Lowe, Escobar Spark Braves Past Nats

By scotthumphries

The Braves got their fourth straight stellar performance from their starting rotation this afternoon as Opening Day starter Derek Lowe joined Tommy Hanson, Tim Hudson, and Kenshin Kawakami in delivering a sensational performance in his first start of the Spring, tossing two scoreless innings in Atlanta’s 11-8 Grapefruit League win over the Washington Nationals.

And Lowe looked great out there too, retiring all six of the hitters that he faced. Lefty Michael Dunn also pitched well for the Braves, tossing 1 and 1/3 scoreless innings in relief.

The Braves were strong at the plate as well, pounding Nationals’ pitching for 17 hits and 11 runs in the game. Yunel Escobar led the hit parade for Atlanta, going 3-for-3 with two runs-batted-in and Martin Prado and Melky Cabrera went 2-for-3 with Prado driving in two runs and Cabrera driving in one. Brian McCann and Jason Heyward went 1-for-3 with Heyward driving in a run and Heyward wasn’t the only highly-rated Braves prospect to get into the act as Freddie Freeman also went 1-for-3 and drove in two runs.

Washington actually led the game 4-2 going into the bottom of the fourth inning but the Braves exploded with a seven-run inning and the Nationals never recovered as Atlanta notched their third straight Grapefruit League win.

The Braves will now try to make it four wins in a row when they make the short jaunt to Kissimmee, Florida to take on the Houston Astros tomorrow afternoon. If you are in the area, come on out and see your team Braves fans!

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