Atlanta at Washington

Final 10th
W: S. Shell (1-1) L: V. Nunez (0-2)
HR: ATL - B. McCann (23), M. Prado (2), C. Jones (20)   WAS - None

Nationals 9, Braves 8 (10) wire reports

WASHINGTON -- Elijah Dukes pumped his chest with his right fist and gleefully trotted to first base, happy to prove an old baseball maxim: A walk is as good as a hit.

Dukes walked with the bases loaded in the bottom of the 10th inning and the Washington Nationals beat the Atlanta Braves 9-8 on Saturday night for their season-high fifth straight win.

"I'm always proud of a walk. I love walks," Dukes said. "That's my motto: A walk's as good as a hit. And I showed them today. ... You don't always have to get a hit. Sometimes a walk will beat a team, too."

Anderson Hernandez started the decisive rally by drawing a leadoff walk off Vladimir Nunez (0-2) and went to second on a passed ball by catcher Brian McCann. Cristian Guzman lined an infield single off the glove of first baseman Martin Prado, sending Hernandez to third, and Ryan Zimmerman was intentionally walked to load the bases.

Lastings Milledge struck out and Ronnie Belliard lined out before Dukes took a low and outside 3-2 slider to force in the winning run.

When Braves manager Bobby Cox summoned Nunez to work the 10th, Nationals hitting coach Lenny Harris made sure his hitters knew Nunez would attack them with an array of breaking stuff. Harris' instructions: Be patient.

"They worked the count, a full count, and were able to lay off some tough pitches when those times, a lot of people just want to get the hit to win it," Washington manager Manny Acta said.

Steven Shell (1-1) pitched an inning for his first major league win.

Hernandez and Jesus Flores each drove in three runs for the Nationals, whose winning streak is their longest since a six-game run from July 31-Aug. 5, 2007.

"They've been playing with a lot of confidence of late," Acta said. "Right now, they're just flying high. They think they can come back and our offense is clicking."

Atlanta's Chipper Jones, who entered the game as the majors' leading hitter, homered leading off the seventh, his 20th of the season. He joins Hall of Famer Eddie Mathews as the only players in baseball history to start their careers with 14 seasons of at least 20 home runs.

"A lot of players aren't lucky enough to play this long, but I have been that lucky and relatively healthy during that run and able to produce," Jones said. "Any kind of longevity record is a feather in your cap. I've had a pretty good career. To be standing besides Eddie Mathews in another category is quite an honor."

Belliard added two RBI and Zimmerman three hits for Washington, which has won nine of 13 games against Atlanta this season.

McCann and Prado also homered for the Braves, who have lost 15 of 19. Jones, McCann and Prado each drove in two runs.

Atlanta, which twice squandered four-run leads, fell to 0-21 in one-run road games this season and is 0-28 dating to last year.

"You feel like you've got the game won. We're up 4-0, 6-2," Jones said. "Then, whatever's been happening all year reared its ugly head again. ... We couldn't get anyone out. It cost us the game."

Cox was more succinct: "It wasn't a good night for pitching."

The Braves used four doubles and an RBI single by Prado to go up 4-0 in the third. After Josh Anderson doubled for the Braves' first hit against Nationals starter Jason Bergmann, Jones, McCann and Omar Infante hit RBI doubles. Prado's run-scoring single to the alley in right-center capped the uprising.

Hernandez's two-run single made it 4-2 in the fourth.

McCann lined Bergmann's 3-2 pitch over the right-field wall leading off the fifth. Two batters later, Prado's second home run put Atlanta up 6-2 and chased Bergmann.

Bergmann went 4 1/3 innings and gave up six runs and eight hits with three walks.

Braves starter Jo-Jo Reyes appeared poised to get his first victory in 10 starts since June 13, but couldn't get through the fifth inning, when the Nationals scored five times to take the lead. Reyes was lifted after yielding singles to Zimmerman and Lastings Milledge.

Buddy Carlyle relieved and gave up an RBI double to Belliard before walking Dukes to load the bases. Flores cleared them with a game-tying, three-run double to the wall in center.

Hernandez then put Washington ahead 7-6 with a two-out, RBI single to center.

"My job is to defuse a situation rather than ignite it," Carlyle said. "Tonight, I ignited it more than defused it."

Reyes worked four-plus innings, giving up four runs and eight hits.

Belliard added a run-scoring single in the sixth for a two-run lead. Jones homered off Charlie Manning in the seventh.

Atlanta tied the game in the eighth. Pinch-hitter Greg Norton and Anderson singled before Gregor Blanco's RBI double to right. Anderson was thrown out at home trying to score.


It was Washington's ninth walk-off win and the Nationals' 12th in their last at-bat. Dukes has driven in the game-winner in three of them. ... Atlanta fell a season-low 18 games under .500.

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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Players of the Game

A. Hernandez
AB 5
R 1
H 3
HR 0

M. Prado
AB 5
R 1
H 3
HR 1

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Atlanta Braves
Josh Anderson, CF4120201 .333
Gregor Blanco, LF4011113 .256
Chipper Jones, 3B5222004 .359
Brian McCann, C4222110 .296
Omar Infante, SS5111002 .304
Martin Prado, 1B5132000 .343
Brandon Jones, RF5000002 .254
Kelly Johnson, 2B5020020 .265
Jo-Jo Reyes, P1000000 .077
    Buddy Carlyle, P0000000 .250
   a- Yunel Escobar, PH1000000 .280
    Jeff Bennett, P0000000 .222
   b- Greg Norton, PH1110000 .265
    Will Ohman, P0000000 .000
    Julian Tavarez, P0000000 .000
   c- Jeff Francoeur, PH1000001 .229
    Vladimir Nunez, P0000000 .000
a-grounded out for Carlyle in the 6th
b-singled for J. Bennett in the 8th
c-grounded out for Tavarez in the 10th
2B - Josh Anderson (1, Bergmann), Gregor Blanco (12, Rivera), Chipper Jones (20, Bergmann), Brian McCann (33, Bergmann), Omar Infante (20, Bergmann), Kelly Johnson (30, Shell)
HR - Chipper Jones (20, Manning), Brian McCann (23, Bergmann), Martin Prado (2, Bergmann)
SH - Gregor Blanco (5), Jo-Jo Reyes (3)
RBI - Gregor Blanco (32), Chipper Jones 2 (66), Brian McCann 2 (77), Omar Infante (31), Martin Prado 2 (26)
2-OUT RBI - Chipper Jones (13), Brian McCann (31), Omar Infante (8), Martin Prado (11)
Team LOB - 9
DP - Jones-Johnson-Prado
PB - Brian McCann (6)
Atlanta Braves
Jo-Jo Reyes 4844220 5.49
Buddy Carlyle 1333120 3.81
Jeff Bennett 2211000 4.15
Will Ohman 0.1100000 3.44
Julian Tavarez 1.2100110 5.36
Vladimir Nunez (L,0-2) 0.2111310 5.23
IBB - Zimmerman by Vladimir Nunez
Pitches-Strikes - Jo-Jo Reyes 94-59, Buddy Carlyle 26-13, Jeff Bennett 29-21, Will Ohman 8-6, Julian Tavarez 31-17, Vladimir Nunez 29-14
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jo-Jo Reyes 4-6, Jeff Bennett 3-2, Julian Tavarez 2-2
Batters Faced - Jo-Jo Reyes 22, Buddy Carlyle 7, Jeff Bennett 7, Will Ohman 2, Julian Tavarez 7, Vladimir Nunez 6
Washington Nationals
Anderson Hernandez, 2B5133100 .462
Cristian Guzman, SS6030013 .307
Ryan Zimmerman, 3B5130101 .278
Lastings Milledge, CF6220027 .262
Ronnie Belliard, 1B6122017 .278
Elijah Dukes, RF4221211 .274
Jesus Flores, C5113002 .253
Ryan Langerhans, LF2100301 .235
Jason Bergmann, P1000001 .000
    Marco Estrada, P0000000 .000
   a- Pete Orr, PH1000011 .224
    Charlie Manning, P0000000 .000
    Jesus Colome, P0000000 .000
   b- Aaron Boone, PH1000000 .249
    Saul Rivera, P0000000 .000
    Joel Hanrahan, P0000000 .000
   c- Willie Harris, PH1000002 .250
    Steven Shell, P0000000 .000
a-struck out for M. Estrada in the 5th
b-lined out for Colome in the 7th
c-grounded out for Hanrahan in the 9th
2B - Ronnie Belliard (21, Carlyle), Elijah Dukes (11, Tavarez), Jesus Flores (17, Carlyle)
SH - Jason Bergmann (1)
RBI - Anderson Hernandez 3 (5), Ronnie Belliard 2 (45), Elijah Dukes (28), Jesus Flores 3 (58)
2-OUT RBI - Anderson Hernandez 3 (5), Elijah Dukes (6)
SB - Cristian Guzman (4, 2nd base off Tavarez/McCann), Lastings Milledge (19, 2nd base off J. Bennett/McCann), Elijah Dukes (12, 2nd base off Reyes/McCann)
Team LOB - 13
Outfield Assists - Elijah Dukes 1
Washington Nationals
Jason Bergmann 4.1866302 4.83
Marco Estrada 0.2000010 4.50
Charlie Manning (H,7) 1.1111011 5.03
Jesus Colome (H,1) 0.2100000 4.87
Saul Rivera (BS,6) 1311010 3.62
Joel Hanrahan 1000010 3.52
Steven Shell (W,1-1) 1100100 2.09
Pitches-Strikes - Jason Bergmann 87-51, Marco Estrada 10-5, Charlie Manning 25-17, Jesus Colome 7-6, Saul Rivera 20-13, Joel Hanrahan 9-6, Steven Shell 24-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jason Bergmann 8-5, Charlie Manning 2-1, Saul Rivera 1-0, Joel Hanrahan 2-0, Steven Shell 1-2
Batters Faced - Jason Bergmann 24, Marco Estrada 2, Charlie Manning 5, Jesus Colome 3, Saul Rivera 5, Joel Hanrahan 3, Steven Shell 5
Game Information
Attendance - 30326
Game Time - 3:46
Temperature - 84
Umpires - Home - Tim McClelland, First Base - Mike Everitt, Second Base - Mike DiMuro, Third Base - Larry Vanover