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Washington Nationals settle for split, drop series finale to Atlanta Braves, 10-3

Freddie Freeman’s second career grand slam blew this one open and helped the Braves to a split of the four-game set with the Nationals.

Washington Nationals v Atlanta Braves Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images

Freddie Freeman had 105 career plate appearance with the bases loaded before he hit his first grand slam on Friday night in Atlanta.

Freeman hit his second career slam in his 107th career plate appearance with the bases loaded, blowing things opening in what was a 3-1 game before he took Kyle Finnegan to left-center field in Truist Park for his seventh home run of the season, which made it 7-1 Braves. It ended up a 10-3 win for the home team.

Patrick Corbin put together a solid start for the Washington Nationals, even after he got hit in the leg by a hard-hit ball back to the mound on his first pitch of the game, but it was not enough for the visiting team, who settled for a split in the four-game series.

Corbin vs ATL: After going (2-0) in his first three outings this season, Patrick Corbin took the mound today winless in his last four starts with a 4.84 ERA, eight walks, 16 Ks, and a .308/.360/.538 line against in 22 13 IP over that stretch.

Last time out on the mound, the southpaw gave up five hits, three walks, and two runs in five innings of work in which he threw 92 pitches.

“He said he was good right there. I’m going to listen to him. He said he was getting a little fatigued, but he kept us in the ballgame,” Martinez said after that outing, a 6-0 loss to the Phillies.

Going up against another NL East rival today, Corbin got off to a rough start, with the first pitch he threw coming right back at him off Braves’ leadoff man Ronald Acuña, Jr.’s bat to catch his, Corbin’s, left leg. Corbin recovered, but threw late to first. A fly to right field and inning-ending 4-6-3 DP followed in a six-pitch frame.

Corbin worked around a leadoff single and one-out walk in the second, getting a swinging K with a 1-2 slider in the dirt to Tyler Flowers, then had to get the third out at third base since the pitch wasn’t caught clean by catcher Yan Gomes, and no one was at first base to catch a throw from Gomes. K + 2-5 force for the putout? That’s weird.

Austin Riley (single) and Adam Duvall (ground-rule double) connected for back-to-back, one-out hits off Corbin in the fourth, and both runners scored on a Tyler Flowers’ double down the right field line that Adam Eaton hustled for but couldn’t catch, 2-1 Braves.

Dansby Swanson singled with two out to load the bases for Freddie Freeman, but a fly to left ended the threat, and the 31-pitch frame pushed Corbin up to 80 total.

Corbin’s 84th pitch, a get-me-over, 2-1 slider, went out to deep left-center for a leadoff home run by Marcell Ozuna in the bottom of the fifth. Ozuna’s 13th. 3-1 Braves.

Corbin came back out for the sixth, but a one-out single by Adeiny Hechavarria and a walk to Ronald Acuña, Jr. ended the lefty’s outing. Both runners he let on scored (see below)...

Patrick Corbin’s Line: 5.1 IP, 9 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 4 BB, 6 Ks, 1 HR, 106 P, 63 S, 5/2 GO/FO.

Tomlin vs Washington: Veteran righty Josh Tomlin, 35, made his first start of the season for the Braves last month, holding the Nationals to two runs on six hits in four innings of work.

Atlanta’s manager, Brian Snitker, said he was happy with the results for Tomlin’s first start.

“He did exactly what we needed him to do,” Snitker told reporters, as quoted by’s Mark Bowman. “It was exactly why I wanted to start him tonight, because I figured that’s what we’d get out of him.”

In two starts that followed, before he faced the Nationals again tonight, Tomlin gave up 11 hits (four home runs) and eight runs total (seven earned) in 7 13 IP.

Tomlin tossed a quick, nine-pitch, 1-2-3 first, but Brock Holt (who went 4 for 4 in his final four plate appearances last night) made it 5 for 5 in five at bats with a one-out single to center in the second, and Holt scored on a two-out RBI hit by Eric Thames, who went 10 pitches deep against the Braves’ righty before lining a cutter to right for a single, 1-0.

Tomlin held the Nationals there through five, retiring 10 of 11 batters after Thames’ RBI hit, and he had a 2-1 lead after five, and a 3-1 lead when he took the mound in the sixth. It was 13 of 14 set down after an eight-pitch, 1-2-3 sixth.

Josh Tomlin’s Line: 6.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 2 Ks, 75 P, 50 S, 6/5 GO/FO.

Holt = Hot?: Brock Holt finished up Saturday’s game with hits in his final four at bats, two doubles and two singles, and he started off today’s game with a single to center, 5 for 5, then scored the Nationals’ first run of the game on an RBI single by Eric Thames. Is Holt actually hot? [ed. note - “Don’t jinx it!”] Holt’s mini-streak ended with a fly to left in the 4th.

Holt singled in the seventh as well, 2 for 3, R, and added a hit in the ninth, 3 for 4.

BULLPEN ACTION: Kyle Finnegan inherited a two-on, one-out jam in the sixth when he took over for Patrick Corbin, and walked the first batter he faced, putting Dansby Swanson on to load the bases in front of Freddie Freeman for the second time today, and Freeman hit his second grand slam of the series (and of his career) out to left-center to make it a 7-1 game in the home team’s favor.

Dakota Bacus came on for Finnegan after a two-out HBP and a walk, and got the final out of the inning.

Chris Martin came on for the home team in the top of the seventh inning and struck out three around a one-out single by Holt.

Bacus returned to the mound in the bottom of the seventh inning and gave up a two-out, base-clearing double by Marcell Ozuna, 10-1.

Darren O’Day threw a clean top of the eighth.

Ryne Harper worked around a two-out double for a scoreless bottom of the eighth.

Bryse Wilson gave up a leadoff double by Adam Eaton in the top of the ninth, and an RBI triple by Trea Turner, 10-2, and Turner scored on a single by Asdrúbal Cabrera, 10-3. Holt singled to left in the next at bat.

Final Score: 10-3 Braves

Nationals now 14-25