The game got off to a great start for the Braves with Anibal Sanchez pitching two solid innings and Nick Markakis getting the lead with a solo shot in the bottom of the second inning.
The great start didn’t last long after Sanchez was bounced from the game after taking a liner off the calf to end the second inning as the Braves were forced to turn to rookie Wes Parsons who was making his MLB debut in long relief.
Parsons immediately was hit hard along with some bad luck singles which don’t mix well and did not mix well for Wes. After Gonzalez and Eaton reached via singles Parsons walked the next two batters to put Washington up 1-0 and then Rendon hit a sacrifice fly to put the Nats up 2-0.
The Braves struggled for the entire game against Gio Gonzalez outside of Markakis’ solo shot and the Nats continued to add on. In the fourth inning Michael Taylor hit a solo shot and Daniel Murphy doubled home Rendon in the bottom of the sixth to boost the lead to 4-1. All the while Atlanta continued to struggle to put anything together offensively after a red hot offensive night yesterday.
Gonzalez finally exited in the top of the eighth inning after only allowing 1 run and the Braves offense instantly picked up against Justin Miller. Ronald Acuna Jr. hit a long bomb into the left field seats to narrow the gap to just 4-2 and Freddie Freeman nailed a long double to center field but could not be brought home.
The bottom of the eighth saw the Braves debut another rookie in Adam McCreery who also had trouble in his first inning as a big leaguer. The inning began with three straight singles which allowed the Nats to add on another run as Ryan Zimmerman singled in Anthony Rendon. Washington wasn’t done there as Mark Reynolds entered to pinch hit and came through with another RBI single to extend the lead to 6-2 entering the final frame.
The top of the ninth began with a singles by Kurt Suzuki and Charlie Culberson to put two runners on with nobody out. Ender Inciarte hit into a force play at second base to put runners on first and third and Dansby Swanson brought in Suzuki with a sac fly but all at the sacrifice of two outs. Johan Camargo entered as a pinch hitter as was struck out to end the game.
Atlanta gave this game a decent effort after being forced to go into their bullpen for 7 innings of today’s game. However, the offense all came up too little, too late and Atlanta will have to settle for a series split with the Nats as they now return home to face the Brew crew.