What Slump? B.J. Upton Wins It For Atlanta With Walkoff In Tenth


After being deadlocked all night, the Braves broke through against the Nationals in the tenth inning when B.J. Upton delivered a walkoff winner.

Throughout his entire slump, the Braves have preached patience with B.J. Upton. As a hitter, he's had many productive seasons and has a wealth of experience and success to draw on. It was only a matter of him figuring things out. It's too early to tell, but tonight may have the beginning of those solutions. The elder Upton had a pair of hits, including a walkoff opposite field single in the bottom of the tenth to win it for Atlanta.

Tim Hudson and Gio Gonzalez were both sharp as can be in this one, with each allowing just one run in 7+ innings of work. The Braves struck first in the third inning, when Dan Uggla led off with a walk. B.J. Upton bounced a single up the middle to put men on the corners, and Andrelton Simmons drove in Uggla two batters later with a groundout to short.

Washington would score right back the next inning with an unearned run. Steve Lombardozzi led off with a grounder to first, but Freddie Freeman over threw the covering Hudson by about ten feet. Later that inning, with Lombardozzi trying to go to third on a groundout, Freeman spiked a potential putout in the dirt, ensuring Lombardozzi was safe. He would score two batters later on an Ian Desmond RBI single.

The Nats best chance for a win came in the ninth. A bloop single by Ryan Zimmerman and a double by Adam LaRoche had men on second and third with no outs. But Kimbrel struck out Desmond, got a weak grounder from Bernadina, and a popup from Danny Espinosa to escape the inning unscathed. That set up B.J.'s heroics in the tenth.

In the extra frame, Evan Gattis led off against Henry Rodriguez with a four-pitch walk. Carlos Tosca then pinch-ran Schafer for Gattis. (Fredi Gonzalez was tossed for arguing some borderline balls and strikes earlier in the game.) After Ramiro Pena popped up a bunt attempt, Schafer stole second base. Rodriguez then walked Dan Uggla to put men on first and second. That brought up Upton, who took one ball before lining a pitch into right field for a clean single. Schafer was streaking around third and beat a strong throw from Roger Bernadina by a few inches to win the game.

The Braves will look to win the series tomorrow as Paul Maholm matches up against Nate Karns. First pitch is scheduled for 1:35 PM.

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