The Braves offense has reverted to early-season mode, at least on this road trip. Javier Vasquez struck out 11 Braves in 8 innings as the Diamondbacks took 2 of 3 from the Braves.
The Braves' only offense at all was Andruw. He hit 2 home runs. The only other hits were 2 singles, one by Kelly Johnson and the other by the starting pitcher, Horacio Ramirez.
Ramirez (8-6) had a decent start, going 7 innings allowing 3 runs on 8 hits, 3 walks, 3 strikeouts. He's still got more walks than strikeouts on the season (40 to 39). Jim Brower pitched into a 2 out jam in the 8th, but John Foster came on to strike out Shawn Green to get out of it.
The Diamondbacks won the game in the first inning, really. They lead off with an infield single that should have been an out, but LaRoche couldn't get the ball to Ramirez quickly enough. The next batter hit what should have been a double play ball, but Ramirez deflected the ball to left field, and runners were on 1st and 3rd. An RBI single and an RBI groundout later, it was 2-0, and the Braves offense couldn't overcome it. Andruw homered in the 4th to make it 2-1, but Tony Clark answered later that inning with a long homer to center. Andruw homered again in the 7th, but the Braves bats couldn't muster anything else.
Offensive contributors: Andruw Jones was 2-4 with 2 homers, and tied Derrek Lee for the MLB lead in homers with 32. Horacio Ramirez was 1-2.
The Nationals lost to Houston in 14 innings. Everyone else in the division won. The Phillies are only 3 games back. The Mets are 3.5 back. The Marlins are 4.5 back. In the WC, the Astros are 3.5 back.
The Braves are off tomorrow, and travel home for a showdown against the Nats on Tuesday. John Smoltz and Livan Hernandez face off, in what figures to be a pitching duel because both pitchers are really good and both offenses suck right now.