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Washington Nationals 5-4 over Atlanta Braves on walk-off single by Wilson Ramos for sweep!

It went to extras before the Nationals completed the three-game sweep of the Braves with a 5-4 win, but the big news was Stephen Strasburg’s apparent injury.

Photo used with permission of rights holder

Stephen Strasburg’s return to Washington’s rotation was delayed an hour by rain, but at 8:01 PM EDT in D.C., the Nationals’ 28-year-old right-hander took the mound in the nation’s capital. His return to the rotation didn’t last long, however, as he suffered an apparent injury in the third inning and was removed from the game.

As usual, the Nationals didn’t make any announcement during the game, so we’ll have to wait for further information.

Atlanta scored two runs off Nats’ right-hander Lucas Giolito, with Tyler Flowers driving in a run with a bases-loaded groundout in the top of the sixth and Braves’ shortstop Dansby Swanson hitting a solo HR to left to make it 3-1 in the seventh.

Daniel Murphy tied it up (and collected his 53rd multi-hit game) with a bases-loaded, two-run single in the Nationals’ half of the seventh, 3-3.

It was still tied in the ninth, when the Braves rallied with two out and went ahead on an RBI single to left by Jace Peterson, 4-3.

Danny Espinosa and Chris Heisey hit back-to-back, one-out singles in the bottom of the tenth, however, and Anthony Rendon’s infield single tied it back up, 4-4.

It went to the eleventh, but Jayson Werth walked, took second on a double to right by Daniel Murphy and scored on a walk-off single by Wilson Ramos. 5-4 final.

Here’s how it happened:

Wilmer Difo beat out a ground ball to second for a one-out single in the Nats’ second and moved up on a two-out walk to Trea Turner that brought Jayson Werth to the plate.

Werth battled Braves’ starter Mike Foltynewicz for 10 pitches, fouling off four two-strike offerings before he dropped a tweener into short right for an RBI single that allowed Difo to score from second for a 1-0 lead.

Stephen Strasburg was lifted from the outing with an apparent injury in the third.

Sean Burnett inherited a runner after Dansby Swanson doubled to right to start the inning, and the Braves’ shortstop came around to score on an RBI double to right by Adonis Garcia that tied things up at 1-1.

Burnett finished off the third, then Lucas Giolito took over on the mound for the Nationals.

The Braves loaded the bases with three straight singles in the sixth, and a run scored on a grounder up the middle by Tyler Flowers, 2-1, but Danny Espinosa made a slick diving play and glove toss to second for the force and out No. 1 and Giolito got a 4-6-3 DP out of Jace Peterson to work his way out of the jam with just the one run allowed.

Dansby Swanson, whose first major league home run was an inside-the-park job in last night’s game, took the traditional route for No. 2, taking a 91 mph 3-1 fastball for a ride to left for a solo shot that made it 3-1 Braves after six and a half.

Chris Withrow took over for Foltynewicz (6.0 IP, 5 H, 3 BB, 1 ER) in the seventh and gave up a leadoff walk and back-to-back singles as the Nats loaded the bases with no one out.

Daniel Murphy stepped in against left-hander Ian Krol, and lined a 1-1 fastball into the left-center gap for a two-run single that tied it up at 3-3 after seven.

It went to extras in the nation’s capital, still tied at 3-3, when Trevor Gott gave up a two-out bloop single to left by Nick Markakis and a walk to Tyler Flowers, setting Jace Peterson up with an RBI opportunity he cashed in with an opposite field single to left that brought Markakis in, 4-3.

Back-to-back, one-out singles by Danny Espinosa and Chris Heisey put runners on the corners with Anthony Rendon due up against Braves’ reliever Jim Johnson and hit an infield single that brought Espinosa in to make it 4-4 before Trea Turner grounded into an inning-and-rally-ending double play.

Jayson Werth walked to start the Nationals’ half of the eleventh, took third on a line drive double to right by Daniel Murphy. Bryce Harper stepped in next with runners on second and third and took an intentional walk to load them up for Wilson Ramos, who lined a walk-off single to left-center. 5-4 final. Ballgame. Finally.

Nationals now 82-57

NATS NOTES:

  • With last night’s win, Washington improved to 81-57 on the season, with the second-best record in the NATIONAL LEAGUE, behind only the Chicago Cubs (89-49).
  • The Nationals’ +142 run different after last night’s 9-7 win was the second-best in the NL as well, behind only, again, the Cubs (+222).
  • Washington’s 40-26 record in Nationals Park is the third-best home mark in the NL, behind only the Dodgers (46-27) and Cubs (51-20).
  • The Nationals play 15 of their remaining 24 games in the nation’s capital.
  • Washington’s relief corps had a 3.29 ERA as a group after a long night of work last night, good for the second-best bullpen ERA in the majors, behind only the Kansas City Royals (3.10).
  • Washington’s relievers, as a group, have allowed 25.5% of inherited runners to score, behind only San Francisco’s relief corps’ mark of just 20.6%.
  • With last night’s win over the Braves, the Nationals improved to 13-2 against Atlanta (8-1 in D.C.) and 41-18 against all of their NL East rivals as a group this season.
  • Daniel Murphy started the night leading the NL in SLG (.594), OPS (.981), doubles (tied, 38), and multi-hit games (52).
  • In today’s Nationals-themed “Fun with Arbitrary End Points” segment, the Nationals are 114-103 all-time vs the Braves, but they’re 34-11 against their NL East rivals... since June 21, 2014.

Nationals now 82-57