ATLANTA (AP) -- Rookie Jarrod Saltalamacchia homered twice and
slumping Andruw Jones went deep for the first time in two and a
half weeks, backing up seven strong innings from Buddy Carlyle that
sent the Atlanta Braves past the Washington Nationals 6-to-2
Saltalamacchia hit solo shots in the third and fifth innings,
the first multihomer game for the rookie. But the most encouraging
swing for the Braves came later in the fifth.
Jones was mired in a 1-for-31 slump that had knocked his average
below .200. In fact, he had gone 53 at-bats without managing even
an extra-base hit since his last homer: June 9th off Jason Marquis
of the Chicago Cubs.
With two outs and two runners aboard, Jones got hold of a 3-1
pitch from Mike Bacsik (1-5). The hitter's back foot literally came
off the ground as he ripped into the pitch, a reminder of the form
that produced 92 homers over the last two seasons.
Jones leisurely tossed his bat aside as he watched the three-run
shot sail into the left-field seats for his 12th homer this season.
Carlyle (2-2) was coming off a dismal outing against the Boston
Red Sox, and this one didn't start much better. The Nationals
strung together three straight hits in the first, but the last of
those got Atlanta out of the inning.
Felipe Lopez attempted to score on Dmitri Young's sharp single
to left, only to get thrown out at the home by Matt Diaz. After
blocking the plate and tagging out Lopez, catcher Brian McCann
spotted Ryan Zimmerman trying to sneak from second to third. He,
too, was thrown out to end the inning with a most unusual double