WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 31: Chipper Jones #10 of the Atlanta Braves is congratulated by teammate Jason Heyward #22 after scoring during the first inning against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on March 31, 2011 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

Braves vs. Nationals: Atlanta Shuts Out Washington, Jason Heyward Goes Deep

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Braves Vs. Nationals: Atlanta Shuts Out Washington, Jason Heyward Goes Deep

With a called strike to Martin Prado, Livan Hernandez threw the first pitch of the 2011 MLB regular season. And with a called strike to Rick Ankiel not three hours later, Craig Kimbrel closed out 2011's first final result.

Powered by 5.2 shutout innings from Derek Lowe and a solo homer from Jason Heyward, the Atlanta Braves spoiled the Washington Nationals' home opener by claiming a 2-0 win on a cold, gray day in the capital.

Neither lineup lit up the scoreboard, generating five hits apiece, but the Braves got going early when Brian McCann singled home Chipper Jones in the top of the first. Heyward followed in the second by taking a 2-1 curveball just over the fence in right-center for his second consecutive Opening Day home run.

And that would be all Lowe and the Braves bullpen would need. Jayson Werth grounded a single up the middle to get his first hit in a Nationals uniform out of the way, but Washington managed just seven total baserunners, with their best opportunity coming in the first. With men on the corners and one out, though, Adam LaRoche and Mike Morse failed to bring a run home. That more or less set the tone for the rest of the afternoon.

Kimbrel got the save with a perfect ninth. The series will continue on Saturday, with Tommy Hanson and John Lannan.

For more on the Braves and Nationals, please be sure to check out team blogs Talking Chop and Federal Baseball.

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