The Nationals will come home winless.
An 8-5 loss to the Braves today capped a miserable, 0-6 road trip to open the season, and leaves Washington searching for its first win in tomorrow’s opener against the Phillies at Nationals Park.
As was the case the last two nights, the Nationals had chances to win but couldn’t produce one big hit to seize the lead or make one big pitch to keep the Braves from adding to their advantage.
Starter Scott Olsen cruised for three innings but wilted under a barrage of two-out hits after that, departing after the fifth having allowed five runs to fall to 0-2.
Adam Dunn (two singles, two walks) and Elijah Dukes (2-for-5, 3 RBI) led Washington at the plate, but neither could come through late with a hit that would have closed the gap against the Atlanta bullpen.
The Nationals also didn’t help matters with some sloppy play in the field. Backup catcher Josh Bard was charged with two passed balls. Right fielder Austin Kearns lost a fly ball in the sun. And shortstop Cristian Guzman couldn’t corral a couple of grounders.
Willie Harris, Washington’s third-string second baseman, left the game in the third inning with a strained oblique muscle. With Anderson Hernandez and Ronnie Belliard already out with their own injuries, Alberto Gonzalez was forced to finish the game at second base.