Series preview: vs Nats
When (TV): 7:10 p.m. Tuesday (WPCH); 7:10 p.m. Wednesday (WPCH); 7:10 p.m. Thursday (FSSO)
Radio: 680, 93.7, 100.5
Probable starting pitchers:
Tuesday: Braves RH Jair Jurrjens (13-5, 2.71 ERA) vs. RH Livan Hernandez (7-12, 4.36)
Wednesday: Braves LH Derek Lowe (8-12, 4.63) vs. LH John Lannan (8-10, 3.59)
Thursday: Braves RH Tim Hudson (13-8, 3.10 ERA) vs. RH Chien-Ming Wang (2-2, 3.82)
About the Braves:
• Batting: Chipper Jones went 5-for-15 (.333) with a home run on the Braves’ five-game road trip and is hitting .386 with four homers and 11 RBIs in August. He is 8-for-24 (.333) vs. the Nats this season but hasn’t faced them the past two series because of knee surgery and quadriceps soreness. Brian McCann broke up an 0-for-15 stretch with two homers in the Braves last game in Chicago, an 8-3 win.
• Pitching: Jurrjens is pitching on three extra days’ rest after the Hurricane Irene layoff. He is coming off 6 1/3 shutout innings against the Cubs, his best start of the second half. His worst two starts came against the Nats – six runs in five innings July 17 and five runs in five innings on Aug. 1 – before he decided to rest his right knee with a 15-day DL stint. Craig Kimbrel needs one save to break Rangers closer Neftali Feliz’s major league rookie record. They’re tied at 40 saves.
• Miscellaneous: The Braves come in after a three-day layoff to face the team that plays them tough. The Braves are 6-6 against the Nats this season after going 8-10 against them last year.
About the Nats:
• Batting: The Nats have been limited to four or fewer runs in each of their past seven games, including Sunday’s loss to the Reds in 14 innings at hitter-friendly Great American Ballpark. Rick Ankiel hit three home runs in back-to-back wins over the Braves Aug. 1 and 2 in Washington, including a grand slam off Lowe. He was 2-for-26 before going 3-for-7 Sunday vs. the Reds.
• Pitching: Hernandez makes his fourth start against the Braves this season, beginning with Opening Day. He is 1-2 despite a 3.31 ERA against them. He’s given up 18 hits in 16 1/3 innings but only six earned runs. The Braves got six runs (three earned) in an 11-1 rout the last time they faced Hernandez July 15 at Turner Field. Hernandez is 2-8 with a 5.18 ERA in 13 road starts, compared to 5-4 with a 3.67 ERA in 14 starts at Nationals Park.
• Miscellaneous: The Nationals come in on a six-game losing streak, dropping back-to-back series to Arizona and Cincinnati. They were off Monday but were in Cincinnati when Hurricane Irene hit the East Coast and did not miss any action.