The Washington Nationals scored five unanswered runs to salvage a split of Saturday’s doubleheader. On Sunday, they’ll try to even the four-game series when they conclude their set against the visiting Atlanta Braves. Rookie Bryce Harper, who exited Saturday’s first game with a bruised ankle, returned in the nightcap and put the fans at ease by stealing a base and scoring a run in the 5-2 victory.
The victory in the nightcap snapped Washington’s three-game skid – and prevented second-place Atlanta from gaining even more ground in the National League East. The Nationals, who dropped a 4-0 decision in the opener, maintained their 2 1/2-game lead in the division. The Braves fell for just the third time in 10 contests.
Braves Nationals Betting
When: 1:35 PM ET, Sunday, July 22, 2012
Where: Nationals Park, Washington, District of Columbia
TV: 1:35 p.m. ET, FSS (Atlanta), MASN (Washington)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Braves RH Jair Jurrjens (3-3, 6.20 ERA) vs. Nationals LH Ross Detwiler (4-3, 3.15)
Jurrjens saw his three-game winning streak come to an emphatic end in his last outing. The 26-year-old yielded eight runs on as many hits in 3 1/3 innings in a 9-0 loss to San Francisco on Tuesday. Jurrjens has posted a 3-4 career mark with a 4.67 ERA versus the Nationals, but has yet to face them this season.
Detwiler was brilliant in his last trip to the mound, scattering five hits over seven scoreless innings. Unfortunately for the 26-year-old, he didn’t walk away with the win on Tuesday as Washington’s offense was late to the party. Detwiler yielded four runs on five hits in 6 2/3 innings, but also settled for a no-decision against Atlanta earlier this season.
1. Struggling Nationals closer Tyler Clippard took a step in the right direction on Saturday. After failing to secure two of his last three save opportunities, Clippard recorded his 16th save in the nightcap.
2. Atlanta’s Dan Uggla had a forgettable day on Saturday, going 0-for-6 with four strikeouts. He is 0-for-6 in his career versus Detwiler.
3. Washington OF Jayson Werth went 1-for-3 with an RBI single in his first rehab assignment with Class A Potomac. Werth has been sidelined with broken left wrist after diving for a ball against his former team, Philadelphia.