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Washington Nationals drop series finale to R.A. Dickey and the Atlanta Braves, 3-2: Nats can’t sweep in SunTrust Park...

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Dusty Baker’s Nationals took two of three in SunTrust Park, but dropped the series finale with the Braves, 3-2.

MLB: Washington Nationals at Atlanta Braves Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Atlanta Braves’ knuckleballer R.A. Dickey gave up another home run by Washington Nationals’ first baseman Ryan Zimmerman, (who set a career high with No. 34 of the 2017 campaign, which was his fifth off Dickey in their respective careers), but allowed just two runs total over eight innings of work on the mound in what ended up a 3-2 sweep-avoiding win for the home team in SunTrust Park.

Tanner Roark gave up three runs on six hits in seven innings, but it was all about Dickey and his knuckler, as the veteran right-hander kept the Nats off-balance throughout the series finale in Atlanta.

Arodys Vizcaino, who walked the three batters he faced in a rough outing in last night’s game, got the ninth and retired the Nationals in order to end the game and the season series, which Washington won, 10-9.

Nationals now 92-60

HERE’S HOW IT HAPPENED:

Two pitches into the bottom of the first, the Braves had a runner on third base after Ender Inciarte lined an 0-1 fastball from Tanner Roark into the right field corner for a leadoff triple. Ozzie Albies singled to right in the next at bat, driving in the first run of the series finale in SunTrust Park, 1-0 Braves.

Ryan Zimmerman started the night 15 for 42 (.357/.383/.690) with two doubles and four home runs off R.A. Dickey in their respective careers, and added HR No. 5 off the Braves’ knuckler in the top of the second inning, sending a 3-2 offering to left for his 34th HR of the season, a new career high, 1-1.

Ozzie Albies singled to center in the fourth, sneaking a grounder up the middle, under Roark’s glove, then took two bases on a throwing error by Matt Wieters, who tried to pick the Braves’ second baseman off first with Freddie Freeman at the plate, but sailed the throw into foul territory in right. Freeman sent a 3-2 fastball to deep left for a go-ahead sac fly, 2-1 Atlanta.

Nick Markakis sent a grounder toward first with one out in the Braves’ fourth, and it took a bad hop on Ryan Zimmerman and shot into right for a double. Markakis took third on a groundout and scored on a two-out single to center by Johan Carmago, 3-1.

Dickey got through six innings on just 75 pitches with two hits allowed, one of them Zimmerman’s homer, and he was up to 12-straight batters set down after he retired the side in order in a nine-pitch seventh.

Tanner Roark was up to 101 pitches total after a 12-pitch, 1-2-3 7th.

• Tanner Roark’s Line: 7.0 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 7 Ks, 101 P, 71 S, 84 GO/FO.

Anthony Rendon connected for the third hit of the game off Dickey in the first at bat of the eighth, sending a line drive to left and taking second when Lane Adams slipped on the dirt down the line. Double No. 40 of 2017 for Rendon, and he scored two outs later on an RBI single to left by Matt Wieters, 3-2.

There was a long, and I mean, long delay when the Nationals somehow messed up wholesale lineup changes before the bottom of the eighth inning. I have no idea...

Sammy Solis worked around a one-out single in a five-pitch eighth.

Arodys Vizcaino, who walked all three batters he faced in last night’s loss, came back out to the mound in the top of the ninth and retired the Nationals in order. Ballgame. Final Score: 3-2 Braves.

NATIONALS PREGAME NOTES:

  • With back-to-back wins in the first two games in SunTrust Park, the Washington Nationals are now 126-113 in the all-time series with Atlanta and 10-8 against the Braves this season.
  • With wins in the first two games of three in Atlanta, Washington has a 47-27 record on the road this season, the best road record in the NL and second-best record in the majors.
  • Heading into play tonight, the Nationals had three pitchers in the Top 10 in ERA in the NL: Max Scherzer (2.59, 2nd), Stephen Strasburg (2.60, 3rd), and Gio Gonzalez (2.68, 4th).
  • Washington’s offense started the night leading the NL in SLG (.451), runs scored (775), and OPS (.784), and they’re tanked second in AVG (.268), and extra-base hits (523).
  • Atlanta’s offense has scored 14 runs total (2.3 per game) while losing five of their last six games.
  • R.A. Dickey started the night (9-10) on the season, looking to become only the sixth pitcher in the majors to win double figures in every year since 2012, which would put him on an exclusive list with Max Scherzer, Chris Sale, Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke and Gio Gonzalez.
  • Tanner Roark was making his fourth start of the season against the Braves, with a (6-2) record and a 2.82 ERA in his 12 career starts against Atlanta.

Nationals now 92-60