Simmons HBP In Eighth Inning Gives Braves Comeback Win Over Nationals

ATLANTA, GA - SEPTEMBER 15: Steve Lombardozzi #1 of the Washington Nationals slides to score at home plate while catcher Brian McCann #16 of the Atlanta Braves tags him without the ball during the game at Turner Field on September 15, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images)

For the first time this year, the Braves have officially won a series against the Washington Nationals.

Atlanta overcame Tommy Hanson's early struggles and an umpire's missed call helped the Braves stage a come-from-behind, 5-4 win over Washington.

Hanson was one out away from escaping the first inning after giving up a leadoff single to Jayson Werth; he struck out Bryce Harper and Ryan Zimmerman before Adam LaRoche hit a two-run homer that landed in the first row in right field.

The second inning, though, was very ugly to say the least. Following a one-out walk to Jesus Flores, Freddie Freeman mishandled a ground ball by Steve Lombardozzi just enough that he couldn't get the out at second, but took too much time getting to first base and Lombardozzi was safe. When pitcher Edwin Jackson laid down a sacrifice bunt, Hanson threw the ball wide of first and into right field, allowing Flores to score. On that same play, Jason Heyward didn't immediately throw the ball back to the infield, and Lombardozzi raced home for the fourth Washington run.

Atlanta first dented the scoreboard in their half of the second. Freddie Freeman led off with a triple and scored on Dan Uggla's double, Uggla's first career hit against Jackson in 14 at-bats. That was the only run they managed in that inning, but Freeman belted a solo homer in the fourth to pull the Braves to within two. Uggla and Freeman had all three Atlanta hits through five innings.

A favorable call in the sixth led to Atlanta tying the score. Leading off the sixth, Martin Prado smacked a ground ball back to the mound, but when Jackson threw to first, Prado was ruled safe by reason of LaRoche being pulled off the base. Replays showed otherwise and manager Davey Johnson argued vehemently until he was ejected. Atlanta took advantage of the generous call; Jason Heyward launched a 2-1 fastball for a game-tying two-run homer, his 27th of the season.

Atlanta failed to capitalize on a scoring opportunity in the seventh following a pair of walks, but put together a rally in the eighth. The score was still tied when David Ross led off with a single to left against reliever Ryan Mattheus. One out later, Mattheus walked Uggla and Chipper Jones to load the bases, giving Andrelton Simmons the chance to be the hero. Simmons didn't have to swing the bat to do that because the 2-2 pitch from Mattheus clipped Simmons to force in the game-winning run.

A single and a throwing error with Craig Kimbrel on the mound put the tying run at third, but Kimbrel struck out the side to seal the win.

Hanson struck out seven in his five innings of work; Freeman was a double short of hitting for the cycle. Brian McCann left the game after just two innings with tendinitis in his right hamstring.

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