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WASHINGTON D.C. -- One-run losses continue to pile up for the Atlanta Braves this season. Mark Kotsay gave Atlanta a 2-1 lead to the bottom of the 12th, but the Washington Nationals scored twice in their half to take a 3-2 victory and sweep the two-game series at Nationals Park
Manny Acosta (0-1) walked five and committed a costly fielding error that opened the door for Washington in the 12th inning. The absence of first baseman Gold Glove first baseman Mark Teixeira in the field also played a part in Atlanta's undoing. Teixiera was lifted in the top of the inning in favor of pinch-runner Martin Prado, who would go on to score on Kotsay's hit.
After Austin Kearns opened the inning with a walk, Willie Harris hit a line drive that deflected off Prado's glove for a hit. Acosta then failed to field Will Nieves' sacrifice bunt attempt, allowing the Nationals to load the bases. Pinch-hitter Ronnie Belliard then drew a walk to tie the game 2-2.
Despite taking a 2-1 lead into the final frame, Atlanta was unable to hold Washington down. The Braves have dropped nine one-run decisions this season and 14 consecutive such contests dating back to last season.
Jair Jurrjens gave the Braves seven innings and allowed just one run on two hits while striking out three. Washington starter Shawn Hill was equally impressive, surrendering just one run on four hits over eight innings.
Wednesday's loss drops the Braves to 1-4 on the road trip, which began with a win on Friday against the New York Mets. Atlanta is now in fourth place in the National League East with a 12-15 record after the first month of play.
On Deck: The Braves have a much needed day of rest on Thursday as they prepare to take on the Cincinnati Reds in a three-game series this weekend.