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08/31/08 1:31 AM ET

Offense an enigma for Braves

Atlanta (59-77) at Washington (51-85), Sunday, 1:35 p.m. ET

WASHINGTON -- Throughout this month, there has been a lot of focus on the fact that the Braves have struggled to produce consistent power. But even on those nights when they've displayed some, they often experienced yet another loss.

Despite getting three homers on Saturday night, the Braves still suffered a 9-8, 10-inning loss to the Nationals. They've split the 10 games during which they've homered this month, and have compiled a 9-18 record in August.

"We hit three homers and we lose," said Braves manager Bobby Cox, obviously dejected after losing to the Nationals for the ninth time in 13 opportunities on Saturday night.

Even with the three home runs, the Braves have still hit a National League-low 13 homers this month. Entering Saturday, the Astros led the NL with 41 homers in August, and the majority of that total came from Ty Wiggington, who had totaled 10 homers himself.

While the fact that Mark Teixeira was traded to the Angels on July 29 has played a part in this power drought, Chipper Jones revealed Saturday afternoon that he's been playing most of this month with a sore right elbow that he believes came as a result of the compensations he made while his shoulder was previously bothering him.

"It's not anything structural, and I don't think it's serious," Jones said. "It's just bothersome."

Most of Jones' discomfort has come when he's been forced to charge a grounder and make a quick throw across the diamond. But the veteran third baseman said he's also felt some pain whenever he's gotten out in front of a pitch and been forced to hyper-extend his elbow.

This could explain why Jones has just two homers in his past 112 at-bats. But he was among the three Braves who hit solo shots on Saturday night.

Since Teixeira was traded, there have been some that have wondered if Jones isn't seeing the quantity of quality pitches that he previously had. But the veteran third baseman said that theory has no ground, because when Brian McCann is batting behind him, he feels he's still getting solid protection.

"He's regarded as a good hitter that can drive in big runs," said Jones of the All-Star catcher, who has accounted for three of the club's homers this month. "So he draws respect."

Pitching matchup
ATL: RHP Jair Jurrjens (11-9, 3.56 ERA)
Jurrjens has thrown 16 more innings than he had during any of his previous professional seasons, and the fatigue is starting to show. The 22-year-old rookie, who is 1-4 with a 4.84 ERA in his eight starts since the All-Star break, lasted a season-short three innings, allowing a season-high six earned runs against the Marlins on Tuesday. His previous season high was five earned runs, which he surrendered against the Nationals on July 19. Jurrjens' only previous outing at Nationals Park came on April 30, when he allowed one earned run and two hits in seven innings.

WSH: RHP Collin Balester (3-6, 4.70 ERA)
Balester won his third game of the season last Tuesday, giving up a run in five-plus innings against the Dodgers. He started to lose it, however, in the fifth and sixth innings, hitting batters and surrendering hits. But Marco Estrada bailed out Balester in the sixth and held the Dodgers to just one run. During August, Balester is 2-3 with a 4.28 ERA.

Left-handed pitcher Chuck James has been bothered by shoulder discomfort since returning to Triple-A Richmond earlier this month. He may need to have the shoulder surgically repaired. ... Infielder Ruben Gotay (strained left hamstring) is currently on a rehab assignment with Richmond and will rejoin the Braves when the rosters expand on Monday. ... Right-handed reliever Luis Valdez might be added to the expanded Major League roster when Double-A Mississippi completes play in the Southern League playoffs.

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On the Internet
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television

On radio
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Up next
• Monday: Braves (Mike Hampton, 2-2, 5.85) at Marlins (Josh Johnson, 4-0, 3.12), 1:10 p.m. ET
• Tuesday: Braves (Charlie Morton, 4-8, 6.10) at Marlins (Anibal Sanchez, 2-3, 4.46), 7:10 p.m. ET
• Wednesday: Braves (Jorge Campillo, 7-7, 3.61) at Marlins (Chris Volstad, 4-3, 3.20), 1:10 p.m. ET

Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.