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Anthony Rendon grand slam lifts Nationals in 6-3 win over Braves

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With the score tied at 2-2 in the sixth, Anthony Rendon stepped in with the bases loaded and hit one out to left field...

MLB: Atlanta Braves at Washington Nationals Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

A half-inning after the Atlanta Braves tied things up at 2-2 in the series opener in Nationals Park, Anthony Rendon stepped in with the bases loaded and one out and hit a 2-0 fastball from reliever Chad Sobotka out to left for a no-doubter of a grand slam that made it a 6-2 game in the sixth.

Rendon’s 3rd career grand slam and 23rd home run of the season put the Nationals on top for good in what ended up a 6-3 win...

Corbin vs ATL: Patrick Corbin headed into his second appearance against the Braves this month, (after a five inning outing in SunTrust Park on the last road trip in which he gave up two runs on eight hits) with a seven-start unbeaten streak going, over which the lefty was (3-0) with a 1.60 ERA, 11 walks, 57 Ks, and a .217/.266/.317 line against in 45 IP.

Corbin took a no-hitter into the fourth tonight, with a grounder to second that Brian Dozier bobbled, allowing Ozzie Albies to reach base in the first, retroactively ruled an error, but a Freddie Freeman liner to left with one out in the fourth inning gave the Braves their first hit off the Nationals’ lefty. Freeman took second on a wild pitch to Adam Duvall, and scored to get Atlanta on the board, down 2-1, on a grounder to third by Duvall when Anthony Rendon dove for the ball and made the play before sailing the throw over Howie Kendrick at first...

Corbin struck out the side in a 14-pitch fifth that left him at 80 pitches total with eight Ks from the 19 batters he’d faced.

Back-to-back, one-out singles by Freeman and Josh Donaldson in the sixth gave the Braves runners on first and third, however, and Adam Duvall hit a ball to the wall in left, where Juan Soto got it before it went into the visitor’s bullpen, but it was deep enough for a game-tying sacrifice fly that made it 2-2.

Patrick Corbin’s Line: 6.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 8 Ks, 107 P, 67 S, 5/5 GO/FO.

Keuchel vs D.C.: Dallas Keuchel made his 2019 debut, after signing a 1-year/$13M deal with the Braves in early June, with a five-inning outing against the Nationals at home in SunTrust Park in which he gave up eight hits and four runs, three earned, in a 4-3 loss in which he did not figure in the outcome.

In six starts since, before he went up against Washington again tonight in Nationals Park, the 31-year-old lefty was (3-2) with a 3.62 ERA, 14 walks, 31 strikeouts, and a .231/.299/.420 line against in 38 23 IP.

Keuchel and the Braves fell behind early tonight when the Nationals scored a run in the first, with Adam Eaton taking a fastball off the wrist, taking his base, moving to second base on a passed ball, and scoring on an RBI single to center by Juan Soto, 1-0.

Keuchel was 26 pitches into the first after a two-out walk to Brian Dozier loaded the bases, but he got a force at second on a Victor Robles’ grounder on pitch No. 28 of the bottom of the Nationals’ first.

Keuchel walked Yan Gomes to start the second, and the Nationals’ catcher moved up on a sac bunt by Patrick Corbin before scoring on an RBI double to left field by Trea Turner, 2-0. Turner’s 22nd double of the 2019 campaign.

Keuchel held the Nationals there through five, giving up just five hits total, but a 25-pitch fifth inning left him at 99 total.

The veteran lefty returned to the mound in a 2-2 game in the seventh, and issued the third walk of the night to Yan Gomes. Pinch hitter Adrián Sanchez stepped in with one out and a runner on, and singled through the left side, ending Keuchel’s night...

Dallas Keuchel’s Line: 5.1 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 4 BB, 4 Ks, 108 P, 61 S, 8/1 GO/FO.

vs LHPs: Going up against another left-hander tonight, after facing two of the toughest southpaws in the majors in the first two games with the Dodgers this past weekend, the Nats started the night with a combined .279/.368/.474 line against left-handed pitchers, which was good for 2nd/1st/2nd across the line among National League teams.

BULLPEN ACTION: Chad Sobotka inherited a two-on, one-out situation from Dallas Keuchel in the bottom of the sixth inning, after a walk to Yan Gomes and a single by Adrían Sanchez put runners on first and second. Trea Turner K’d swinging for out No. 2, but Adam Eaton got on via walk in front of Anthony Rendon, loading the bases, and Rendon got all of a 2-0 pitch and sent a grand slam into the left field seats, 6-2 Nationals. No. 23 for Rendon. 3rd career grand slam.

Wander Suero came on with a four-run lead in the seventh and retired the side in order in an 11-pitch frame.

Braves’ righty Jeremy Walker walked three batters in the bottom of the seventh, though the first batter, Brian Dozier, was thrown out trying to steal second, but he managed to get out of the inning without the Nationals adding to their lead.

Fernando Rodney needed 16 pitches in a scoreless top of the eighth.

Jerry Blevins tossed a scoreless bottom of the eighth to keep it a four-run game.

Sean Doolittle got the ninth in a non-save situation with a 6-2 lead and gave up a one-out home run by Charlie Culberson, 6-3, before he ended it with two quick outs. Ballgame.

Nationals now 57-49