THE RESULT:  Stop me if you've heard this one before:  the Washington Nationals starter rebounded from one bad inning to keep his team in the game, but the offense could not muster an attack -- making the opposing pitcher look like Cy Young, and the Nats were shut out again.

Monday night, the Nats starter was Yunesky Maya, the opponent was Derek Lowe and the Atlanta Braves, and the score was 4-0, the 12th time the Nats have been shut out this season.  It was the Nats sixth consecutive loss, matching a season high, and drops their overall record to 60-84.

Washington has scored just 10 runs in the six game losing streak, five of which came in one game.

Maya's bad frame -- the only inning with any scoring all night -- was the bottom of the second.  First, he lost his control, walking the first two batters of the inning.  Then he lost his composure, with consecutive balks to drive in a run.  A double, triple and single later, and the score was 4-0.

Maya righted the ship and made it through six innings, giving up just two more hits along the way.  Overall, he allowed four earned runs on five hits and three walks, striking out just two.  He called the balks "minor-league stuff" after the game.  His second big league appearance looked much like his first, where he gave up a three-run homer in the first, but settled down to retire 11 of his last 12 batters.

The Nats expect consistancy to come for the 29-year old Cuban veteran once he gets adjusted to pitching in a competitive setting again, as he missed over a year of baseball during his exile.

On the other side, Derek Lowe was simply having his best game of the season, aided by a generous strike zone.  Lowe went eight innings, scattering six hits and not walking a batter, striking out a career-high 12.  He got Ian Desmond four times, throwing his sinker and slider down and on the edges of the plate. 

The Nats hitters just could not adjust to Lowe's strategy.

Adding insult to injury, Billy Wagner struck out the side in the ninth, to cap a 15-strikeout game for the Braves.

THE GOOD:  Ryan Zimmerman went 2-for-4.  Nyjer Morgan went 2-for-4.  Ross Detwiler threw two scoreless in relief.

THE BAD:  Desmond committed his league-leading 33rd error of the season.  He tried to get in front of a grounder that he should have back-handed, and instead it took a funny hop and bounced off his glove.  Tough scoring from a road official scorer.

THE UGLY:  Top of the first.  Danny Espinosa singled to lead off.  With a 3-2 count to Desmond, Manager Jim Riggleman puts on the hit and run.  Desmond strikes out, Espinosa was thrown out.  Two outs with one pitch. 

THE STATS:  15 Ks, 0 BBs, 0-for-3 with RISP, 4 LOB, 1 GIDP.

NEXT GAME:  Tonight at 7:10 pm.  Livan Hernandez (9-11, 3.82) faces Jair Jurrjens (7-5, 4.53).