THE RESULT: Adam Dunn homered, Shairon Martis pitched six strong innings, and Atlanta's defense vanished for a period, as the Washington Nationals (3-10) defeated the Braves for the second straight day, 4-3.

Martis (2-0, 4.11) went six innings, allowing three runs--two earned--on six hits and four walks, striking out two. He had a rough first inning, walking two with two outs, then surrendered an RBI-double to Casey Kotchman and had another run score on an Alberto Gonzalez throwing error. But he settled down after that and did not allow another run.

Jesus Flores delivered an RBI double, narrowly missing a home run, in the second inning. The Nats' big inning, though, was the sixth. Dunn homered to lead off, his fourth of the season. Elijah Dukes reached on a Chipper Jones error and scored on a line drive by Austin Kearns that originally--and probably correctly--ruled and error on left fielder Matt Diaz.

Kearns later scored on Josh Willingham's pinch-hit single to cap the scoring.

The bullpen got the job done tonight, but not without some effort. Mike Hinckley gave up two hits in 1.2 IP, Julian Tavarez retired the only batter he faced, and Joel Hanrahan retired three straight after putting men on second and third with no outs.

THE TAKEAWAY: Good work by the Nats tonight getting the job done, but there's still a lot of work to do. Gonzalez has been fairly brutal at short and continued to struggle tonight. The Nats gave away two outs on the bases, with Dukes getting thrown out trying to steal third with no outs, and Gonzalez was thrown out at home on a contact play.

THE GOOD: Shairon Martis. For the second night in a row, a rookie pitcher bore down and got the win.

THE BAD: Anderson Hernandez. 1-for-5, strikeout, three men left on out of the leadoff spot.

THE UGLY: The weather. The Nats are losing half a homestand to the rain. Another small crowd tonight, populated with plenty of Braves fans.

NEXT GAME: Washington goes for the sweep tomorrow, 7:05 from Nationals Park. John Lannan (0-2, 6.46) faces Jair Jurrjens (2-1, 2.04).

NOTES: Joe Beimel was placed on the 15-day DL after he injured his hip making a great defensive play in last night's game. He was replaced by Saul Rivera, who originally was sent down in the big move the other day.

Photos 2009 © Cheryl Nichols. All Rights Reserved.