Atlanta at Washington

Scoreboard
Atlanta (39-40) «0122003109141
Washington (22-55)121010102881

Braves 9, Nationals 8

CBSSports.com wire reports
  •  

WASHINGTON -- Brooks Conrad made quite a first impression, keeping the Atlanta Braves' winning streak and pursuit of the NL East lead in tact.

Conrad hit a pinch-hit, go-ahead three-run homer in the seventh inning and the Braves beat the Washington Nationals 9-8 on Friday night for their season-high fifth straight victory.

"[Conrad] couldn't have had a better debut with this organization, that's for sure," Braves manager Bobby Cox said. "He was a good asset and won us the game tonight, probably."

Yunel Escobar drew a leadoff walk from Jesus Colome (1-1) and moved to second on Matt Diaz's sacrifice. Colome walked Casey Kotchman on a 3-2 pitch with two outs before Conrad, a 29-year-old rookie whose contract was purchased from Triple-A Gwinnett to replace the injured Kelly Johnson, crushed a 1-0 fastball over the right-field fence for his first career homer.

Conrad, who had a six-game call-up with Oakland last year, got the milestone ball from teammate Jeff Francoeur, who retrieved it from the Washington bullpen.

"Huge thrill, obviously the best experience I've had in the big leagues," Conrad said. "It was only 12 days last year. It just feels awesome to come up in a situation like that and contribute right away."

Boone Logan (1-0) pitched 1 2/3 perfect innings of relief. Rafael Soriano worked the ninth for his eighth save in nine tries, despite yielding Cristian Guzman's two-out, two-run double.

Chipper Jones, Diaz and Escobar drove in two runs apiece for the Braves, who remained two games behind first-place Philadelphia in the NL East.

"Had we not come in on our longest winning streak of the season, we might have been primed for a letdown," Jones said. "But I think everybody is starting to feel like we got a good streak going and we don't want it to end -- [we] certainly don't want it to end here."

Adam Dunn hit his 21st homer, the 299th of his career, for the Nationals, who lost their fourth straight. Guzman had three RBI.

"We can't sit here and say we're better than we are," Dunn said. "We need to find a way to win these games."

Nationals pitchers issued six walks from the seventh inning on, a failure that wasn't lost on manager Manny Acta.

"It is disturbing because obviously those last nine outs have been very hard to get for us," Acta said. "When you come in, you don't help yourself by walking guys."

Josh Willingham's RBI single in the first gave Washington a 1-0 lead, but the Braves tied it in the second on a run-scoring single by Diaz.

The Nationals went up 3-1 in the second. Willie Harris doubled with one out and scored when starting pitcher Ross Detwiler shot a hard grounder off second baseman Martin Prado's glove for his first career hit and RBI. Detwiler went to second on Nyjer Morgan's groundout and scored on Nick Johnson's single to center.

The Braves tied in it in the third on Jones' RBI double and Escobar's single to left.

Dunn homered off Kenshin Kawakami leading off the fourth for a 4-3 lead.

Atlanta tied it in the fourth when Prado singled with one out, moved to second on a wild pitch and scored on Jones' single to left. Brian McCann singled, knocking Detwiler from the game, and Escobar greeted Tyler Clippard with a run-scoring double for a 5-4 lead.

Detwiler worked 3 1/3 innings, his shortest outing of the year, and remained winless in nine starts. He allowed five runs on 10 hits, walked two and struck out one.

Washington tied it at 5 in the fifth, taking advantage of Kawakami's throwing error to score an unearned run and force the Japanese right-hander from the game. Kawakami hit Willingham with a pitch then threw wildly to second on Guzman's swinging bunt, moving Willingham to third. Boone Logan relieved and yielded an RBI groundout to Josh Bard.

Kawakami, pitching for the first time since exiting a start on June 24 at Atlanta when he was hit in the neck by a liner off the bat of Joba Chamberlain, allowed five runs -- four earned -- on six hits in 4 1/3 innings. He walked three and struck out six. After Conrad's homer, Guzman's sacrifice fly in the seventh made it 8-6. Atlanta loaded the bases against Ron Villone in the eighth before Julian Tavarez relieved and surrendered a run-forcing walk to Diaz.

Notes

  • Johnson (right wrist tendinitis) was placed on the 15-day disabled list before the game.
  • OF Nate McLouth returned to the Atlanta lineup after missing five games with a left hamstring strain and went 1 for 6.
  • Morgan, acquired Tuesday in a trade from Pittsburgh, was 0 for 4 with a stolen base in his Nationals debut.
  • Washington's racing presidents mimicked Michael Jackson dance moves during their fourth-inning sprint, with winner Tom Jefferson doing a celebratory moonwalk.
 
Copyright 2014 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
Washington

C. Guzman
AB 4
R 0
H 2
HR 0
RBI 3
Atlanta

B. Conrad
AB 1
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 3
 

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Atlanta Braves
Nate McLouth, CF6010013 .257
Martin Prado, 2B6330001 .313
Chipper Jones, 3B4222200 .295
Brian McCann, C5120013 .311
Yunel Escobar, SS2122200 .299
Matt Diaz, LF3022112 .307
Jeff Francoeur, RF4000014 .245
   a- Garret Anderson, PH1000003 .286
    Mike Gonzalez, P0000000 .000
    Rafael Soriano, P0000000 .000
Casey Kotchman, 1B3110203 .273
Kenshin Kawakami, P2000103 .130
    Boone Logan, P0000000 .000
   b- Brooks Conrad, PH11130001.000
    Peter Moylan, P0000000 .000
    Gregor Blanco, RF1000010 .195
Totals38914985  
a-lined out for Francoeur in the 8th
b-homered for Logan in the 7th
Batting
2B - Martin Prado 2 (16, Detwiler, Villone), Chipper Jones (14, Detwiler), Brian McCann (15, Detwiler), Yunel Escobar (17, Clippard)
HR - Brooks Conrad (1, Colome)
SH - Brian McCann (1), Yunel Escobar (4), Matt Diaz (1)
RBI - Chipper Jones 2 (38), Yunel Escobar 2 (42), Matt Diaz 2 (22), Brooks Conrad 3 (3)
2-OUT RBI - Brooks Conrad 3 (3)
Team LOB - 13
Fielding
E - Kenshin Kawakami (1, Throwing)
Atlanta Braves
Kenshin Kawakami 4.1654361 4.46
Boone Logan (W,1-0) 1.2000000 5.40
Peter Moylan (H,12) 1111100 4.13
Mike Gonzalez (H,6) 1000030 2.54
Rafael Soriano (S,8) 1122210 1.63
IBB - Harris by Kenshin Kawakami
HBP - Willingham (by Kenshin Kawakami)
Pitches-Strikes - Kenshin Kawakami 92-56, Boone Logan 18-13, Peter Moylan 16-9, Mike Gonzalez 17-11, Rafael Soriano 24-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Kenshin Kawakami 4-4, Boone Logan 2-3, Peter Moylan 2-1, Rafael Soriano 1-1
Batters Faced - Kenshin Kawakami 24, Boone Logan 5, Peter Moylan 5, Mike Gonzalez 3, Rafael Soriano 6
Washington Nationals
Nyjer Morgan, CF4100120 .273
Nick Johnson, 1B4111111 .295
Ryan Zimmerman, 3B4210102 .295
Adam Dunn, LF3111212 .261
Josh Willingham, RF4111023 .287
Cristian Guzman, SS4023012 .320
Josh Bard, C5001002 .265
Willie Harris, 2B2110101 .248
   a- Anderson Hernandez, PH-2B1000010 .255
Ross Detwiler, P2111012 .083
    Tyler Clippard, P0000000 .000
    Sean Burnett, P0000000 .000
   b- Alberto Gonzalez, PH1000000 .309
    Jesus Colome, P0000000 .000
    Ron Villone, P0000000 .000
    Julian Tavarez, P0000000 .000
   c- Austin Kearns, PH1000010 .196
    Joe Beimel, P0000000 .000
Totals35888610  
a-struck out for Harris in the 8th
b-lined out for Burnett in the 6th
c-struck out for Tavarez in the 8th
Batting
2B - Cristian Guzman (15, Soriano), Willie Harris (12, Kawakami)
HR - Adam Dunn (21, Kawakami)
SF - Cristian Guzman (1)
RBI - Nick Johnson (34), Adam Dunn (57), Josh Willingham (19), Cristian Guzman 3 (21), Josh Bard (15), Ross Detwiler (1)
2-OUT RBI - Nick Johnson (10), Josh Willingham (6), Cristian Guzman 2 (10)
SB - Nyjer Morgan (19, 2nd base off Kawakami/McCann)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
E - Joe Beimel (2, Throwing)
Washington Nationals
Ross Detwiler 3.11055210 5.81
Tyler Clippard 2100020 3.60
Sean Burnett 0.2000000 3.15
Jesus Colome (L,1-1) 1133201 8.40
Ron Villone 0.1111200 3.13
Julian Tavarez 0.2000100 4.22
Joe Beimel 1100120 3.41
IBB - Kotchman by Ross Detwiler, Escobar by Ron Villone, Jones by Joe Beimel
WP - Ross Detwiler (2)
Pitches-Strikes - Ross Detwiler 86-53, Tyler Clippard 29-17, Sean Burnett 5-2, Jesus Colome 21-10, Ron Villone 15-5, Julian Tavarez 13-6, Joe Beimel 17-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Ross Detwiler 6-3, Tyler Clippard 1-3, Jesus Colome 2-1, Ron Villone 1-0, Julian Tavarez 1-1
Batters Faced - Ross Detwiler 22, Tyler Clippard 7, Sean Burnett 2, Jesus Colome 6, Ron Villone 4, Julian Tavarez 3, Joe Beimel 5
Game Information
Attendance - 33982
Game Time - 3:28
Temperature - 77
Umpires - Home - Mike Winters, First Base - Jerry Layne, Second Base - Tony Randazzo, Third Base - Chris Guccione