The Braves fell behind quickly as the Nationals scored in the first for the third straight game. Lane Thomas walked to lead off the game and then moved up to second on a groundout by Alcides Escobar. An infield single by Juan Soto put runners at the corners with one out. Josh Bell then jumped on an elevated 0-2 slider and drove it to the wall in left center for a double that scored Thomas to make it 1-0. Soto scored the second run as Yadiel Hernandez grounded to first for the second out. Huascar Ynoa then got Carter Kieboom to ground back to the mound to escape with no further damage.
The Braves would break through against Erick Fedde in the third as Stephen Vogt connected for his first home run in an Atlanta uniform to cut the deficit to 2-1.
Atlanta would tie the game in the fourth. Freddie Freeman doubled off the wall in center after a 10-pitch at-bat and then came around to score on a double by Austin Riley.
Ynoa settled in after his rough first inning, striking out two each in the third and fourth innings. He worked around a two-out walk to Thomas in the fifth by striking out Alcides Escobar to end the inning.
The Braves took the lead in the bottom half of the frame as Vogt connected again for a solo shot to make it 3-2.
Ynoa gave way to a pinch hitter in the fifth and exited having allowed three hits, two walks and two runs over five innings. He struck out seven and walked two (Lane Thomas, both times) while throwing 89 pitches.
A.J. Minter took over on the mound in the sixth and promptly served up a leadoff single to Soto. Soto moved up to second on a passed ball and then over to third on a groundout. With two outs and a runner at third, manager Brian Snitker took down Minter with Carter Kieboom coming to the plate and replaced him with Jesse Chavez. Kieboom jumped on the first pitch he saw and lined it into right just past Freeman’s outstretched glove to tie the game again at 3-3.
The game wouldn’t be tied for long, as Jorge Soler jumped on a first-pitch fastball from Fedde and drove it out to center for a solo home run to make it 4-3 in the bottom of the sixth.
The seventh inning was a disaster for the Braves, as Luis Garcia greeted Luke Jackson with a lead off double down the line in right, with the key hit again coming very close to being snared by Freeman. Garcia advanced to third on a ground out by Andrew Stevenson and then came home to score as Thomas singled through the drawn-in infield to tie the game again.
Escobar then grounded into what looked like it might be a double play on a grounder right to the second-base bag, but the ball bounced out of Ozzie Albies’ glove for an error. Jackson then bounced a breaking ball that allowed both runners to move up to second and third with just one out. Vogt was injured on the play as he attempted to throw out Thomas at third and was replaced by Travis d’Arnaud.
The Braves intentionally walked Soto to the load the bases as Tyler Matzek replaced Jackson. Josh Bell jumped on the first pitch and lined it back at Matzek, who knocked it down and then threw home in time to force Thomas at the plate.
Matzek then got Hernandez to line out to Duvall in left for the third out, escape with the bases loaded.
The Braves quickly loaded the bases in the home half of the inning on a Joc Pederson single and back-to-back walks by Dansby Swanson and Travis d’Arnaud. Eddie Rosario pinch hit for Matzek and promptly grounded into a 3-2-4 double play. The Nationals then intentionally walked Albies and Mason Thompson got Soler to ground out to end the threat.
Richard Rodriguez came on to pitch the eighth for Atlanta and retired Kieboom and Ruiz on fly outs, but Garcia tagged him with a long home run to center to put the Nationals back in front, 5-4.
The see-saw continued to swing in the home half, as Freeman launched another solo home run into the second level of the Chop House to the tie the game again.
After Austin Riley popped out, Adam Duvall put Atlanta back in front with a home run into the bullpen in left to put the Braves back in front, 6-5.
Will Smith was called on to close it out in the ninth and quickly found himself in trouble as Thomas tripled off the glove of Pederson, who was a step away from the center field wall. Smith came back and struck out Escobar for the first out and the Braves then intentionally walked Soto to set up a potential double play. Smith got the double play grounder he needed as Swanson fielded a grounder from Bell deep in the hole and flipped to Albies for the second out. Albies’ relay throw, however, was off the mark at first. Thomas scored and the game was again tied 6-6. Smith recovered and struck out Riley Adams (the guy who hit that go-ahead homer off of him earlier this season) to end the inning.
Atlanta went down in order in the ninth and the game moved to extra innings. Jacob Webb retired the side in order to give the Braves another opportunity. Albies began the inning at second as the designated runner. Wander Suero, pitching in his second inning of work, walked Soler to lead off the inning to bring up Freeman who lined out to Soto in right for the first out. Albies tagged and moved over to third on the play. That brought Riley to the plate who fell behind 0-2. Riley worked the count back to full and then got plunked to load the bases. Suero then struck out Duvall for the second out.
That would bring Pederson to the plate, and Pederson lined an 0-1 cutter into left field to deliver the Braves a 7-6 win.
With the win, Atlanta extends its lead in the NL East to 3.5 games over the Phillies, who blew a late lead in a loss to the Rockies. The Braves take two of three from the Nationals and will continue their homestand Friday when they open a three-game series against the Miami Marlins.