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Washington at Atlanta

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Washington (44-32)110002100590
Atlanta (41-36) «00331000x790

Braves beat Nats as Strasburg exits early

CBSSports.com wire reports
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ATLANTA -- On Atlanta's hottest day on record, Mike Minor did enough to cool off Stephen Strasburg and the Washington Nationals.

"He did, under tough conditions," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "I think we took a step forward with him today. He competed his butt off today."

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Minor won for just the second time in 12 starts and Atlanta overcame 106-degree heat to beat the Nationals 7-5 on Saturday.

The National Weather Service reported that the temperature was one degree hotter than the previous high from 1980.

"I think today 80-some pitches might equal about 140 the way the weather was," Gonzalez said. "For [Minor's] psyche ad his confidence, I think we took a step forward today. He was a bulldog today, didn't give it up."

Strasburg (9-3) left after just three innings because of weather-related issues and had three intravenous fluid treatments. He didn't return to begin the fourth, tying for the shortest outing of his 33-start career.

Braves officials reported no major health problems among the announced crowd of 26,491. The team credited eight free water stations at Turner Field with helping fans cool off.

Strasburg allowed two hits, three runs and four walks. Throwing 36 of his 67 pitches for strikes, Strasburg struck out four to reach 122, most in the majors.

Strasburg took extra time between pitches and walked slowly between innings. He hit an RBI single and left trailing 3-2 after the Braves' three-run third.

Nationals manager Davey Johnson came out of the dugout after the third to tell home plate umpire Marvin Hudson that Strasburg was leaving as Chien-Ming Wang jogged in from the bullpen.

"Pretty scary, and he wasn't talking too good," Johnson said. "I found out later he got a little dizzy out on the mound. The problem was that he was totally dehydrated. I think the doctor gave him, you know, three transfusions of saline, and he still wasn't going to the bathroom."

The Nationals, who had won 12 of Strasburg's 15 previous starts, trailed after Strasburg gave up an RBI double to Jason Heyward, Freddie Freeman's sacrifice fly and Dan Uggla's RBI double.

Atlanta had lost four of six and dropped 16 of 26 to Washington at home dating to October 2009, but the Braves scored three runs in the fourth and one in the fifth off Wang to take a 7-2 lead.

Strasburg lost consecutive starts for the first time since June 2010, when Kansas City and Atlanta beat him in the fourth and fifth starts of his career. His previous shortest outing was Sept. 11, 2011, when he received no-decision at home against Houston -- the second start he made after returning from elbow surgery on Sept. 3, 2010.

Minor (4-6) had lost his last two starts, allowing eight earned runs and four homers at the New York Yankees and Boston. The left-hander was pulled for Kris Medlen with no out in the sixth and runners on second and third.

"It's just an up and down year for me," Minor said. "I'm just trying to do my best every time I go out there and try to give the team a chance to win and try to do my job at the plate. Luckily, today I got a bunt down [in the fourth]. That's been a struggle for me, too."

Medlen gave up RBI singles to Tyler Moore and Jesus Flores as the Nationals cut the lead to 7-4.

After the Nationals made it 7-5 in the seventh on Adam LaRoche's RBI double, Chad Durbin replaced Medlen and walked two before stranding the bases loaded on a grounder by Flores.

Craig Kimbrel earned his 23rd save and converted his 15th straight opportunity by retiring Ryan Zimmerman on a groundout and striking out Michael Morse and LaRoche. Kimbrel was coming off a rare loss in a non-save situation Thursday against Arizona that ended his 17-game scoreless streak.

Washington led 1-0 in the first on Zimmerman's RBI groundout.

Strasburg helped himself with an RBI single in the second after a double by LaRoche.

In the third, Strasburg walked Michael Bourn and Martin Prado before Heyward doubled for Atlanta's first hit on Strasburg's 61st pitch.

Minor stranded the bases loaded in the third when Ian Desmond grounded into a double play and then retired six of the next seven batters.

In the fourth, Wang gave up Juan Francisco's RBI double, Bourn's RBI double and Prado's sacrifice fly. In the fifth, Andrelton Simmons' RBI single made it 7-2.

For Minor, it was strange to see Strasburg struggle. The two pitchers got to know each other in 2009 during the major league draft when Washington took Strasburg No. 1 overall and the Braves picked Minor at No. 7.

"He's got top-of-the-line stuff," Minor said. "He's like Kimbrel being a starter, with a change-up. He's just a dominant pitcher. For him to go down today and get brought out early, it helped us out [getting to] their bullpen."

Notes

  • Strasburg is 1-2 with a 6.28 ERA in three career starts at Turner Field.
  • Minor's last win was June 7 at Miami.
  • Simmons had three hits.
  • Bourn stole two bases, giving him 22 this year.
 
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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Andrelton Simmons leads the Braves with three hits, and also scores and drives in a run, to help knock off the Nationals.  (Getty Images)
Andrelton Simmons leads the Braves with three hits, and also scores and drives in a run, to help knock off the Nationals. (Getty Images)

Players of the Game
Atlanta

A. Simmons
AB 4
R 1
H 3
HR 0
RBI 1
Washington

A. LaRoche
AB 3
R 2
H 2
HR 0
RBI 1
 
Washington Nationals
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Danny Espinosa, 2B5110014 .226
Bryce Harper, CF5000001 .274
Ryan Zimmerman, 3B4001110 .234
Michael Morse, RF5120010 .299
Adam LaRoche, 1B3221210 .251
Ian Desmond, SS3110102 .276
Tyler Moore, LF3011111 .339
Jesus Flores, C3011113 .252
Stephen Strasburg, P1011100 .375
    Chien-Ming Wang, P0000000 .000
   a- Rick Ankiel, PH1000001 .224
    Tom Gorzelanny, P0000000 .500
   b- Roger Bernadina, PH0000000 .241
   c- Mark DeRosa, PH1000010 .100
    Mike Gonzalez, P0000000 .000
Totals3459577  
a-grounded into a double play for Wang in the 6th
b-announced for Gorzelanny in the 8th
c-struck out for Bernadina in the 8th
Batting
2B - Danny Espinosa (18, Minor), Adam LaRoche 2 (18, Minor, Medlen), Ian Desmond (23, Minor)
RBI - Ryan Zimmerman (31), Adam LaRoche (49), Tyler Moore (11), Jesus Flores (13), Stephen Strasburg (3)
2-OUT RBI - Adam LaRoche (17), Stephen Strasburg (2)
Team LOB - 9
Washington Nationals
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Stephen Strasburg (L,9-3) 3233440 2.81
Chien-Ming Wang 2544000 7.61
Tom Gorzelanny 2200110 3.69
Mike Gonzalez 1000120 1.93
WP - Chien-Ming Wang (2)
Pitches-Strikes - Stephen Strasburg 67-36, Chien-Ming Wang 38-24, Tom Gorzelanny 30-17, Mike Gonzalez 20-13
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Chien-Ming Wang 3-3, Tom Gorzelanny 4-1, Mike Gonzalez 1-0
Batters Faced - Stephen Strasburg 15, Chien-Ming Wang 11, Tom Gorzelanny 9, Mike Gonzalez 4
Atlanta Braves
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Michael Bourn, CF2211300 .307
Martin Prado, LF2111211 .323
Jason Heyward, RF4111113 .272
Freddie Freeman, 1B3111003 .262
Dan Uggla, 2B4011013 .235
Brian McCann, C4000001 .226
Andrelton Simmons, SS4131000 .333
Juan Francisco, 3B4111022 .225
Mike Minor, P1000010 .040
    Kris Medlen, P1000000 .333
    Chad Durbin, P0000000 .000
    Eric O'Flaherty, P0000000 .000
   a- Matt Diaz, PH1000010 .232
    Craig Kimbrel, P0000000 .000
Totals3079767  
a-struck out for O'Flaherty in the 8th
Batting
2B - Michael Bourn (15, Wang), Martin Prado (21, Gorzelanny), Jason Heyward (16, Strasburg), Dan Uggla (15, Strasburg), Juan Francisco (6, Wang)
SF - Martin Prado (4), Freddie Freeman (6)
SH - Mike Minor (3)
RBI - Michael Bourn (29), Martin Prado (31), Jason Heyward (38), Freddie Freeman (44), Dan Uggla (43), Andrelton Simmons (14), Juan Francisco (17)
2-OUT RBI - Dan Uggla (22), Andrelton Simmons (9)
SB - Michael Bourn 2 (22, 2nd base off Strasburg/Flores, 2nd base off Gonzalez/Flores)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
DP - Uggla-Freeman, Uggla-Simmons-Freeman
Atlanta Braves
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Mike Minor (W,4-6) 5544520 6.20
Kris Medlen 1.2411020 3.32
Chad Durbin (H,9) 0.1000200 4.06
Eric O'Flaherty (H,13) 1000010 3.18
Craig Kimbrel (S,23) 1000020 1.50
IBB - Flores by Mike Minor
WP - Kris Medlen (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Mike Minor 85-47, Kris Medlen 29-23, Chad Durbin 17-8, Eric O'Flaherty 13-8, Craig Kimbrel 14-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Mike Minor 6-6, Kris Medlen 1-1, Chad Durbin 1-0, Eric O'Flaherty 1-1, Craig Kimbrel 1-0
Batters Faced - Mike Minor 24, Kris Medlen 8, Chad Durbin 3, Eric O'Flaherty 3, Craig Kimbrel 3
Game Information
Attendance - 26491
Game Time - 3:14
Temperature - 104
Umpires - Home - Marvin Hudson, First Base - Tim McClelland, Second Base - Brian Runge, Third Base - Ted Barrett