Washington’s Nationals put together a big fifth against Atlanta Braves’ starter Mike Soroka tonight in SunTrust Park, stringing together back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back hits in a rally that began with starter Aníbal Sánchez reaching on an error and saw Trea Turner (RBI double), Anthony Rendon (RBI single), and Juan Soto (RBI single) drive in runs to go up 4-1 in what ended up a 5-3 win.
Sánchez vs the Braves: Aníbal Sánchez took the mound tonight in Atlanta’s SunTrust Park unbeaten in his last nine outings with a (5-0) record over that stretch, a 2.40 ERA, 11 walks, 38 Ks, and a .212/.263/.359 line against in 48 2⁄3 IP.
Sánchez faced the Braves twice in the nine starts, holding his former team to one hit in six scoreless on the road on May 29th and giving up six hits and four runs in six innings in the nation’s capital on June 22nd.
He gave up a run in the bottom of the first tonight, with Ronald Acuña, Jr. singling, stealing second, taking third on a fly to center and scoring on an RBI single to right field by Freddie Freeman, 1-0.
Sánchez helped his own cause when he reached on an error and scored the first of three runs the Nationals put up on Braves’ starter Mike Soroka in the top of the fifth, 4-1, but he returned to the mound in the bottom of the inning and gave up leadoff and one-out hits before a hit-by-pitch on Josh Donaldson loaded the bases.
Nick Markakis lined out to short in the next at bat, however, with Trea Turner’s leaping catch and throw to first base to doubling up Donaldson for an inning-ending 6-3 DP.
"Can't we just go to the Gap?"— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) July 21, 2019
"Cal ... be better than the Gap."@treavturner // #OnePursuit pic.twitter.com/HEkjYJsoIz
Sánchez issued a leadoff walk to Ozzie Albies in the first at bat of the Braves’ sixth, and a two-run home run to right by Brian McCann in the next at bat ended the starter’s outing with the score 4-3 in the Nationals’ favor...
BMac, you are GO for launch #ChopOn pic.twitter.com/1bJdk35SDF— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) July 21, 2019
Aníbal Sánchez’s Line: 5.0 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 4 Ks, 1 HR, 97 P, 57 S, 1/4 GO/FO.
Soroka vs the Nationals: Braves’ righty Mike Soroka got through two innings on the mound in his first start against Washington this season, but took a fastball off of his right forearm at the plate which ended his outing back on June 23rd.
He didn’t miss a start, however, and as he took the mound tonight he was unbeaten in 15 outings going back to his 2019 debut in April.
Soroka, 21, was (10-0) in that stretch with the Braves 13-2 in those outings, over which the right-hander had a 2.27 ERA, 20 walks, 76 Ks, and a .222/.275/.281 line against in 91 1⁄3 IP.
Soroka tossed three scoreless to start tonight, as the Braves jumped out to a 1-0 lead, but an 0-1 fastball to Matt Adams with one down in the fourth cleared the left-center field wall for an opposite field homer that tied things up. No. 15 of 2019 for Adams, and just the fifth that Atlanta’s starter has allowed this year.
Adams— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) July 21, 2019
Left-center@BigCityForReal // #OnePursuit pic.twitter.com/Kcb7O4jy4H
An error by Josh Donaldson on an Aníbal Sánchez grounder started things rolling in the top of the fifth, with Trea Turner doubling in the next at bat to drive the pitcher in, 2-1 Nats.
Then the Nationals hit three straight singles (Adam Eaton, Anthony Rendon, and Juan Soto) with the hits by Rendon and Soto driving in runs, 4-1.
Soroka tossed a scoreless sixth, working around a leadoff walk in a 13-pitch frame that was his last of the night...
Mike Soroka’s Line: 6.0 IP, 9 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 4 Ks, 1 HR, 84 P, 57 S, 8/2 GO/FO.
Robles is Streaking: The first of Victor Robles’s two hits in last night’s game extended his hit streak to nine-straight, over which the 22-year-old outfielder was 13 for 36 (.361/.378/.639), with four doubles and two home runs. Robles had hits in 17 of his last 19 games as well, in a nice stretch.
Robles was 0 for 3 through seven tonight... and he grounded out in the eighth. The streak ended with an 0 for 4 game.
BULLPEN ACTION: Wander Suero replaced Aníbal Sánchez after the starter gave up a two-run home run in the sixth to turn a 4-1 lead into a slim 4-3 advantage, and worked around a walk to get three outs and keep the Nationals on top after six.
Sean Newcomb took over for Atlanta in the top of the seventh inning and worked around an Anthony Rendon single for a scoreless frame.
Suero returned to the mound in the bottom of the seventh and worked around a two-out hit by Nick Markakis for a scoreless inning of work and his 4th, 5th, and 6th outs.
Newcomb came back out too and worked around a one-out walk for a scoreless top of the eighth.
Fernando Rodney, who threw 32 pitches last night, came out again tonight in the bottom of the eighth, and gave up a leadoff single by Brian McCann, then struck Austin Riley out before Davey Martinez went to the pen for Sean Doolittle, going for a five-out save.
Braves’ skipper Brian Snitker countered with a pinch hitter, sending right-hander Charlie Culberson up for Matt Joyce, but Doolittle popped him up for out No. 2. Ender Inciarte, running for McCann at first, stole second base, beating a throw to the bag after Doolittle tried to pick him off, but he was stranded when Ronald Acuña, Jr. K’d swinging at a 2-2 fastball up high to end the threat.
A.J. Minter gave up a one-out single by Trea Turner, who stole second in the next at bat, and Adam Eaton drove him in with an opposite field single, 5-3. Minter loaded the bases with an IBB to Anthony Rendon and an UBB to Juan Soto, and was replaced on the mound by righty Wes Parsons, who got an inning-ending double play out of Sean Doolittle (who tried to get a safety squeeze down before sending a grounder to short to start the 6-4-3).
This is Adam Eaton's 28th multi-hit game of 2019.— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) July 21, 2019
His third knock of the night provides an insurance run in the 9th.
MID 9 // #Nats 5, Braves 3 pic.twitter.com/CjeboJNV0M
Doolittle came back out in the bottom of the ninth and retired the side in order to end it. Ballgame. Nationals win, 5-3.
Nationals now 52-45