However, the Nationals, who are one of the best hitting teams in baseball, scored three runs in the ninth inning to send the game into extra innings.
The Nationals bullpen shut down the Braves in the top half of the 10th inning then Daniel Murphy hit a walk-off single to complete the 5-4 comeback victory on Friday evening.
Murphy went 2-5 and drove in two runs. Zimmerman also had a solid night at the plate, going 2-4. Anthony Rendon went 1-3 with an RBI, and catcher Matt Wieters had a RBI single and drove in the game tying run on a sacrifice fly.
Shortstop Aaron Sanchez picked up his first career hit in the 10th inning, which sparked the rally, and he scored the winning run on the walk-off hit by Murphy.
Max Scherzer started for the Nationals and gave up four runs on six hits and struck out 10 batters in 7.2 innings of work.
Braves’ pitcher RA Dickey was impressive on the mound, pitching seven innings and allowing one run on three hits with seven strikeouts.
Freddie Freeman gave the Nationals problems as he drove in three of the Braves’ four runs. Freeman blasted a solo home run to right field in the seventh inning then hit a two-run single in the eighth.
Second baseman Brandon Phillips went 2-3 with an RBI and Matt Adams recorded two doubles. Shortstop Dansby Swanson struck out three times.
Nationals are now 51-35
HERE’S HOW IT HAPPENED:
- Scherzer threw two scoreless innings on 20 pitches. He struck out Matt Kemp in the second inning for his first strikeout of the game.
- Dickey matched his success on the mound, retiring six Nationals in a row.
- Scherzer struck out two of the three batters faced in the top of the third inning.
- The Braves broke into the hit column with a leadoff double by Inciarte in the top of the fourth inning. Phillips hit a RBI single to center, which gave the Braves a 1-0 lead. Freeman reached first on a fielder’s choice before Kemp grounded into a double play.
- Ryan Raburn walked in the bottom of the fourth inning to become the Nationals first baserunner. Harper hit into a double play to end the inning.
- Braves’ slugger Matt Adams hit a one-out double. Wieters lost a pitch in the dirt and Adams advanced to third base. Scherzer got catcher Tyler Flowers to ground out and struck out Swanson to get out of trouble.
- Dickey struck out two batters to keep the Nationals hitless as the game went into the sixth inning.
- Scherzer pitched a solid sixth inning as he recorded two strikeouts.
- THERE GOES THE NO-HITTER! Drew hit a leadoff double in the bottom of the sixth inning. Drew scored thanks to a RBI single by Wieters. Game tied at 1-1.
- Freeman kicked off the seventh inning with a solo home run to right field. Nationals are down 2-1. Scherzer allowed a double to Adams before striking out Flowers for his eighth punch out of the game.
- Harper flied out deep to center field. Zimmerman then hit a one out single. Rendon went to first after he was hit by a pitch with two outs. Drew flied out to end the inning.
- Scherzer struck out Swanson and pitch-hitter Lane Adams. He walked Inciarte to put a runner on first with two outs. Phillips singled to send Inciarte to third and Scherzer was taken out of the game.
- Scherzer’s line: 7.2 IP, 4 ER, 6 H, 1 BB, 10 SO, 8/1 GO/FO
- Oliver Perez came into the game and allowed a RBI single to Freeman. Braves lead 4-1. Perez walked Kemp and Markakis to load the bases. Matt Adams grounded out to end the top half of the eighth.
- Jose Ramirez pitched the eighth inning for the Braves.
- Dickey’s line: 7 IP, 1 ER, 3 H, 1 BB, 7 SO, 6/2 GO/FO
- Ramirez kept the Nationals hitless heading into the ninth inning.
- Nationals’ pitcher Blake Treinen shut down the Braves to keep the score 4-1.
- Harper hit a single off of Braves’ closer Jim Johnson. Zimmerman walked to put runners on first and second with no outs. Murphy belted a RBI single to the right field corner. Nationals are down 4-2 with runners on the corner.
- Rendon hit a RBI single to cut the deficit down to 4-3 with no outs. Chris Heisey grounded into a fielder’s choice, which put runners on the corners with one out.
- Wieters drove home Murphy on a sacrifice fly to tie the game at 4-4. Difo hit a single to right field and Heisey advanced to third base.
- Goodwin flied out and the game went into extra innings.
- Nationals’ pitcher Matt Grace walked Inciarte and Freeman (intentionally). The Braves had runners on first and second with one out. Matt Albers came out of the bullpen to force Kemp to ground into a double play.
- Sanchez hit a single to center for his first career hit. Zimmerman singled to right field, which sent Murphy to the plate with runners at the corners.
- Murphy hit a walk-off single to left field to complete a 5-4 comeback win over the Braves.
Nationals are now 51-35.