After scoring two runs in each of their previous two games with Washington, Atlanta's offense did good work against the Nationals staff today, scoring 6 runs on 9 hits against Nate Karns and the Washington bullpen. A good bounceback effort from Paul Maholm kept the Nats in check as the Braves took 2 of 3 from Washington.
Atlanta wasted no time in kicking off the scoring. Andrelton Simmons led off with a sharp ground ball to Ryan Zimmerman, whose umpteenth throwing error put Simmons at first. Ramiro Pena hit the very next pitch from Nate Karns over the right field wall for a two-run homer and just like that, Atlanta led 2-0 four pitches into the game.
The Nationals would tie it right back up in the top of the second, when three straight hits plated a run. It looked like Maholm would get out of the inning without further damage, but Maholm dropped a flip from Freddie Freeman covering first and allowed Washington to tie the game on an error.
B.J. Upton promptly untied the game in the bottom of the second, belting a 1-0 pitch high to left field for his fifth homerun of the year.
The Braves tacked on another run in the 5th, when Brian McCann battled Zach Duke in a nine-pitch at-bat before reaching out and lining a breaking ball into left field for an RBI single. That made the score 4-2.
In the sixth inning, Ian Desmond hit a solo home run for Washington to make it 4-3. That was as close as Washington would get. The Braves responded in the bottom of the sixth, when Zach Duke loaded the bases with three walks, the last being an intentional walk to Justin Upton. That brought up Freddie Freeman, who hit a towering drive to left that hit off the top of the wall for a two-run double. Umpires convened to watch replay, making sure it wasn't a home run.
Craig Kimbrel closed out the game for his 17th save of the year. Maholm moved to 7-4 on the year with the win.
Atlanta moved to 6.5 games up on Washington, and sent the Nationals home with an under .500 record.