Nats Report

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NEW SERIES

WASHINGTON NATIONALS AT ATLANTA BRAVES

Where: Turner Field, Atlanta

Today: 7:05 p.m., RHP Jason Bergmann (1-3, 2.76) vs. RHP Tim Hudson (6-5, 3.43).

Tomorrow: 7:35 p.m., LHP Mike Bacsik (1-4, 4.70) vs. RHP Buddy Carlyle (1-2, 6.11).

Wednesday: 7:35 p.m., LHP Micah Bowie (4-2, 3.63) vs. RHP John Smoltz (8-4, 3.14).

Series breakdown: The Nationals return to National League play after 15 straight interleague games with their first meeting against a division opponent since Atlanta departed RFK Stadium on May 17. The Braves, 4-10 in interleague play entering last night, have glaring problems on offense. Slugger Andruw Jones is only hitting .198, and he has an anemic .299 on-base percentage. Chipper Jones just returned from the disabled list, a much-needed boost for a struggling offense. Atlanta will trot out its two rotation anchors (Smoltz and Hudson), and the pair collectively has helped keep the Braves around .500 and within striking distance of division-leading New York.

Patrick Stevens

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