03/04/11 3:49 PM ET
Braves' Beachy breezes through Nationals
By Bill Ladson / MLB.com
The Nats had a 2-0 lead after five innings, but the Braves tied the score at 2 in the top of the sixth inning off right-hander Collin Balester. Freddie Freeman highlighted the scoring with a two-run single.
Washington took a one-run lead in the bottom of the inning, when Ryan Zimmerman hit a solo home run over the right-field wall off right-hander Jario Asencio.
But Atlanta tied the game for the second time in the top of the seventh inning, when Cole Kimball allowed an RBI single to Diory Hernandez.
Washington closer Drew Storen struggled as well, allowing three runs in the ninth, highlighted by Hernandez's RBI triple.
Right-hander Jason Marquis started the game for the Nationals and showed he has fully recovered from last year's elbow injury, pitching three shutout innings and allowing just one hit.
Braves right-hander Brandon Beachy was just as good, allowing a hit in three innings.
Up next for the Braves: Derek Lowe will make his second start Saturday afternoon at 1:05 p.m. ET, when Atlanta welcomes the Mets to the Wide World of Sports complex. Lowe worked two scoreless innings in Monday's debut without throwing a breaking ball. He may show at least a couple in this outing. Chipper Jones may attempt to return to third base for Saturday's contest. He played the position for the first time in nearly seven months Thursday and then rested his surgically repaired left knee while serving as the designated hitter Friday.
Up next for the Nationals: Washington travels to Tampa, Fla., to play the Yankees on Saturday at 1:05 p.m. ET. Outfielder Bryce Harper is expected to travel to face his favorite team from his childhood. He will likely come off the bench. It's doubtful Harper will get a start in Spring Training because manager Jim Riggleman would like to give his seven other outfielders a chance to play. Riggleman said he hopes to narrow down his outfielders by March 20.
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time He also could be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.