The Washington Times - April 21, 2009, 09:14PM

The Nationals gave up a big inning in the first and couldn’t put one together in the second. And that’s the difference through three innings of this one, where the Braves lead 3-1.

Shairon Martis hasn’t been as strong tonight as he was in his last start. He’s struggling with his control and isn’t being as aggressive as he was in his win last Thursday; he walked two batters in the first, which came back to haunt him when Casey Kotchman doubled to right center. Alberto Gonzalez also made a throwing error later in the inning that helped another run score.

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The Nats have done another good job of racking up pitch counts. They forced the Braves’ Kenshin Kawakami to throw 57 pitches in the first three innings. They had three hits in teh second, but only wound up with one run. Elijah Dukes tried stealing third with none out and was thrown out easily by Brian McCann. He’s got a green light in that situation, but it wound up costing the Nationals a run when Jesus Flores doubled to the wall in left center. Austin Kearns scored, but Dukes would’ve, too.

Anyway, that’s where we’re at after three. We’ll see how this one shakes out.