Alfonso Soriano beat the Braves , going 4 for 5 with 3 homers, a double, and had 5 RBIs as the Braves dropped the first game of this series.
The beginning of the game was delayed by rain, and it rained at times during the game.
Smoltz ended up throwing only 74 pitches through 5 innings and left. It was probably precautionary after his complete game shutout last start and because of the weather. He gave up 3 runs on 7 hits, 0 walks, and struck out 3. Soriano homered twice against him.
Ray pitched 2 scoreless innings. In the bottom of the 8th, Lance Cormier (0-1) got one out, gave up a hit and a walk (both scored). Remlinger didn't get his batter out, he threw a wild pitch which scored a run and walked the batter (in the rain). Villarreal got the last 2 outs of the inning, but gave up 2 hits including another homer to Soriano.
The Braves trailed 3-0 most of the game until the 8th, when they tied it on a series of hits. But then the Nationals retook the lead and put it away in the bottom of the 8th.
Offensive contributor: Brian McCann was 3-3 with 2 doubles and scored.
The Mets are tied in the 8th. A loss would keep them 3 games up; a win would put them 4 games up.
Tomorrow has a pitching matchup that looks like it's in the Braves' favor with John Thomson pitching against Ramon Ortiz, but you never know.