Another big offensive day for the Atlanta Braves, with more help from the Nationals' defense. Atlanta got on the board quick in the first inning with four runs, one of them aided by a non-throwing (?) error by Pete Orr (thanks again, Pete). The key hit was a two-out two-run single from Yunel Escobar.
The Braves added a fifth run on an error in the second inning, then turned the game over to Tommy Hanson. The rookie of the year candidate pitched extremely well today, only running into trouble in the fifth inning, when, perhaps rushing to get through the inning and make the game official (because of the rain), he surrendered a 3-run homerun.
Hanson was better than the 4 runs in the line score make it look. He only allowed 1 walk (which did end up scoring) and 4 hits, while striking out 7. After that tough 3-run fifth inning, Hanson settled down to pitch two more scoreless frames.
It looked like it would be another bullpen nail biter for the last two innings, but after a solid eighth inning from Mike Gonzalez, the Braves bats awoke and put up 5 more runs. The Nats used three relievers in that inning as the Braves just kept banging away, oh, and of course there was another Nats error mixed in there. The highlight of that ninth inning was an absolute rocket shot homerun off the bat of Brian McCann.
It was a good thing the Braves got those insurance runs in the top of the ninth, as the Nats got lucky with some infield hits and a Braves error to threaten in their half of the ninth inning. Rafael Soriano came on to restore order with an easy-queso save.
The Braves keep winning, and now the Rockies will have all day to think about keeping up with Atlanta as Colorado plays tonight at 8pm.
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