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Free-falling Braves

Atlanta drops its 5th consecutive game

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Free-falling Braves

Atlanta Braves center fielder Michael Bourn (24) and left fielder Matt Diaz (23) cannot reach a ball hit for a two-RBI triple by Washington Nationals' Rick Ankiel in the first inning of a baseball game Friday night in Atlanta. The Nationals won, 7-4.

    ATLANTA — Rick Ankiel hit a two-run triple in Washington's four-run first inning, Ryan Zimmerman padded the lead with a three-run double in the seventh and the first-place Nationals beat the slumping Atlanta Braves, 7-4, on Friday night.
    Right-hander Chien-Ming Wang (1-0) won in his season debut. He gave up one run in three innings after taking over for Ross Detwiler in the fifth.
    The Nationals moved two games ahead of Atlanta in the NL East.
    Ian Desmond had a two-run single in the Nationals' first inning. The Braves cut the lead to 4-3 before Zimmerman's bases-loaded double off Tim Hudson in the seventh.
    Jason Heyward homered in the eighth, Martin Prado had two doubles and a triple and Matt Diaz drove in three runs with two hits for the Braves. Atlanta has lost five straight, its longest streak of the season.
    Wang entered the game after Prado doubled and Detwiler walked Dan Uggla with one out. Wang gave up a two-run double to Diaz, who was thrown out going for a triple.
    Wang allowed three hits and one run, on Heyward's homer, in three innings.
    The Nationals took a 4-0 lead off Hudson (3-2) in the first. Desmond's bouncing single up the middle drove in Bryce Harper, who singled, and Zimmerman, who doubled. Hudson hit Danny Espinosa with a pitch before giving up Ankiel's two-run triple to left-center.
    Hudson recovered with five scoreless innings. He retired the first two batters in the seventh before walking Wang, giving up a double to Steve Lombardozzi and a walk to Harper. Zimmerman's three-run double to center field gave the Nationals a 7-3 lead and knocked Hudson out of the game.
    Hudson gave up a season-high seven earned runs on eight hits and two walks in 6 2/3 innings.

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