1:05 PM ET, March 31, 2011
Nationals Park, Washington, D.C.
Atlanta shuts out Washington in Fredi Gonzalez's debut with Braves
WASHINGTON -- Coming off major knee surgery, and coming up on his 39th birthday, Chipper Jones came back to baseball in a big way.At the plate in a real game for the first time since August, the Atlanta Braves third baseman doubled for the first hit by anyone in the 2011 season. He legged it out, even, beating a throw from new Washington Nationals right fielder Jayson Werth."I was busting it out of the box," Jones said. "Didn't necessarily want to slide, but I had to."He went on to score the season's first run, Jason Heyward added a solo shot, and Derek Lowe allowed three singles in 5 2/3 innings on a chilly, damp opening day, helping the Braves beat the Nationals 2-0 Thursday to make Fredi Gonzalez a winner in his debut as Atlanta's manager.The Braves played their first regular-season game since Bobby Cox retired at the end of 2010 after two decades -- and 15 playoff appearances -- as their skipper.Welcome back, Chipper. Nice way to start, Fredi.
• The Braves got their first Opening Day shutout since beating the Rockies 2-0 in 2000.
• Atlanta's Jason Heyward became the second player to homer on Opening Day in each of his first two major league seasons (Kaz Matsui).
• The Nationals have lost all four of Livan Hernandez's Opening Day starts.
• Washington has lost seven of its last eight Opening Day games.
-- ESPN Stats & Information
Gonzalez got a good-luck phone call from Cox on Thursday morning. His debut as a major league manager also came against the Nationals, a 9-2 Marlins victory at RFK Stadium in 2007. ... After Friday's day off, the series resumes Saturday, with Atlanta RHP Tommy Hanson facing Washington LHP John Lannan.
Regular Season Series
|Series tied 9-9 (as of Thu 3/31)|
|» Thu 3/31||ATL 2, @WSH 0||Box Score|
|Sat 4/2||@WSH 6, ATL 3||Recap|
|Sun 4/3||ATL 11, @WSH 2||Recap|
|Tue 5/10||WSH 7, @ATL 6||Recap|
|Wed 5/11||WSH 7, @ATL 3||Recap|
|Thu 5/12||@ATL 6, WSH 5||Recap|
|Fri 7/15||@ATL 11, WSH 1||Recap|
|Sat 7/16||WSH 5, @ATL 2||Recap|
|Sun 7/17||@ATL 9, WSH 8||Recap|
|Mon 8/1||@WSH 5, ATL 3||Recap|
|Tue 8/2||@WSH 9, ATL 3||Recap|
|Wed 8/3||ATL 6, @WSH 4||Recap|
|Tue 8/30||WSH 9, @ATL 2||Recap|
|Wed 8/31||@ATL 3, WSH 1||Recap|
|Thu 9/1||@ATL 5, WSH 2||Recap|
|Fri 9/23||ATL 7, @WSH 4||Recap|
|Sat 9/24||@WSH 4, ATL 1||Recap|
|Sun 9/25||@WSH 3, ATL 0||Recap|
|Complete Schedule: Braves | Nationals|
|1st||B McCann singled to right center, C Jones scored.||1||0|
|2nd||J Heyward homered to right (389 feet).||2||0|
|View complete Play-By-Play|
|Stadium||Nationals Park, Washington, D.C.|
|Attendance||39,055 (94.1% full) - % is based on regular season capacity|
|Weather||41 degrees, overcast|
|Umpires||Home Plate - Tim Welke, First Base - Jim Reynolds, Second Base - Mike Dimuro, Third Base - Andy Fletcher|
FROM ELIAS Only two players have homered on Opening Day in each of their first two major league seasons. Jason Heyward is the second The first was Kaz Matsui for the Mets in 2004 and 2005
ESPN Stats & Information