WASHINGTON (AP) -By the time he rounded second base,
's momentary disappointment at not executing a bunt was already a distant memory.
After failing to lay down a sacrifice, Boone slammed a three-run, eighth-inning home run to lift the
to their season-high sixth straight win, 8-4 over the
Called on to bunt after a single by
and a walk to
, Boone popped
' first offering foul. Boone sent the next pitch from Dessens (0-1) into the left-field bullpen for his sixth homer, his first
since May 27.
''It's a good foul-off, huh?'' Boone said. ''Yeah, it was good - a good job of not executing. I only got one strike. If they
would have put (the bunt) back on, I would have got it down.''
Boone finished with four RBIs and Washington went on to score five times in the eighth, sending 11 men to the plate. It's
the Nationals' longest winning streak since a 10-game run from June 2-12, 2005, the team's first season in Washington after
moving from Montreal.
''Things have been a lot better. It's a lot more fun to be a part of,'' Boone said. ''You definitely see progress. You see
guys coming to play and coming to work. And it's refreshing. As disappointing as this year's been at times, I think it's starting
Washington manager Manny Acta defended his decision to play the percentages and call for the bunt, reasoning that it made
sense to give Boone one chance to sacrifice.
''It was a one-shot type of thing,'' Acta said. ''If he didn't get it down, we were going to let him swing.''
That strategy, said Boone, may have lulled the Braves into a false sense of security.
''In a weird way, it kind of turned in my favor, I think. ... I think they still thought I was bunting and they wanted to
stay aggressive with me,'' Boone said. ''I got a good pitch to hit.''
The eighth-inning collapse snatched a victory away from right-hander
, who had limited the Nationals to three runs and five hits over six innings, striking out seven.
Jurrjens, however, took responsibility for not pitching deeper into the game.
''The bullpen, we've been working them too much. The starters aren't giving them a lot of innings. ... It's hard for them
to go out there every day and save the starters,'' Jurrjens said. ''I wouldn't want to be in their situation, either. I feel
(1-3) recorded his first major league win with a scoreless eighth inning.
had three hits for Washington.
With third baseman
- who have combined for 43 home runs - out of the starting lineup for the finale of the weekend series, Atlanta couldn't muster
enough offense to prevent its 16th loss in 20 games.
''It got way out of hand,'' said Braves manager
, whose team has dropped 10 of 14 games to Washington, the worst team in the National League this season.
Atlanta took a 1-0 lead in the first when
hit a two-out double and scored on
's RBI single. Dukes' run-scoring groundout and an RBI infield single by Boone put the Nationals ahead in the bottom of the
's eighth homer restored the Braves' lead in the fourth. Prado walked, Infante singled and Escobar crushed
's 1-0 pitch into the left-field seats.
Harris' RBI hit in the fourth pulled the Nationals to 4-3.
Washington rookie right-hander
pitched a career-best seven innings, allowing four runs and six hits. More importantly, he kept the Braves in check after
they took the lead.
''He basically split the game. ... In the first part of the game, he had no command of any of his pitches,'' Acta said. ''Then
the second part of it, he got command of his curveball and his fastball and was able to pitch ahead and pitch in and out.''
After Boone's homer,
doubled to left and scored on a
single for a 7-4 lead.
later added an RBI single off
Notes: Dukes hit cleanup for the first time this season. ... Braves RHP
was unavailable due to soreness in his right shoulder. ...The Nationals will recall OF
from Triple-A Columbus on Monday when rosters expand. Washington also will activate SS
left hamstring strain)from the 15-day disabled list and select the contracts of LHP
and RHPs Shairon Martis and
from Columbus. ... Atlanta will recall RHPs
from Triple-A Richmond on Tuesday. The Braves will purchase the contracts of C
and RHP James Parr from Richmond. All five will be added to the roster for Tuesday's game in Florida. To make room on the
40-man roster, OF
will be moved from the 15-day to the 60-day disabled list.