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Washington Nationals drop series finale to Atlanta Braves, 13-2

Tanner Roark struggled mightily, and the Atlanta Braves handed the Washington Nationals their sixth loss in their last eight games.

MLB: Atlanta Braves at Washington Nationals Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Nationals continued their recent slide, dropping their second straight series after the Atlanta Braves crushed them 13-2 at Nats Park.

Tanner Roark’s up-and-down season took a turn for the worst, as he gave up seven earned runs in just five innings of work.

Second baseman Brandon Phillips had himself a day for Atlanta, going 4-for-6 with a double, three RBIs and three runs scored.

The lone bright spot for the Nats was Brian Goodwin, who launched his fourth home run of the year in the bottom of the second.

After Roark departed following the fifth, Trevor Gott and Blake Treinen combined to give up six more runs — all of which came with two outs in the seventh.

Washington was unable to mount any kind of comeback, finishing up its home stand with a 2-5 record.

Nationals now 39-26.


Tanner Roark struggled right out of the gate. Ender Inciarte led off the game with a single to right, then scored when Brandon Phillips doubled. The line kept moving, as Roark gave up an RBI single to Nick Markakis to bring Phillips home.

Roark then threw a wild pitch to put Markakis in scoring position, and Matt Adams drove him in with a single two batters later to put the Nats in a 3-0 hole early.

The Nats struck back against Julio Teheran in the bottom of the second. Stephen Drew hit a two-out single that proved to be huge, as Brian Goodwin hit his third home run in as many starts into the right field seats to trim the Braves’ lead to 3-2.

Looking for a clean inning after the homer, Roark came back out for the third after a 1-2-3 second. He would not be able to find as much success, however, giving up back-to-back singles to Markakis and Matt Kemp to put runners on the corners with one out. Jose Lobaton then attempted to pick off Kemp at first, but Ryan Zimmerman wasn’t looking and the ball skirted down the right field line and allowed Markakis to score.

Kemp tried to make it all the way to third, but Bryce Harper earned his sixth outfield assist of the year by gunning him down. Kemp hobbled to the dugout clutching his hamstring after the play, and was replaced by Danny Santana in left field the following inning.

Roark wasn’t out of trouble yet, though. He walked Adams to bring up former National Kurt Suzuki. The backup catcher then launched a two-run homer to left-center and pushed Atlanta’s lead up to 6-2.

The Braves tacked on another run in the fifth on an Adams’ sacrifice fly, putting an exclamation point on Roark’s afternoon.

Tanner Roark’s Line: 5.0 IP, 9 H, 7 R, 7 ER, 2 BB, 5 Ks, 1 HR, 102 P, 68 S, 6/2 GO/FO

Teheran has struggled against the Nats for a majority of his career, but he was on top of his game Wednesday.

After giving up the long ball to Goodwin in the second, the Braves’ right-hander allowed just two hits heading into the seventh inning.

Dusty Baker went to recent call-up Trevor Gott to relieve Roark and keep the Nats within striking distance. He worked around a pair of two-out singles for a scoreless sixth, but ran into some trouble when he loaded the bases with two outs in the seventh. Gott then walked Teheran to bring one around to score and gave up a single to Inciarte that brought two more runners in and made it a 10-2 ballgame.

Next up on the bullpen carousel was Blake Treinen. On his first pitch, he gave up a double down the left field line to Phillips that scored both Teheran and Inciarte.

Atlanta kept pouring it on, as Markakis drew a walk and Santana singled up the middle to make it 13-2. Keep in mind, all of the runs scored in this inning came with two outs.

The Nats tried to get something going in the bottom of the seventh. Adam Lind drew a leadoff walk and Drew followed with an infield single. Nevertheless, Teheran was then able to strike out Goodwin and force Lobaton into grounding into a 5-4-3 double play to quickly end the threat.

Treinen and Joe Blanton combined for a scoreless eighth, and Jacob Turner put together a clean ninth. It was too little, too late, however, as the Nats were unable to push any more runs across and lost the series.

Nationals now 39-26