The night began on a sour note for the Braves as they went down in order to begin against Anibal Sanchez. Then, things didn’t get much better when Mike Foltynewicz took the mound.
Trea Turner led off for Washington with a single and was followed up by Adam Eaton who walked. Then, after an Anthony Rendon lineout, Juan Soto singled home Turner to give Washington a 1-0 early lead. The next man up was old friend Matt Adams who nailed a two run homer to right field that stretched the lead to 3-0 before Folty could get out of further trouble.
Sadly Victor Robles was forced out of the game during the top of the second as he nearly passed out in center field due to dehydration. He was helped off the field and received fluids in the Washington clubhouse.
The Braves got one back in the top of the third when Sanchez hung a fastball to Tyler Flowers which ended up clearing the center field wall to cut the deficit down to 3-1.
However, the Nationals would answer very quickly in the bottom half of the inning against Folty who could not get anything going tonight. After issuing a walk to Turner and a single to Rendon, Soto tripled deep to right field to put Washington up 5-1.
The Braves never give up though so in the top half of the next inning Freddie Freeman went to work with a walk. He was then chased home on a Nick Markakis single after being moved over to second on a Donaldson groundout and kept things manageable at 5-2.
After Folty was able to get through the bottom of the fourth unscathed Atlanta inched ever closer in the fifth. After Ronald Acuna singled and Dansby Swanson doubled, Freeman slapped a single to right that cut the lead to just one run at 5-4.
Unfortunately though tonight was just not Folty’s night as he allowed the Nationals to take control again in the top of the fifth. The Nationals rattled off three straight singles to start the inning which included a RBI single by Rendon to get those runs right back. Then, leading 6-4, Washington tacked on two more via a Soto sac fly and Kurt Suzuki single to score Rendon.
With the Braves down 8-4 it would’ve been really easy to pack it in, but as you probably already know this Atlanta team doesn’t do that.
In the top of the seventh the Braves made their move against Trevor Rosenthal. Rosenthal walked three consecutive batters to load the bases with no outs before exiting in favor of Tanner Rainey. Rainey walked in a run to bring the score closer at 8-5 in front of Freddie Freeman who then ambushed him on a high fastball for a bases clearing double into the left center gap. All three runners scored and the Braves made their way all the way back to knot things up at 8 before stalling out on the inning.
The Braves ran into some trouble in the bottom of the inning as they allowed Rendon to score on a wild pitch, but the momentum was already in their favor.
In the top of the eighth Atlanta continued the onslaught after Ozzie Albies led off with a single and was chased home on a Johan Camargo double to tie the score again. Then came the biggest hit of the night later in the inning when Dansby Swanson sent a ball over the left field wall to give the Braves a 12-9 lead headed into the final innings.
Anthony Swarzak made quick work of the Nationals in the bottom of the inning and Atlanta tacked on one more run in the top of the ninth after Albies singled again and was chased around by Charlie Culberson to put the Braves up 13-9 with Luke Jackson on the mound.
Jackson’s chore was to face the middle of the Nationals order and immediately walked Rendon to open the ninth. He then was able to strike out Soto, but walked Adams to put runners on first and second with just one out. Thankfully though he was able to get a slow roller back from Kurt Suzuki that turned into a double play to end the game.
Atlanta did a great job in this one of showing some more of that resolve and their bullpen was very good after Foltynewicz allowed 8 runs to put some enormous pressure on them.
The Braves will look to take the series against Washington at 1:35 EST. They now lead the NL East by 5.5 games. Stay tuned.