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Nats' Marquis gets 100th win backed by Nix, Werth homers

Photo by Brandon Brigman

Photo by Brandon Brigman

ATLANTA -- Jason Marquis earned his 100th career win, backed by a pair of three-run homers from Laynce Nix and Jayson Werth, and the Washington Nationals held off the error-plagued Atlanta Braves 7-6 Tuesday night.

The Braves scored five runs in the eighth to nearly wipe out a 7-1 deficit, capped by Dan Uggla's three-run homer. But Drew Storen got the final three out for his eighth save in eight chances.

Atlanta's Tim Hudson lasted only five innings, his shortest stint of the season, after tossing a one-hit shutout against Milwaukee in his previous start.

Marquis (4-1) pitched into the eighth, giving up seven hits and three runs to improve his career mark to 100-93. The 32-year-old beat his original team, picking up his first 14 wins with the Braves from 2000-03.

Nix homered in the fourth to give the Nationals a 4-0 lead. Werth, off to a slow start after signing a $126 million contract over the winter, put it out of reach with another three-run shot in the fifth.

Hudson had allowed only one homer all season before the Nationals took him deep twice. But the Braves starter certainly didn't get much help from his defense, which committed two errors and had two other miscues that were generously ruled hits. Four of the seven runs off Hudson were unearned.

The Braves almost pulled it out. Eric Hinske and Chipper Jones had run-scoring hits in the eighth before Uggla drove one out in left-center off Tyler Clippard. Pinch-hitter Brooks Conrad nearly tied it off Storen, but the deep flyball was hauled in at the center-field wall.

Early on, the Braves couldn't do anything right.

Roger Bernadina led off the game with soft roller to first that was scooped up by Freddie Freeman. The normally sure-handed fielder started trotting toward the bag -- and inexplicably dropped the ball before he got there for an error. After Bernadina stole second, Ian Desmond hit a grounder up the middle that was bobbled by shortstop Diory Hernandez, filling in for ailing Alex Gonzalez. It was ruled a hit but just as easily could've been Atlanta's second error of the inning.

Werth grounded into a double play to bring home Washington's first run.

Hudson cruised into the fourth, still having allowed only the one questionable hit, and retired the first two batters. Then, more defensive problems.

Adam LaRoche hit a tricky grounder toward first that ricocheted off Freeman attempting a backhanded scoop. Originally called an error, it was changed to a hit. But Freeman's disgusted reaction made it clear he should've made the grab. Wilson Ramos followed with a flyball to right-center that gave Atlanta a second chance at the third out.

Center fielder Nate McLouth called for the ball, then appeared to take a peak at Jason Heyward running over from right. Perhaps he was mindful of a collision the two had last year that left the much-smaller McLouth with a concussion. Whatever the case, the ball caromed off McLouth's glove for an error, extending the inning.

This time, the Nationals really made Atlanta pay. Nix drove a low fastball deep into the right-field seats for his fourth homer of the season.