Freddie Freeman’s first career grand slam came at just the right time, in his 105th plate appearance with the bases loaded, and the Atlanta Braves trailing 7-3 in the fourth with Tanner Rainey on the mound for the visiting Washington Nationals in Truist Park.
Freeman jacked a 98 MPH 1-0 fastball and hit a no-doubter 435 feet to center field to tie things up at 7-7 in the seven-inning affair.
But it a home run by Trea Turner on an 0-1 slider from reliever Will Smith out to center in the sixth to put the visitors on top, 8-7, and they added two they ended up needing in the top of the seventh in what ended up a 10-9 win.
Crowe vs Atlanta: Wil Crowe, 25, and a 2017 2nd Round pick out of the University of South Carolina, made his MLB debut with the Nationals last month, giving up six hits, two walks, and four runs, two earned, in a 3 2⁄3-inning outing against the Miami Marlins.
“I thought he pitched really well,” manager Davey Martinez said after what ended up a 5-3 loss to the Fish.
“He fell behind a couple times to hitters, but he came right back. He threw the ball well.”
Martinez announced yesterday that Crowe would get another shot in the second game of today’s doubleheader.
Crowe came out strong, striking out Ronald Acuña, Jr. and popping up Dansby Swanson for the first two outs of the bottom of the first, but a two-out walk to Freddie Freeman and a line drive double to left by Marcell Ozuna got the Braves on the board after the Nationals took a 1-0 lead in the top of the inning, 1-1.
Austin Riley hit an 0-1 slider out to left-center, and about 20 rows back for a leadoff homer in the second, and Acuña, Jr.’s third homer of the doublehader was a solo home run out to center on a 2-1 fastball that traveled 435 ft and put the Braves up 3-2.
It was 7-3 in the Nationals’ favor when Crowe came out for the third and gave up a leadoff double by Freddie Freeman and a one-out walk to Travis d’Arnaud. Nick Markakis took the second straight walk in the next at bat, which led Davey Martinez to go to his bullpen...
Wil Crowe’s Line: 2.1 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 4 BB, 3 Ks, 2 HRs, 68 P, 33 S, 1/0 GO/FO.
Ynoa vs Washington: Huascar Ynoa got the start for the Braves in the nightcap of today’s doubleheader in Atlanta.
The 22-year-old right-hander tossed three scoreless in relief against the Nationals in D.C. back on August 17th.
Ynoa got off to a rocky start today, hitting Victor Robles in the arm in the second at bat of the game, then balking him over to second before the Nationals’ leadoff man moved over on a groundout by Trea Turner and scored on a sac fly by Asdrúbal Cabrera, 1-0 after one.
Josh Harrison took the second HBP of the game off his left wrist with one out in the second, and was not pleased, but he took his base, took second on a Luis García single, third on a Michael A. Taylor groundout, and scored on a two-out single by Brock Holt, 2-1 Nationals.
Asdrúbal Cabrera, Kurt Suzuki, and Eric Thames hit back-to-back-to-back singles off Ynoa in the third, with Thames’ hit a two-run line drive to right field that got both runners home and put the Nationals up, 4-3. A two-out walk to Wilmer Difo ended Ynoa’s outing with one out in the third.
Huascar Ynoa’s Line: 2.1 IP, 5 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 1 BB, 3 Ks, 55 P, 33 S, 3/1 GO/FO.
BULLPEN ACTION: Luke Jackson inherited a two-on, one-out jam in the top of the third, and gave up a base-loading single by Luis García, before he crossed up catcher Travis d’Arnaud on a slider, and the resultant passed ball allowed Eric Thames to score, 5-3, and 7-3 on a hit off the third base bag by Michael A. Taylor.
Kyle Finnegan inherited a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the bottom of the third, and got an inning-ending 6-4-3 to get out of trouble. Still 7-3 Nationals.
Jackson came back out and set the Nationals down in order in the top of the fourth.
Finnegan gave up back-to-back hits in the first two at bats of the Braves’ fourth, before his skipper went to the pen again.
Tanner Rainey took over with Ronald Acuña, Jr. at the plate and he got a swinging K on a slider in the dirt that bounced off and past catcher Kurt Suzuki, allowing both runners to advance into scoring position. A walk to Dansby Swanson, in an at bat in which he threw him six straight sliders, loaded the bases in front of Freddie Freeman, who hit a 1-0 four-seamer out to center for a game-tying grand slam, 7-7.
Grant Dayton was next out of the pen for Atlanta, and he gave up a 12-pitch, one-out walk to Wilmer Difo, but got two quick outs to keep it tied.
Wander Suero retired the Braves in order in a 12-pitch fifth, striking out two.
Will Smith came on for Atlanta in the top of the sixth, and gave up a two-out home run to center by Trea Turner that put Washington up 8-7. Turner’s 9th.
Will Harris gave up a leadoff single by Johan Camargo but stranded him two Ks and three outs later to keep it 8-7 in the Nationals’ favor.
Righty Patrick Weigel walked Kurt Suzuki to start the top of the seventh inning and gave up a double to center by Eric Thames which set Wilmer Difo up with an RBI opportunity he cashed in with sac fly to center, 9-7, and 10-7 on a bunt by Michael A. Taylor with runners on the corners.
Weigel walked Brock Holt to lad the bases, and got out No. 2 on a force at home before the Braves went with a position player, Charlie Culberson, on the mound with the bases loaded and Trea Turner due up, and Culberson popped Turner up to end the inning.
Daniel Hudson came on for the save opportunity and walked Marcell Ozuna to start the inning and then gave up a two-run home run to left by Travis d’Arnaud, 10-9.
Nick Markakis hit one back to the mound, off Hudson’s hip to Trea Turner at short, but a high throw clipped the top of Eric Thames’ glove and went out of play allowing Markakis to move up to second. Austin Riley popped up for the first out. Adam Duvall popped up for out No. 2. Johan Camargo? Foul tip strike three. Ballgame.
Final Score: 10-9 Nationals
Nationals now 13-24