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McCann's walk-off single lifts Braves over Nats in 10th

CBSSports.com wire reports
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ATLANTA -- Brian McCann's teammates couldn't wait to celebrate his game-winning hit against Washington.

Eric Hinske led a wave of players that poured out of the dugout to chase McCann to first base after his 10th-inning single lifted the Atlanta Braves to a 6-5 win over the Nationals on Thursday night.

Martin Prado, who hit a tying grand slam in the seventh inning, scored the winning run on McCann's single to right field.

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"It was awesome," McCann said. "I looked and saw Hinske running with me. I should have stopped."

Prado, who scored easily from second, had a good view of his teammates surrounding McCann.

"They know how to celebrate," Prado said. "I love that about my teammates."

Doug Slaten (0-1) walked Prado to open the 10th inning, and Prado advanced to second on Nate McLouth's sacrifice bunt. Slaten intentionally walked Chipper Jones -- who homered in the third inning -- so that he could face McCann, who delivered the winning hit.

Craig Kimbrel (1-1), who blew his third save in the Braves' 7-3 loss to the Nationals in 11 innings on Wednesday night, struck out the side in the 10th to earn the win.

Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said the comeback win was especially important following the extra-innings loss he called "cruel" one night earlier.

"This time we were on the other side of a not-cruel game," Gonzalez said. "They let us hang around and we came back and got one. After losing the one last night, it's good to see."

Prado's grand slam off Sean Burnett tied the game at 5-5, spoiling a strong start by the Nats' Jordan Zimmermann. He set a career high with 11 strikeouts in 6 1/3 innings.

Zimmermann left the game with a 5-1 lead after giving up a one-out walk to Freddie Freeman and a single to Alex Gonzalez in the seventh. Burnett loaded the bases by walking pinch-hitter Brooks Conrad before giving up Prado's second career slam on a 3-2 pitch.

Prado said he was expecting a good pitch to hit because he knew Burnett would not want to force in a run with a walk.

"They were winning by four -- they didn't want to lose with walks," Prado said. "I got the pitch right down the middle and hit it solid."

Burnett said Prado hit a tough pitch.

"He hit it off his foot. I don't know how he got to it," Burnett said. "I kept making pitches. I made one mistake tonight and it cost us four runs.

"It makes me sick to think that I blew a four-run lead."

Danny Espinosa hit a two-run homer for Washington in the second inning, and Ivan Rodriguez added a sixth-inning homer on a night when balls were flying out of the park.

The two homers matched the total the Braves' Derek Lowe had allowed in his first eight starts this season. Lowe gave up five hits and five runs in six innings.

Zimmermann gave up soft singles to Prado and McLouth to open the game. With two outs, the right-hander walked Dan Uggla to load the bases before striking out Hinske. It was the third strikeout looking of the inning, and Zimmermann retired two more that way in the game.

Laynce Nix led off the fourth with a double and scored on Adam LaRoche's single. LaRoche scored later in the inning on a grounder by Rodriguez for a 4-1 lead.

The Braves were without right fielder Jason Heyward for the second straight day. Heyward had a cortisone shot in his sore right shoulder Thursday after an MRI exam showed only inflammation in his rotator cuff.

Gonzalez hit a one-out single off the left-field wall in the ninth inning but was thrown out at second base by Washington left fielder Michael Morse.

Notes

  • Braves pitching coach Roger McDowell returns Friday from a two-week suspension without pay. The suspension was imposed by Major League Baseball for his inappropriate comments and gestures to fans before an April 23 game in San Francisco.
  • Zimmermann set his previous high of nine strikeouts at Florida on Aug. 31, 2010.
  • Prado's grand slam was the Braves' first of the season.
 
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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Brian McCann drives in the winning run in the 10th inning as the Braves nip the visiting Nats. (AP)
Brian McCann drives in the winning run in the 10th inning as the Braves nip the visiting Nats. (AP)

Players of the Game
Atlanta

M. Prado
AB 4
R 2
H 2
HR 1
RBI 4
Washington

D. Espinosa
AB 3
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 2
 
Washington Nationals
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Roger Bernadina, CF3010110 .250
   a- Michael Morse, PH-LF1000001 .235
Ian Desmond, SS5000042 .215
Jayson Werth, RF5000042 .226
Laynce Nix, LF-CF4110111 .282
Adam LaRoche, 1B3211112 .205
Danny Espinosa, 2B3112000 .210
    Doug Slaten, P0000000 .000
Ivan Rodriguez, C4111010 .217
Alex Cora, 3B4000010 .233
Jordan Zimmermann, P3000021 .143
    Sean Burnett, P0000000 .000
    Jerry Hairston Jr., 2B0000100 .231
Totals35554415  
a-hit into fielder's choice for Bernadina in the 9th
Batting
2B - Laynce Nix (4, Lowe)
HR - Danny Espinosa (4, Lowe), Ivan Rodriguez (2, Lowe)
RBI - Adam LaRoche (15), Danny Espinosa 2 (20), Ivan Rodriguez (11)
SB - Roger Bernadina (3, 2nd base off Lowe/McCann), Ian Desmond (13, 2nd base off Lowe/McCann)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Michael Morse 1
Washington Nationals
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Jordan Zimmermann 6.15332111 4.13
Sean Burnett (BS,3) 0.2122101 6.46
Doug Slaten (L,0-1) 2.1211210 2.00
IBB - Jones by Doug Slaten
Pitches-Strikes - Jordan Zimmermann 103-65, Sean Burnett 21-13, Doug Slaten 30-18
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jordan Zimmermann 5-3, Sean Burnett 2-0, Doug Slaten 4-1
Batters Faced - Jordan Zimmermann 26, Sean Burnett 4, Doug Slaten 10
Atlanta Braves
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Martin Prado, LF4224100 .281
Nate McLouth, CF4020010 .265
Chipper Jones, 3B4111113 .272
Brian McCann, C5011022 .310
Dan Uggla, 2B3000111 .205
Eric Hinske, RF4000023 .326
Freddie Freeman, 1B3100120 .228
Alex Gonzalez, SS4120010 .250
Derek Lowe, P2000020 .154
    Cory Gearrin, P0000000 .000
   a- Brooks Conrad, PH0100100 .125
    Eric O'Flaherty, P0000000 .000
    Jonny Venters, P0000000 .000
   b- Joe Mather, PH1000000 .167
    Craig Kimbrel, P0000000 .000
Totals34686512  
a-walked for Gearrin in the 7th
b-grounded out for Venters in the 9th
Batting
HR - Martin Prado (5, Burnett), Chipper Jones (4, Zimmermann)
SH - Nate McLouth (3)
RBI - Martin Prado 4 (24), Chipper Jones (26), Brian McCann (20)
2-OUT RBI - Chipper Jones (7)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
E - Dan Uggla (3, Throwing)
Atlanta Braves
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Derek Lowe 6555362 3.73
Cory Gearrin 1000030 2.79
Eric O'Flaherty 1000010 0.92
Jonny Venters 1000120 0.83
Craig Kimbrel (W,1-1) 1000030 2.55
IBB - Nix by Derek Lowe
HBP - Espinosa (by Derek Lowe)
Pitches-Strikes - Derek Lowe 112-65, Cory Gearrin 16-12, Eric O'Flaherty 12-8, Jonny Venters 15-9, Craig Kimbrel 13-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Derek Lowe 11-1, Jonny Venters 1-0
Batters Faced - Derek Lowe 27, Cory Gearrin 3, Eric O'Flaherty 3, Jonny Venters 4, Craig Kimbrel 3
Game Information
Attendance - 19758
Game Time - 3:04
Temperature - 87
Umpires - Home - Jim Joyce, First Base - Ron Kulpa, Second Base - Jim Wolf, Third Base - Derryl Cousins