Through six innings of the game tonight between the Braves and Nationals, it looked like Atlanta was on the way to being swept at home by Washington as they were down 5-1 and had zero momentum going for them. But Martin Prado tied the game in the seventh with a grand slam and Brian McCann hit a walk-off single in the tenth to give the Braves a much needed 6-5 win.
Things started off badly for Atlanta as the Nationals got to Derek Lowe in the second inning of the game. Lowe walked Adam LaRoche to start off the inning after getting ahead in the count 1-2. Danny Espinosa then followed by taking a Derek Lowe sinker and putting it over the center-field fence for a two run homer, giving the Nationals a 2-0 lead.
The Braves would get a run back in the bottom of the third inning. After Nationals starter Jordan Zimmerman got the first two outs of the inning against Martin Prado and Nate McLouth, Chipper Jones turned on a 2-0 fastball and hit it into the right center-field stands for a solo homer, cutting the lead to 2-1.
Washington would storm right back in the top of the fourth, putting two more runs on the board. Resident Braves killer Laynce Nix led off the inning with a double into left field off of Lowe. LaRoche would single through the right side of the infield and score Nix as Eric Hinske's throw to the plate was too late. Lowe would then hit Danny Espinosa with a pitch on a 2-2 count, putting runners on first and second.
The rest after the jump
Pudge Rodriguez would then hit a hard grounder to third, Chipper fielded it and threw it to Dan Uggla at second for the force out, but Uggla's throw to first was way too wide for Freddie Freeman to have a chance at it. Uggla's throwing error allowed Adam LaRoche to come in and score, making it a 4-1 game.
The Nationals would add another run to their total in the sixth, as Rodriguez hit a one-out homer to left field, making it a 5-1 Nationals lead.
That would be the end of the day for Derek Lowe, whose final line was 6 IP, 5 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 3 BB, 6 K's.
Atlanta finally would get to Zimmerman in the seventh inning. Freddie Freeman got things going with a one-out walk, then Alex Gonzalez followed with a single, putting runners on first and second. Washington would call to the bullpen, and bring in left hander Sean Burnett. Brooks Conrad would pinch-hit for reliever Cory Gearrin who threw a great seventh inning. Burnett would walk Conrad, loading the bases for Martin Prado.
Prado would have arguably his best at bat of the season, working a ten pitch at bat against Burnett. On that tenth pitch, Burnett hung a fastball and Prado jumped on it, sending it into the left field stands for a grand slam that tied the game at five.
Eric O' Flaherty and Jonny Venters would throw a scoreless inning apiece as the game went into extra innings. The Braves had a chance to win the game in the ninth, as Alex Gonzalez crushed a ball to left field. Gonzalez thought it was going out for a homer, but it hit off the wall and he was thrown out at second as he didn't run hard out of the box.
Craig Kimbrel pitched the tenth inning for Atlanta, and showed no ill effects from the night before. Kimbrel was dominant, striking out the side on 13 total pitches.
Reliever Doug Slaten pitch the tenth for Washington, beginning his third inning of work. Martin Prado would start the inning with a walk, then advanced to second on a great sacrifice bunt by Nate McLouth. Washington would intentionally walk Chipper Jones to let Brian McCann face the lefty Slaten. McCann smacked a 1-1 fastball into right field that would score Prado and give the Braves a dramatic walk-off 6-5 win.
Craig Kimbrel: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K
Doug Slaten: 2.1 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 1 K
Atlanta welcomes the division leading Philadelphia Phillies into Turner Field for a three game series on Civil Rights Weekend.