Nationals win with long ball

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WASHINGTON - Spacious and aging RFK Stadium, down to the final homestand of its baseball life, had a rare night as a home-run-hittin' ballpark.

Atlanta's Kelly Johnson commits his 12th error of the season on a ball hit by Washington's Nook Logan. Logan later scored on D'Angelo Jimenez's first home run of the season.  Associated Press
Associated Press
Atlanta's Kelly Johnson commits his 12th error of the season on a ball hit by Washington's Nook Logan. Logan later scored on D'Angelo Jimenez's first home run of the season.

Two players hit their first homers of the season, another player hit No. 2, and Chipper Jones clobbered No. 26 on Saturday night as the Washington Nationals put another dent into the Atlanta Braves' fading playoff hopes with a 7-4 victory.

Jason Bargeman (5-5) pitched 6 2/3 innings to win his third consecutive start, and D'Angelo Jimenez took advantage of a rare spot in the lineup to get three hits and increase his average from .176 to .208.

The Nationals beat Atlanta starter Lance Cormier (2-6) for the second time in less than a week, keeping the Braves 8 games behind the NL East leading New York Mets and at least 4 behind San Diego in the wild card race.

Four home runs might not seem like a lot by modern-day standards, but it was a long-ball treat that tied the season high at a ballpark that has averaged about 1 per game this season and has been one of the stingiest for power hitters since baseball returned to the nation's capital in 2005.

The Braves loaded the bases in the ninth off Chad Cordero with two hits and a walk, but Jones hit into a 6-4-3 double play to end the game. It was Cordero's 34th save.

Jimenez started the parade in the bottom of the first with his first home run since April 16, 2006 - a span of 125 at-bats. His two-run shot drove in Nook Logan, who had reached on an error by second baseman Kelly Johnson. Jimenez was starting in place of slumping Felipe Lopez.

Jones parked a three-run golf shot in the third inning to give the Braves a 3-2 lead, but pinch-hitter Robert Fick chased Cormier with another three-run golf shot in the bottom of the inning.

FRIDAY'S GAME

That time of the year: The Braves announced their pitchers and players of the year for the minor league affiliates, according to braves.mlb.com, and two pitchers who spent a portion of 2007 with Atlanta were honored. Manny Acosta was the Triple-A Richmond recipient while Joey Devine was the Double-A winner.

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