Gio Gonzalez gave up two runs in seven innings on the mound tonight in SunTrust Park, both of them on home runs, (one each by Freddie Freeman and Kurt Suzuki), and those two runs had the Atlanta Braves up 2-1 on the Washington Nationals through seven innings, but three-straight bases-loaded walks from reliever Arodys Vizcaino gave the visitors a 4-2 lead and they went on to a 7-3 victory and the second straight win of the series.
Daniel Murphy took the first of the three bases-loaded walks in the top of the eighth inning, forcing in the game-tying run, then Ryan Zimmerman and Anthony Rendon let the Braves’ reliever walk them too to make it a 4-2 game before Adam Lind drove in a couple runs with a single to left field, 6-2, and Michael A. Taylor added an RBI single, 7-2, in what ended up a 7-3 win.
Nationals now 92-59
HERE’S HOW IT HAPPENED:
• One pitch. 1-0. Nationals’ leadoff man Trea Turner hit a first-pitch fastball from Lucas Sims to left to take an early lead on the initial offering from the Braves’ starter. HR No. 10 for Turner.
Still Turner Field to us. pic.twitter.com/jMKThGGap7— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) September 21, 2017
• It was tied at 1-1 in a hurry when Freddie Freeman hit a 1-1 change up in the zone out to deep, deeeep, deeeeeeep right for a two-out solo shot off Gio Gonzalez that reached the second deck in SunTrust Field. Freeman’s 28th HR, and just the second home run by a left-hander off Gonzalez this season... both by Freeman.
• Gonzalez retired ten straight after Freeman’s home run, striking out five, to complete five innings on 53 pitches.
• Sims was up to nine-straight Nationals set down before Michael A. Taylor reached on a throwing error by Dansby Swanson with two down in the top of the fifth, but he gave a free pass to Matt Wieters to get to Gonzalez and then walked the opposing pitcher.
Trea Turner stepped in with two down and the bases loaded, but grounded into an inning-ending force at second, still 1-1.
• Gonzalez’s streak of retired batters ended at ten when Kurt Suzuki hit a 2-2 change knee-high outside to left field for the second home run of the game off the Nats’ left-hander, 2-1 Braves. Suzuki’s 16th of 2017.
• Lucas Sims’ Line: 5.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 6 Ks, 1 HR, 74 P, 47 S, 5/3 GO/FO.
• Braves’ righty A.J. Minter took over on the mound in the sixth, and worked around a two-out single by Michael A. Taylor.
• Ozzie Albies took a one-out walk, and Johan Camargo singled in the next at bat to put two on in front of Freeman in the Braves’ half of the sixth, but Freeman flew to center for the second out of the inning, and Nick Markakis K’d looking at a full-count curve to end the threat. Still 1-1 Braves.
• Braves’ lefty Sam Freeman retired the Nationals in order in a quick, 11-pitch seventh.
The out was forced but the love is real. pic.twitter.com/3ePUHlX3qb— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) September 21, 2017
• Gio Gonzalez needed 10 pitches total in a 1-2-3 bottom of the seventh that left him at 104 pitches total on the night.
• Gio Gonzalez’s Line: 7.0 IP. 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 8 Ks, 104 P, 63 S, 6/5 GO/FO.
• Jose Ramirez gave a one-out infield single on an excuse-me swing by Wilmer Difo in the top of the eighth, and Trea Turner doubled to left field on a hanging, first-pitch slider in the next at bat, putting runners at second and third with one out in from of Jayson Werth, who walked to load the bases with one out. Daniel Murphy stepped in next, against a new pitcher, Arodys Vizcaino, got up 3-0 and took a four-pitch, bases-loaded, game-tying walk, 2-2.
Ryan Zimmerman took the second straight walk from Vizcaino and the third straight walk overall to force in the go-ahead run, 3-2, and Anthony Rendon walked as well to make it a 4-2 game. Adam Lind followed with a two-run single to left on the first pitch from Braves’ lefty Rex Brothers, 6-2, and 7-2 after an RBI single by Michael A. Taylor.
• Matt Albers gave up a one-out solo shot by Jace Peterson in the Braves’ half of the eighth, 7-3. It was the first run off Albers since August 8th, a streak of 17 appearances and 16 scoreless innings pitched. Dusty Baker went to the pen for Oliver Perez with a runner on (HBP) and Freddie Freeman due up, and Perez got a fly to deep left for out No. 3.
• Brandon Kintzler got the ball in the ninth with a four-run lead and retired the side in order in an eight-pitch frame. Ballgame. Final Score: 7-3 Nationals.
NATIONALS PREGAME NOTES:
- With last night’s win, Washington improved to 125-113 in the all-time series with Atlanta, and the Nationals are now 9-8 against the Braves this season.
- Washington’s 46-27 record on the road after last night’s win is the best road record in the NL and the third-best in the majors.
- Gio Gonzalez started the night with the 4th-lowest ERA in the NL (2.68), behind only teammates Stephen Strasburg (2.60), Max Scherzer (2.59), and the LA Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw (2.26).
- Since the All-Star Break, the Nationals’ bullpen has put up a 3.51 ERA, the second-lowest bullpen ERA in the NL in the second-half.
- Washington’s offense started the night leading the National League in SLG (.452) and OPS (.784), and ranked second in the NL in AVG (.268), extra-base hits (520), and runs scored (768).
- Atlanta’s offense has have scored 11 runs total while losing four of their last five games.
- Anthony Rendon started the night leading the NL in fWAR (6.7) and ranked second in the majors.
- In today’s Braves-themed “Fun with Arbitrary End Points” segment: Dansby Swanson is reaching base at a .418 clip, which ranks eighth best in the NL... since August 12th.
Nationals now 92-59