Jeff Bennett worked the seventh, Julian Tavarez pitched the eighth and Mike Gonzalez got three outs to complete Atlanta's seventh shutout of the season. Gonzalez struck out the side after Ryan Zimmerman's leadoff double.

    Gonzalez has converted all nine of his save opportunities this season and 39 straight overall, the longest current streak in the major leagues, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. He has not blown a save since June 25, 2004, for Pittsburgh at Cincinnati.

    Shairon Martis (0-1) also pitched well for Washington in his major league debut, allowing two runs and four hits in five innings. He walked five and struck out two.

    "I think I did pretty well. Five innings. I'm happy with it," said Martis, who pitched for the Netherlands in the Olympics. "It was exciting. After the first inning, I was feeling more comfortable."

    Brian McCann hit a sacrifice fly in the third and Gregor Blanco drove in Casey Kotchman with a fielder's choice in the fourth.

    The Braves won for only the sixth time in 24 games and ended Washington's five-game winning streak in the season series. The Nationals, mired in last in the NL East, had won eight of nine.

    Washington has won 10 of 15 against Atlanta this season.

    Game notes


    Washington 1B Belliard left for a pinch runner after straining his right groin running out an infield hit in the seventh. He went 3-for-3. "I hurt it right then, as I was running to first base," he said. "It hurts." There was no timetable for his return. "He may be down for the year," manager Manny Acta said. "We'll have an MRI tomorrow morning." ... Nationals SS Christian Guzman had his franchise single-season record of eight straight multihit games end. He went 0-for-3 with three strikeouts. ... Washington RHP Shawn Hill will undergo arthroscopic surgery on his right elbow Friday in Pensacola, Fla. Hill was 1-5 with a 5.83 ERA in 12 games. ... Braves 3B Chipper Jones started after missing two games with a twisted right knee he hurt during infield practice on Tuesday. He went 1-for-1 with three walks and is batting .359, one point behind Albert Pujols for the NL lead. ... Atlanta SS Yunel Escobar did not play. He left Wednesday's game when he re-injured his left shoulder. ... Kotchman made his first start since going on the bereavement list on Aug. 20 to be with his ill mother. She was released from the hospital on Thursday.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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