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Braves turn up the heat in 13-0 win over Nationals

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Posted: June 27, 2007 11:05 p.m.
Updated: July 12, 2007 5:00 a.m.

    ATLANTA — Chipper Jones drove in four runs to back a strong start from John Smoltz, helping the Atlanta Braves beat Washington 13-0 on Wednesday night and sweep a three-game series from the Nationals.

    Atlanta had a season-high 22 hits and scored in six of the first seven innings, snapping out of a dreadful five-game losing streak in which they scored just one run against Detroit and Boston. It was the Braves’ best offensive day since May 27, when they beat Philadelphia 13-6.

    The Nationals franchise hadn’t allowed this many hits since June 3, 2003, when the Montreal Expos lost to the Los Angeles Angels.

    Yunel Escobar and Edgar Renteria each had RBI singles and Jones had an RBI fielder’s choice off Billy Traber in the fifth inning, turning a 7-0 lead into a 10-0 route.

    Brian McCann followed with a two-run homer in the sixth, his seventh of the year, and Jeff Francoeur had an RBI single in the seventh.

    Escobar had four hits and scored four runs, Francoeur finished 3-for-3 with three RBIs, and Renteria had three hits and drove in two runs.

    Smoltz (9-4) struck out seven and walked one, leaving for a pinch-runner in the fifth after throwing only 89 pitches.

    The Braves had been outscored 14-2 in Smoltz’s four losses, but the 40-year-old right-hander finally got some run support. Atlanta scored one run in the bottom of the first, two more in the third and made it 7-0 on a walk and five consecutive singles in the fourth.

    Atlanta relievers Oscar Villareal, Wilfredo Ledezma and Chad Paronto combined to go the final four innings, scattering three hits and striking out two.

    Washington had won the past six games that Micah Bowie (4-3) had started, but Atlanta knocked him around early — then right out of the game in the fourth inning on Escobar’s liner off his shin.

    The left-hander allowed nine hits, six runs, two walks and struck out two in 3 1-3 innings. His last loss was in relief at Milwaukee on May 9, but he saw his ERA balloon from 3.63 to 4.39 against the Braves.

Notes: Braves CF Andruw Jones’ season-long slump continued as he grounded into a double play in the first and popped out on a sacrifice attempt in the third. He had an RBI single in the fourth. ... With an open date Thursday, Atlanta will stay with the current lineup of LHP Chuck James, RHP Tim Hudson and RHP Buddy Carlyle this weekend at Florida. Smoltz will start the first of a four-game series Monday against the Dodgers in Los Angeles. ... Washington’s 40-man roster stands at 35 after RHP Beltran Perez was outrighted to Double-A Harrisburg.

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