Belliard Injured; Nats Shut Out by Braves 2-0

Posted by Dave Nichols | Friday, September 05, 2008 | , , , | 0 comments »

Atlanta -- Atlanta Braves rookie James Parr, making his Major League debut, threw six innings of two-hit baseball, and three Atlanta relievers did equally well against the suddenly anemic again Washington offense to defeat the Nationals 2-0 before an announced crowd of 18,708 at Turner Field. It was the 21st time the Nationals have been shut out this season -- leading the majors by a fair margin -- and most in the majors since the 1978 Atlanta Braves team matched the feat.

Parr did an excellent job in his big league debut, walking three and striking out three in addition to the two base hits, both by 1B Ronnie Belliard. Belliard doubled in the second inning with one out, but was stranded there as Elijah Dukes fouled out to first and Anderson Hernandez flied out on a well hit ball to center. In the fourth inning, Belliard reached on an infield single but was erased on a double-play grounder by Dukes. Belliard had another hit in the seventh inning, legging out another infield hit, but this one might have cost him the rest of his 2008 season. Belliard came up lame on the play and was replaced by pinch-runner Kory Casto. After the game, it was revealed Belliard strained his right groin, and was scheduled for an MRI Friday morning.

"I hurt it right then, as I was running to first base," he said. "It hurts." There was no timetable for his return. "He may be down for the year," manager Manny Acta said.

Nationals starter Shairon Martis also made his Major League debut, and was impressive in his own right. He went five innings, allowing two earned runs on four hits and five walks, striking out two. The walks hurt Martis in the fourth inning, as he walked the bases loaded -- including the pitcher -- before allowing an RBI ground out to make the score 2-0. Martis, 21, pitched for the Netherlands in the Olympics and went 4-4 at Double-A Harrisburg this season with a 3.98 ERA in 14 starts, striking out 57 and walking 28 in 74.2 innings.

Besides Belliard's three hits, the only other Nats to reach via hit were Ryan Zimmerman, who doubled leading off the ninth inning and pinch-hitter Roger Bernadina in the eighth.

Mike Gonzales, despite allowing Zimmerman's lead-off double, recorded the next three outs for his ninth save of the season.

Washington faces Atlanta in the second of the three-game series Friday night at 7:35 pm. Jason Bergmann (2-10, 4.83) takes on Jair Jurrjens (11-9, 3.59) from Turner Field.

NATS NOTES: The loss moves the Nats record to 54-87, 25.5 games behind division-leading New York. The Mets have a three-game lead over second place Philadelphia and start a three-game series with the Phillies Friday at Shea Stadium.

C Luke Montz, recalled after Jesus Flores was injured earlier in the week, made his Major League debut as well, going 0-for-3 at the plate and throwing out pinch-runner Josh Anderson at second base.

RHP Shawn Hill was scheduled for arthroscopic surgery Friday morning on his troublesome right elbow by the renowned Dr. James Andrews. No details had been released when this article was published.

GM Jim Bowden issued a statement that 1B Dmitri Young would rejoin the team Sunday night and would be in uniform for Tuesday's game in New York.