NL East Wrap: Nats pound Braves; Fish top Mets

NL East Wrap: Nats pound Braves; Fish top Mets
August 3, 2011, 2:40 am
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Nationals 9, Braves 3


WASHINGTON -- Since Davey Johnson became the manager of the Washington Nationals, he had been waiting for his team to muscle up. On Tuesday night, they finally did.

Rick Ankiel hit a grand slam and the Nationals had three homers in all while posting a 9-3 victory over the Atlanta Braves for their fourth straight win.

"This is my kind of game. I haven't had any there in five weeks," Johnson said. "I've been waiting for one like this."

Ankiel connected in Washington's five-run fourth inning against Derek Lowe (6-10), giving the Nationals a 6-3 lead. Ankiel also went deep twice Monday night against the Braves and has six homers on the year.

"Ankiel is swinging it pretty good right now," said Atlanta manager Fredi Gonzalez, whose team has dropped three straight.

"We're not making pitches and we're paying for it right now with him at the plate."

Since Johnson arrived in Washington, he's been adamant about wanting a team that hits long balls and makes other teams uncomfortable.

"He's an offensive guy," Ankiel said. "I know he likes to pound guys and score runs."

Ian Desmond hit a two-run homer in the fifth that finished Lowe, who has dropped his last three starts. The right-hander gave up eight runs, seven earned, and 10 hits.

"Today was a lot of mistakes over the middle of the plate, and not really quality pitches," Lowe said.

"It's been a tough stretch. Long year. But you've got to keep fighting, hopefully things will turn around. But it's definitely one of my longer years in my career."

Michael Morse hit Washington's final homer of the night, a solo drive off Cristhian Martinez in the sixth. It was his 18th of the season.

"Davey wants to see the ball get hit out of the ballpark," Desmond said. "The last time he managed in the big leagues, there were at least two or three every night. A real different ballgame now."

Marlins 4, Mets 3


NEW YORK -- The Florida Marlins have climbed back to .500, no small feat after a 1-19 free-fall in June sent them spiraling toward a low point of 11 games under.

Rookie second baseman Justin Turner committed a crucial throwing error in the ninth inning, allowing the Marlins to score two runs and rally past the New York Mets 4-3 on Tuesday night.

"We've given a few away like that one tonight. We're appreciative to get it," Florida manager Jack McKeon said.

Omar Infante hit a pair of solo shots for Florida, giving him three homers this season, but star shortstop Hanley Ramirez left the game in pain after spraining his left shoulder while diving for a ball in the outfield.

He is expected to miss Wednesday night's game -- and maybe more.

Jose Reyes homered and Chris Capuano pitched six effective innings for the Mets, who have lost four straight following a five-game winning streak.

New York led 3-2 entering the ninth, but Jason Isringhausen quickly got in trouble with a leadoff walk to Logan Morrison. Mike Stanton popped out before Mike Cameron's single put runners at the corners.

Isringhausen (2-2) hit John Buck with a pitch, loading the bases, and pinch-hitter Bryan Petersen hit a slow grounder to second base. Turner charged the ball and Buck stopped in the middle of the basepath, so Turner tossed to first.

But with Buck in the way, the throw went high and wide past Lucas Duda, handing Florida a 4-3 lead.

"He did an outstanding job of baserunning," Turner said. "I don't necessarily think that I made a bad choice, I just made a bad throw."

Just before the play, first base coach Perry Hill reminded Buck to hold up on a slow grounder to second and make sure he didn't run into a tag by Turner, who said he "kind of got into panic mode."

"He looked me right in the eye, then he decided to throw. Maybe it was my Jedi mind trick right there, I don't know," Buck said.

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