Atlanta at Washington

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Atlanta (70-52)10012000000004120
Washington (76-46) «40000000000015130

Nats score game-winner in 13th on Braves' mistake; push NL East lead to six

CBSSports.com wire reports
  •  

WASHINGTON -- It was well after midnight. The Nationals had exhausted their bullpen and had a starting pitcher warming up.

Thanks to Chad Tracy's hard-hit infield single in the 13th inning and alert baserunning by Danny Espinosa, Washington beat the Atlanta Braves 5-4 on Monday night to take a six-game lead in the NL East.

"It was almost like a playoff game," Nationals manager Davey Johnson said. "They had their chances. We had our chances. It was that kind of game."

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Ian Desmond led off the 13th with an infield single off Cristhian Martinez (5-3) before Espinosa tried to bunt and hit into a forceout. Kurt Suzuki then hit a slow roller for an infield hit, allowing Espinosa to take third.

"Once I saw everybody break, I hit second. I saw there was no one at third, I kept rolling," Espinosa said.

With the infield in, Tracy hit a ball to Braves second baseman Dan Uggla. Instead of either trying to get Espinosa at the plate or attempting to turn a double play, Uggla fumbled it, and Espinosa scored the game-winner.

"That's a tough play," Espinosa said. "It's a good play to keep it in the infield."

Uggla was initially given an error before it was changed to a single for Tracy.

"Speed on the bases makes people panic," Tracy said. "Once you don't get a good handle on it with someone like Espy on the bases, you got no shot."

Atlanta manager Fredi Gonzalez said Uggla should have thrown the ball home to try and get Espinosa.

"You can't go anywhere else but the play at the plate," Gonzalez said.

Suzuki froze when the ball was hit, trying to avoid a double play.

"He hit me a tough groundball that I dropped to my knees to catch and I didn't exactly know where Kurt was once I got up," said Uggla, whose inaction gave Atlanta a third straight loss. "And I just tried to throw the ball home, and I couldn't get the thing out of my glove."

Craig Stammen (6-1), Washington's eighth pitcher and final remaining reliever, pitched two hitless innings for the win.

The Nationals took a 4-1 lead off Tim Hudson in the first, but he allowed just three hits until he was removed after one batter in the seventh. The Braves tied it in the fifth.

The teams played seven scoreless innings, and by the 13th, Johnson was ready to use Edwin Jackson for the 14th if Washington hadn't scored.

Hudson watched the 13th inning and shuddered.

"That last inning, it was Little League-esque," Hudson said

In the first, Martin Prado, who had three hits, doubled with one out against Jordan Zimmermann. He scored on Jason Heyward's single.

The Nationals scored four runs in the first off Hudson. Jayson Werth led off with a double and scored on Bryce Harper's single. Ryan Zimmerman then singled, and both runners moved up when Michael Morse lined a ball that ricocheted off Hudson's right hand. Harper came home on Adam LaRoche's infield out and Desmond hit a two-run home run to left - his 18th of the season.

In the fourth, Chipper Jones walked, Uggla doubled, and with one out Paul Janish lined to Espinosa at second. He couldn't handle it, and Jones scored on the single.

Heyward's two-run homer in the fifth tied the score at 4. It was his 21st of the season.

Jordan Zimmermann pitched five innings, equaling his shortest outing of the season. He allowed four runs on four hits, walking two and striking out two.

Hudson, who hasn't lost since the Nationals beat him July 1, allowed four runs and eight hits. He walked two and struck out two.

Notes

  • The Braves signed 1B Lyle Overbay to a minor league contract. Overbay, released by Arizona on Aug. 5, will report to Triple-A Gwinnett on Thursday.
  • RHP Lucas Giolito, the Nationals' first-round draft choice, has been shut down and will have his right elbow examined in Los Angeles by Dr. Lewis Yocum. "The worst-case scenario is Tommy John surgery, and we'll see if that's where we're headed," Washington general manager Mike Rizzo said.
  • The game's start was delayed by rain for 56 minutes.
  • Gonzalez said that RHPs Ben Sheets and Tommy Hanson, who usually start could pitch in the bullpen on Tuesday when Atlanta's Paul Maholm (11-7, 4.39 ERA) will face Stephen Strasburg (14-5, 2.91).
 
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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Danny Espinosa scores the winning run on an error in the 13th inning to give the Nationals a 5-4 win. (AP)
Danny Espinosa scores the winning run on an error in the 13th inning to give the Nationals a 5-4 win. (AP)

Players of the Game
Atlanta

J. Heyward
AB 6
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 3
Washington

I. Desmond
AB 5
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 2
 

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Atlanta Braves
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Michael Bourn, CF5000220 .290
Martin Prado, LF7230004 .297
Jason Heyward, RF6123111 .273
Chipper Jones, 3B5010102 .311
Freddie Freeman, 1B4120212 .271
Dan Uggla, 2B6010014 .210
Brian McCann, C5020104 .229
Paul Janish, SS5011113 .223
Tim Hudson, P2000013 .200
    Jonny Venters, P0000000 .000
   a- Eric Hinske, PH1000010 .203
    Eric O'Flaherty, P0000000 .000
    Chad Durbin, P0000000 .000
   b- Juan Francisco, PH1000000 .261
    Luis Avilan, P0000000 .333
   c- Reed Johnson, PH1000001 .301
    Cristhian Martinez, P0000000 .000
Totals48412488  
a-struck out for Venters in the 8th
b-flied out for Durbin in the 10th
c-flied out for Avilan in the 12th
Batting
2B - Martin Prado 2 (33, Zimmermann, Gonzalez), Freddie Freeman (28, Zimmermann), Dan Uggla (22, Zimmermann)
HR - Jason Heyward (21, Zimmermann)
SH - Tim Hudson (5)
RBI - Jason Heyward 3 (64), Paul Janish (7)
2-OUT RBI - Paul Janish (6)
SB - Brian McCann (2, 2nd base off Storen/Suzuki)
CS - Jason Heyward (6, 3rd base by Zimmermann/Suzuki)
Team LOB - 14
Fielding
DP - Uggla-Janish-Freeman, Janish-Uggla-Freeman
Atlanta Braves
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Tim Hudson 6744431 3.69
Jonny Venters 1000100 3.38
Eric O'Flaherty 1200110 2.27
Chad Durbin 1000000 3.12
Luis Avilan 2100030 3.00
Cristhian Martinez (L,5-3) 1.1311010 4.15
IBB - Zimmerman by Jonny Venters
WP - Eric O'Flaherty (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Tim Hudson 95-57, Jonny Venters 7-3, Eric O'Flaherty 25-15, Chad Durbin 8-5, Luis Avilan 28-19, Cristhian Martinez 30-20
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Tim Hudson 8-6, Jonny Venters 2-0, Chad Durbin 2-1, Luis Avilan 1-2, Cristhian Martinez 2-1
Batters Faced - Tim Hudson 28, Jonny Venters 3, Eric O'Flaherty 6, Chad Durbin 3, Luis Avilan 7, Cristhian Martinez 7
Washington Nationals
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Jayson Werth, RF5120104 .318
Bryce Harper, CF5111012 .250
Ryan Zimmerman, 3B4120200 .283
Michael Morse, LF6000012 .289
Adam LaRoche, 1B5021100 .262
Ian Desmond, SS5122122 .279
Danny Espinosa, 2B5100123 .253
Kurt Suzuki, C6020002 .216
Jordan Zimmermann, P2000010 .196
    Tom Gorzelanny, P0000000 .400
   a- Roger Bernadina, PH1000012 .298
    Ryan Mattheus, P0000000 .000
    Drew Storen, P0000000 .000
   b- Tyler Moore, PH1000003 .272
    Sean Burnett, P0000000 .000
    Tyler Clippard, P0000000 .000
    Mike Gonzalez, P0000000 .000
   c- Stephen Lombardozzi, PH1010000 .282
   d- Chad Tracy, PH1011000 .288
    Craig Stammen, P0000000 .000
Totals47513568  
a-struck out for Gorzelanny in the 6th
b-popped out for Storen in the 8th
c-singled for Gonzalez in the 11th
d-singled for Stammen in the 13th
Batting
2B - Jayson Werth 2 (11, Hudson, Hudson)
HR - Ian Desmond (18, Hudson)
SH - Bryce Harper (2)
RBI - Bryce Harper (37), Adam LaRoche (78), Ian Desmond 2 (55), Chad Tracy (13)
2-OUT RBI - Ian Desmond 2 (27)
Team LOB - 12
Fielding
DP - Zimmerman-Espinosa-LaRoche
Washington Nationals
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Jordan Zimmermann 5844221 2.54
Tom Gorzelanny 1000200 3.16
Ryan Mattheus 1000200 2.42
Drew Storen 1100110 4.76
Sean Burnett 1200010 1.90
Tyler Clippard 1000010 2.83
Mike Gonzalez 1100010 2.42
Craig Stammen (W,6-1) 2000120 2.45
Pitches-Strikes - Jordan Zimmermann 95-64, Tom Gorzelanny 26-13, Ryan Mattheus 20-8, Drew Storen 20-10, Sean Burnett 22-14, Tyler Clippard 11-8, Mike Gonzalez 17-11, Craig Stammen 26-17
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jordan Zimmermann 3-9, Tom Gorzelanny 1-2, Ryan Mattheus 2-0, Tyler Clippard 1-1, Craig Stammen 2-2
Batters Faced - Jordan Zimmermann 24, Tom Gorzelanny 5, Ryan Mattheus 4, Drew Storen 5, Sean Burnett 5, Tyler Clippard 3, Mike Gonzalez 4, Craig Stammen 7
Game Information
Attendance - 21298
Game Time - 4:27
Temperature - 72
Umpires - Home - Doug Eddings, First Base - Kerwin Danley, Second Base - Paul Nauert, Third Base - Dana DeMuth