Chico struggles as Nats fall to Braves

Chico struggles as Nats fall to Braves

At Lake Buena Vista, Fla.
Sunday, March 25

Nationals at the plate: D'Angelo Jimenez had a double as the Nats were held to three hits through eight innings. Austin Kearns was the only regular in the starting lineup to get a hit, a single to lead off the second.

Braves at the plate: Chipper Jones hit his second homer in two days, blasting a mammoth drive off the center-field backdrop with a man on in the third inning while batting right-handed. Matt Diaz was 3-for-4 with a RBI.

Nationals on the mound: Rookie lefty Matt Chico, who had pitched four scoreless innings in each of his two previous starts, gave up six runs (five earned) on 10 hits over 3 2/3 innings. Ray King relieved Chico and got out of a bases-loaded jam with a strikeout.

Braves on the mound: Chuck James had his second straight scoreless outing, allowing two singles and four walks over six innings while striking out four. Rafael Soriano, pitching in back-to-back games for the first time this spring, struck out the side in the eighth inning.

Grapefruit League records: Nationals 10-13-1, Braves 15-9-2

Up next: The Nationals travel to Lakeland on Monday at 1:05 p.m. ET to play the Tigers, with Jason Bergmann starting against Mike Maroth.

The Braves are also on the road on Monday, facing the Astros in Kissimmee at 1:05 p.m. ET. Lance Cormier will start against Woody Williams.

Guy Curtright is a contibutor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.