Trailing 4-2 after four, the Washington Nationals scored one in the fifth on a botched ground ball off Howie Kendrick’s bat, and added two in the sixth, one on an RBI single by rookie Luis García, and another on a bunt hit with runners on the corners by Victor Robles, taking a 5-4 lead in what ended up a 10-4 win in the third of four with the Atlanta Braves in Truist Park.
Kyle McGowin replaced Erick Fedde on the mound in the fourth and tossed 2 1⁄3 scoreless, then Wander Suero followed with three outs in the seventh before handing things off, and Sean Doolittle, (12-pitch, 1-2-3 eighth), and Ryne Harper wrapped up the win.
Fedde vs Atlanta: Erick Fedde’s return to the rotation hasn’t gone as smoothly as the 27-year-old right-hander would probably have liked, but it was big innings in each of those outings that spoiled the first two starts back for the Nationals’ 2014 1st Round pick.
“Yeah, the big innings killed me two games in a row,” he said after giving up four of the six runs he allowed in Philadelphia last week in a rough fourth.
“You see him, he gets the ball up and he starts falling behind and he’s got to throw strikes,” Davey Martinez said. “Then he gets the ball up. His location, he starts losing a little bit of his location.”
Looking to avoid that one big inning tonight, Fedde took the mound with a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first and promptly surrendered the 4th home run in the last two games by Ronald Acuña, Jr. who hit a 1-2 sinker out to left-center to get the Braves on the board, 2-1.
Two runners reached base in the Braves’ second, but Fedde stranded them both in a 22-pitch inning which left him at 48 total after two.
Fedde paid for a one-out walk to Marcell Ozuna in the third almost immediately, when Travis d’Arnaud stepped in after the free pass and hit a first-pitch sinker out to center for a two-run home run that put the Braves up by one, 3-2.
Adam Duvall doubled to right the first time up against Erick Fedde, and homered to left in his second at bat, hitting a first-pitch cutter into the corner for the Braves’ third home run and a 4-2 lead.
A one-out walk to Acuña and two-out intentional pass pushed Fedde up to 92 pitches in the bottom of the fourth and the Nationals went to the pen at that point...
Erick Fedde’s Line: 3.2 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 4 BB, 2 Ks, 3 HRs, 92 P, 54 S, 8/1 GO/FO.
Fried vs Washington: Max Fried took the mound tonight unbeaten in eight starts (6-0) with a stingy 1.60 ERA, 14 walks, 43 Ks, and a .199/.270/.295 line against in 45 IP. Fried had given up more than one run just twice in his first eight outings, including his previous one before going up against the Nationals today.
Washington, as a team, started the day with a .304/.347/.540 line against left-handers on the season, good for 1st/4th/2nd across the line in the majors.
A HBP and two walks loaded the bases with Nationals with one out in the first, and an RBI groundout by Kurt Suzuki and two-out RBI single by Carter Kieboom made it 2-0 after a 1⁄2-inning in Atlanta.
It was 4-2 in the Braves’ favor in the fifth when Victor Robles and Trea Turner hit back-to-back singles off Fried, who dialed up what should have been an inning-ending 4-6-3 off Howie Kendrick’s bat, but a backhand, barehanded toss from Johan Camargo to second base was wide and got by Dansby Swanson, allowing Robles to score and make it 4-3 in Atlanta’s favor.
This is Howie'll take the run ♂️ pic.twitter.com/6m6gk6HOZS— Nationals on MASN (@masnNationals) September 6, 2020
Max Fried’s Line: 5.0 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 4 Ks, 90 P, 57 S, 5/1 GO/FO.
[Rizzo Points To Head]: Before tonight’s game, the Washington Nationals announced that they had agreed on a multi-year extension with President of Baseball Operations and GM Mike Rizzo, who’s 2-year/$8M deal was set to expire at the end of this season:
“We are thrilled that Mike will continue to lead our club,” said Washington Nationals’ Managing Principal Owner Mark D. Lerner. “He guided us through the early years of building this franchise into what it is today — a perennial contender that brought a World Series Championship home to Washington, D.C. last season. I look forward to continuing our strong working relationship for years to come.”
BULLPEN ACTION: Kyle McGowin, in his 2020 debut after getting called up this week, took the mound in a two-on, two-out situation in the fourth and struck Marcell Ozuna out with a five-slider attack.
McGowin, whose slider was particularly effective, struck out two batters in an 11-pitch, 1-2-3 fifth as well.
Tyler Matzek took over for Atlanta in the top of the sixth, and the left-hander walked Carter Kieboom in a 9-pitch at bat to start the frame. Brock Holt singled to send Kieboom around to third, and one out later, Luis García got a grounder through the right side to score one, 4-4, before Victor Robles bunted with runners on the corners, bringing in a run as he beat the throw to first, 5-4 Nationals.
Davey Martinez tried to get more out of McGowin and his slider, and McGowin rewarded the show of faith with a 14-pitch, 1-2-3 sixth, which left him at 30 pitches after 2 1⁄3 IP, with all of the seven batters he faced set down. Still 5-4 Nats.
Grant Dayton was the third lefty of the night for the home team, and retired the side in order.
Wander Suero came on for the Nationals with a 5-4 lead in the bottom of the seventh, after McGowin walked Dansby Swanson to start the inning.
Suero got a force at second on a Freddie Freeman grounder to second, but the Nationals couldn’t turn a double play. Marcell Ozuna K’d swinging on an 0-2 curve. Travis d’Arnaud stepped in next with a runner on first, and sent a fly to center to end the inning.
Dayton returned to the hill in the top of the eighth and gave up a leadoff double by Brock Holt before striking out Michael A. Taylor and Luis García and retiring Victor Robles on a groundout.
Sean Doolittle got the bottom of the eighth and retired the side in order in a 12-pitch frame.
Chad Sobotka gave up a leadoff single by Trea Turner in the ninth, and Turner took second on a passed ball, and scored on an RBI double by Howie Kendrick, 6-4.
Kendrick’s pinch runner, Josh Harrison moved up on a wild pitch with one down, and scored on an RBI double by Kurt Suzuki, 7-4. Brock hold drove Suzuki in with an RBI single, 8-4.
Luis García added a two-out, two-run double to make it a 10-4 lead.
Ryne Harper retired the side in order in the ninth to end it. Ballgame.
Final Score: 10-4 Nationals
Nationals now 14-24