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Braves’ comeback attempt falls short in 10-9 loss to Nationals

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A bizarre game goes the Nationals’ way at the end.

MLB: Game Two-Washington Nationals at Atlanta Braves Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Braves homered four times but it wasn't enough in a 10-9 loss to the Washington Nationals.

Huascar Ynoa’s evening got off to an inauspicious start as he plunked Victor Robles and then balked allowing him to move up to second. Robles moved over to third on a ground out by Trea Turner and came home on a sacrifice fly by Asdrubal Cabrera to give the Nationals a 1-0 lead. The Braves right back however against Washington starter Wil Crowe who was making his second career major league start. Freddie Freeman worked a two-out walk off of Crowe and then came all the way around to score on a double off the bat of Marcell Ozuna to tie the game.

The Nationals would retake the lead in the second as another hit batter came back to haunt Ynoa. After striking out Eric Thames, Ynoa unleashed a 1-2 fastball that ran up hit Josh Harrison on the wrist. Harrison moved up to second on a single by Luis Garcia and then came in to score on a two-out hit by Brock Holt.

Atlanta broke out the lumber in the second as Austin Riley jumped all over a hanging breaking ball by Crowe and launched it into the left-center field bleachers. Per statcast, the ball traveled 471 feet which is the second longest by a Braves player in Truist Park history.

Crowe retired the next the hitters before Ronald Acuña Jr. launched his third home run of the doubleheader on a 2-1 pitch to put the Braves back in front 3-2.

Brian Snitker elected to leave Ynoa in to start the third and face the National’s order for the third time. It began well enough as Ynoa struck out Turner to begin the frame but then allowed a single to Cabrera, a double to Kurt Suzuki and a single by Thames that put Washington back in front 4-3. Ynoa would then issue a free pass to Wilmer Difo and that would end his evening as Brian Snitker emerged from the dugout and called for reliever Luke Jackson.

Things didn’t get any easier for Jackson as Garcia greeted him with a single to load the bases. A passed ball allowed Thames to score and a double by Michael Taylor made it 7-3. Jackson would recover and retire Holt and Robles to end the inning.

Overall it was a rough outing for Ynoa who struggled with his command. He would exit having allowed five hits and six runs in just 2 1/3 innings. He walked one and struck out three.

The Braves threatened in the bottom half of the inning as Freeman led off with an opposite field double that extended his hitting streak to 18 straight games. Crowe struck out Ozuna but then issued back-to-back walks to Travis d’Arnaud and Nick Markakis to load the bases. Nationals manager Dave Martinez would then bring on Kyle Finnegan from the bullpen to face Austin Riley. Riley got ahead 1-0 but then hit a rocket grounder to Turner at short who turned the 6-4-3 double play to end the threat.

Jackson set down the Nationals in order in the fourth and the Braves offense went back to work. Duvall led off the inning with a single and then moved up to second as Johan Camargo reached on an error by Garcia at second. Martinez would then bring in Tanner Rainey who struck out Acuña for the first out. Dansby Swanson followed and walked to load the bases for Freeman who jumped on a 1-0 pitch and drove it out to right center for his first career grand slam that tied the game 7-7.

Washington retook the lead in the sixth when Turner homered off of Will Smith to make it 8-7. Johan Camargo led the bottom half with a single but the Braves were unable to move him around.

Rookie right-hander Patrick Weigel saw a couple of stints on Atlanta’s active roster in 2019 but never got into a game. Weigel was called up as the 29th man for the doubleheader and finally made his major league debut in the seventh. It didn’t go well as Suzuki worked a walk to lead off the inning and Thames followed with a double off the wall to put runners at second and third with no one out. Difo followed with a sacrifice fly to bring home an insurance run to make it 9-7. Garcia walked on four pitches and then Taylor dropped down a bunt single that scored Thames to make it 10-7. After a force play at the plate, Snitker would go get Weigel and replace him with Charlie Culberson who got Turner to fly out to right to finally end the inning.

Weigel’s debut did not go as many were hoping as he allowed two hits, three walks and two runs in just 2/3 of an inning.

The Braves weren’t finished though as Ozuna worked a lead off walk against Daniel Hudson in the seventh and Travis d’Arnaud brought him home with a two-run shot to cut the deficit to 10-9.

Markakis then lined a shot off Hudson’s leg. Turner fielded the ricochet but his throw was wide allowing Markakis to move up to second base with no one out. That would bring up Riley who chased a high pitch and popped it up for the first out. Duvall followed and also chased the first pitch flying out to Taylor in right. Hudson then struck out Camargo to end the game.

The Braves lose a wild one and split the doubleheader snapping a five-game winning streak in the process.