In five starts out of the All-Star Break before this afternoon’s outing in the series finale with the Atlanta Braves, Tanner Roark was (4-1) with a 2.43 ERA, 11 walks (2.97 BB/9) and 23 Ks (6.21 K/9) in 33 ⅓ innings, holding opposing hitters to a .208/.291/.350 line.
Roark was coming off seven scoreless innings on the mound against the San Francisco Giants in what ended up a 1-0 win, with a streak of three straight wins overall, though his outing against the Giants wasn’t exactly trouble-free. He worked around nine men on base over the course of his seven innings on the mound.
“He pitched out of trouble all day,” Dusty Baker told reporters after the game. “He left, I think, nine men on base, but he made the pitches when he had to.”
“He continues to — he’s not amazing us anymore,” Baker added, “we’ve kind of come to expect it.”
Roark put together another solid seven-inning outing this afternoon in the nation’s capital, and stretched his winning streak to four straight starts, working out of an early jam in the first, and giving up one run in the third, but holding the Braves off the board after that as the Nationals piled on runs in what ended up being a 9-1 win which gave the Nats two of three from their divisional rivals.
Here’s how it happened:
Atlanta threatened early this afternoon with singles by Ender Inciarte and Freddie Freeman (108 for 328 career, .329 AVG vs WAS) putting runners on first and third with one out in the top of the first, but Inciarte was thrown out at home on a grounder back to the mound by Matt Kemp and Nick Markakis lined out to center to end the frame.
Nationals’ leadoff man Trea Turner lined a double to right in the first at bat of the home-half of the first, and scored on a sac bunt-turned-single by Ben Revere when Braves’ catcher Anthony Recker threw the ball over first and into right field, 1-0.
Revere scored easily from second on an opposite field, RBI double by Bryce Harper, who hit a sliced, two-base fly to left field on 2-1 fastball from Tyrell Jenkins, 2-0.
Harper took third on a groundout by Wilson Ramos and scored on a sac fly by Anthony Rendon to make it 3-0 early.
Ender Inciarte doubled with one down in the Braves’ third, but appeared to be out on a pick attempt by Roark. The safe call was upheld after review, however, and he scored on a single to left by Erick Aybar in the next at bat, 3-1 Nationals.
Wilson Ramos stepped in with the bases loaded and one out in the fifth and hit a sac fly to right to bring Trea Turner in, 4-1, and Anthony Rendon hit a 2-0 fastball to left field in the next at bat for a three-run blast that made it 7-1 when it landed in the visitor’s bullpen. Rendon’s 15th.
Tyrell Jenkins’ Line: 4.2 IP, 6 H, 7R, 7ER, 3 BB, 1 K, 1 HR, 84 P, 48 S, 7/2 GO/FO.
Roark was up to 99 pitches when he retired the side in order in the seventh, with just the one run allowed on five hits.
The Nationals added to their lead in the seventh with Ben Revere scoring from second (after reaching on an error) when Wilson Ramos dropped a pop fly into short right for an RBI single that made it 8-1 in the Nationals’ favor.
Tanner Roark’s Line: 7.0 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 3 Ks, 99 P, 63 S, 10/2, GO/FO.
Oliver Perez took over in the top of the eighth and tossed a quick, six-pitch frame, and Chris Heisey made it a 9-1 game with a solo shot to left off Braves’ right-hander Ryan Weber in the bottom of the inning.
Matt Belisle came on in the ninth and worked around a leadoff walk to Freddie Freeman to end it. Ballgame. 9-1 final. Nationals take 2 of 3 in D.C.
Nationals now 69-47
- Washington’s win on Saturday left them at 68-47 on the year, with the second-best record in baseball, behind only the Chicago Cubs (73-42).
- Washington’s +⅓⅓134 run differential is the second-best in the majors as well, behind only, again, Chicago’s +196.
- Over their last sixteen games in Nationals Park, the Atlanta Braves have been outscored 99-44 by the Washington Nationals.
- The Braves are 3-6 in nine rubber matches this season going into the series finale with the Nationals this afternoon.
- Into today’s “Fun with Arbitrary End Points” segment: Going into today’s game, the 44-73 Braves have won 7 of 11 and 11 of 18 and to leave them one game under .500 at 26-27... since June 15th.
- Braves’ hitters are 259 for 951 (.272 AVG) since the All-Star Break, the fifth-best average in the majors since the Break.
- Jayson Werth extended his on-base streak to 42-straight games with a single in the sixth inning last night. Over the course of his streak, he’s collected 38 hits and 30 walks while posting a .378 OBP.
- Freddie Freeman improved to 107 for 327 (.327 AVG) with 12 home runs and 26 doubles against the Nationals after the first two games of this three-game set and he has a .324 AVG in Nationals Park heading into the series finale.
- Braves’ closer Jim Johnson is 8 for 8 in his last eight save opportunities with three hits and no runs allowed over that stretch.
- In today’s Nationals-themed “Fun with Arbitrary End Points” segment: Trea Turner is 25 for 74 (.338 AVG) with four doubles, three triples, three home runs, three walks, seven stolen base and 15 runs scored... since July 24th.
Nationals now 69-47