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Friday, April 24, 2009

Braves Come Out On Top In Pitcher's Duel


With a final swing and a miss by Ronnie Belliard, Rafael Soriano capped a wild pitching duel as the Braves squeaked by the Nationals, winning 1-0.

Jair Jurrjens and John Lannan locked horns for a long pitching duel. They both walked two and struck out four. Jurrjens allowed six hits in his 7 2/3 inning stint and was removed after his two walks in the eighth. Mike Gonzalez struck out Adam Dunn to keep it a scoreless game.

In the top of the ninth, Matt Diaz singled off of Garrett Mock with one out. After Casey Kotchman grounded into a force out at second base, Jordan Schafer worked a walk. Manny Acta then decided to bring in lefty Mike Hinckley to face a pinch-hitter, righty Martin Prado. The Atlanta pinch-hitter worked a walk to load the bases and then Hinckley was left in to face Kelly Johnson. He seemed to labor and Johnson coaxed a five-pitch walk out of him as well, forcing in the run.

Rafael Soriano struck out Elijah Dukes and Ronnie Belliard in the final frame to end the game and give the Braves their second win in six games on the road trip. It's a shame that Jurrjens didn't get the win; he pitched wonderfully and very efficiently. It was a sight to see.

W - Mike Gonzalez (1-0)
L - Mike Hinckley (1-1)
S - Rafael Soriano (2)


P Jair Jurrjens, Atlanta - 7 2/3 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 4 SO

P John Lannan, Washington - 7 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 4 SO

P Rafael Soriano, Atlanta - 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 SO, 2-2 SV

AP Photo by Alex Brandon

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