Consecutive homers by Chipper, Andruw Jones propel Braves
WASHINGTON (Ticker) -- The Joneses would not allow the
to rally for another win.
hit back-to-back homers in the ninth inning as the
pulled out a wild 9-7 victory over the Nationals in the rubber game of the three-game series.
After scoring four times in the eighth inning to take Friday's opener 8-6, Washington made a bid to capture the season series when it jumped all over the Atlanta bullpen for five runs in the eighth. Included in that rally was an RBI single by rookie
- the team's top pick in the June draft - that put the Nationals ahead, 7-6.
(2-4) came on for Washington,
crushed an 0-2 delivery with two outs into right-center field for a two-run homer and an 8-7 lead.
"I was thinking about hitting a two-run homer,"
said. "I knew I was going to get something to hit with Andruw batting behind me."
, who missed nearly a month and a half with a partial ligament tear in his left foot, is hitting .358 (47-for-131) with nine homers and 34 RBI in his last 37 games. It is the second-best average since July 27 behind Cleveland's
"Since he has come back (from injury), he's on every pitch, hitting great, fielding great," Atlanta manager
said. "It's the best run that he's had."
, who established a new franchise record with his 48th homer in the third, followed with a shot that went into the upper deck in left for his fourth homer in three games.
"It seems like Andruw's totals go up by one or two everyday," Cox said. "He's completely locked in. He's truly a star right now, he's truly a star."
One of the top candidates for the National League MVP,
posted his ninth multi-homer game of the season en route to passing Hall of Famers
on the Braves' single-season home run list.
"A record is a record," said
, who leads the major leagues in homers. "When you are done playing, you notice the records. Right now, I'm just going out and playing to help my team win."
It was the eighth time that the Braves have had back-to-back homers this season.
"Very shocking. I messed up again," said Cordero, who absorbed his sixth blown save and second in his last four appearances. "We battled all the way back in that eighth inning and I blew it, I messed up.
"It (stinks), especially doing it twice during the homestand. It's terrible. I feel bad. All the guys we ran out there today, they battled and I come out there for one inning and I blew it."
(1-0) picked up the win after getting the final out of the eighth and closer
struck out two in a perfect ninth for his 12th save and sixth with Atlanta.
With the win, the Braves captured the season series, 10-9.
Held to just two runs over the first seven innings by
, the Nationals took advantage of consecutive walks by
to start the eighth. After Boyer was replaced by
hit an RBI single.
was hit by a pitch to load the bases for
, who ripped a line drive down the first base line that took a tough bounce, hitting
in the face and scoring two runs.
After a sacrifice fly by
scored Short to tie the score at 6-6, Zimmerman singled into center field.
"It was a colossal breakdown by our bullpen again,"
said. "There's no defense for walks. We have the best defense in baseball and you can't throw strikes. You can't continue to do that, teams are going to beat you."
The meltdown ruined a another strong outing by Smoltz, who allowed three hits with five strikeouts.
His only mistakes came in the sixth, when Short and Johnson hit back-to-back homers to cut the Nationals' deficit to 6-2.
Losing for the fifth time in its last six games, Washington missed a great opportunity to pick up a game in the National League wild card standings on the
, who lost 4-2 to Milwaukee on Sunday.
Washington remains four games back for the final postseason spot in the NL with 18 games to play.
"They feel worse, these kind (of losses) feel worse because you had it in your back pocket," Nationals manager
said. "You need three outs going into the inning, you get two of them. You feel very confident about it. You got your closer out there on the mound, you have been very successful ... you feel like that's a game you have in the win column."