|Atlanta (9-1) «||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||1||2||2||6||9||2|
A fastball down the middle.
And he got one.
"I was just going to concentrate on one pitch, and he threw it right there," Pena said, "and good thing I didn't miss."
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"We know the game's not over until we're back in the clubhouse," said Chris Johnson, whose seventh-inning homer off Nationals starter Ross Detwiler began Atlanta's rally from a four-run deficit. "I think there's a deep part of everybody that thinks we are going to come back every time it happens, so it's a good feeling."
Pena, cut by the New York Yankees last September, reached on a bunt as a pinch hitter in the eighth, when the Braves scored once. They added two in the ninth and another two in the 10th against the Nationals' bullpen.
Detwiler has two no-decisions despite a 0.69 ERA, because relievers twice gave up leads.
"We need to do better," said Tyler Clippard, who replaced Detwiler to begin the eighth. "Ross pitched a [terrific] game. It hurts. It hurts, obviously, for the club to get the loss. But it hurts for him. ... To have your starter do what he did and not get the win for him is very, very disappointing for us as a group."
With one out in the 10th, Stammen (2-1) walked Dan Uggla. After a flyout, Pena hit his first homer of the season to right.
The Braves, a major league-leading 9-1, handed Washington its first loss in seven home games.
Atlanta tied the game in the ninth, when Washington third baseman Ryan Zimmerman's throwing error contributed to reliever Drew Storen blowing a save. It was Storen's first save chance since giving away a ninth-inning lead against the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 5 of an NL Division Series last season; Washington led that game 6-0 early and 7-5 entering the ninth.
On Friday, Nationals manager Davey Johnson wanted to stay away from new closer Rafael Soriano, who had pitched each of the previous three days, earning three saves during a sweep of the Chicago White Sox.
In the eighth, Clippard got two quick outs before everything started to unravel.
He went walk, single, walk, walk - with that last pass to B.J. Upton forcing in a run to make it 4-2.
"The execution wasn't there. My changeup was nonexistent tonight," Clippard said. "I wasn't able to put that where I want to, and that hasn't happened in a long time."
On came Storen. He got the third out of the eighth on a fly ball to the warning track in center by 26-year-old rookie Evan Gattis.
Then, in the ninth, consecutive singles off Storen put two runners on, and a sacrifice bunt pushed them to second and third. With two outs, Storen walked Jason Heyward to load the bases for Justin Upton, B.J.'s brother.
Justin Upton hit a hard shot to Zimmerman, who tried to throw to second for a forceout that would have ended the game. But Zimmerman's throw was wide of the bag and sailed into right field. Justin Upton was credited with a single and one RBI, while the second run that scored on the play was unearned because of Zimmerman's throwing error. That made it 4-all.
"Tough play. I think, obviously, first base is out of the question. I'm not going to beat the guy to third. I thought if I turn and make a perfect throw, I had a chance to get the guy bang-bang at second," Zimmerman explained.
"We definitely need to learn from our mistakes," he added. "It's the same thing that kind of got us last year, and why we didn't maybe move on, because we couldn't close games out both pitching and defense-wise."
Braves starter Julio Teheran gave up four runs and six hits in six innings, including Bryce Harper's fifth homer, a two-run shot in the first. Washington added RBI singles by Denard Span and Jayson Werth in the second.
But the Nationals didn't score again.
"We just kept plugging away, plugging away, scoring some runs," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said, "and set it up for Ramiro."
|Ramiro Pena greets Dan Uggla after hitting his decisive two-run homer in the 10th inning for the red-hot Braves. (AP)|
|Players of the Game|
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|Andrelton Simmons, SS||5||0||0||0||0||2||2||.206|
|Jason Heyward, RF||3||1||1||0||2||0||0||.097|
|Justin Upton, LF||5||0||3||1||0||0||1||.385|
|Evan Gattis, 1B-C||4||0||0||0||1||1||4||.333|
|B.J. Upton, CF||4||0||0||1||1||1||0||.091|
|Dan Uggla, 2B||3||1||0||0||2||1||3||.182|
|Chris Johnson, 3B-1B||5||2||3||1||0||1||2||.357|
|Gerald Laird, C||2||0||0||0||1||0||1||.333|
|a- Ramiro Pena, PH-3B||2||2||2||2||0||0||0||.357|
|Julio Teheran, P||2||0||0||0||0||1||2||.333|
|Luis Ayala, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|b- Jordan Schafer, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.571|
|Jordan Walden, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|c- Blake DeWitt, PH||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Eric O'Flaherty, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|d- Juan Francisco, PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.310|
|Craig Kimbrel, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a-hit a bunt single for Laird in the 9th|
|b-flied out for Ayala in the 8th|
|c-hit a sacrifice bunt for Walden in the 9th|
|d-struck out for O'Flaherty in the 10th|
|2B - Justin Upton (4, Detwiler)|
|HR - Chris Johnson (1, Detwiler), Ramiro Pena (1, Stammen)|
|SH - Blake DeWitt (1)|
|RBI - Justin Upton (10), B.J. Upton (2), Chris Johnson (2), Ramiro Pena 2 (6)|
|2-OUT RBI - Justin Upton (3), B.J. Upton (1), Chris Johnson (2), Ramiro Pena 2 (4)|
|Team LOB - 9|
|DP - Uggla-Simmons-Gattis|
|E - Evan Gattis (1, Dropped fly), Gerald Laird (1, Throwing)|
|Eric O'Flaherty (W,2-0)||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||3.18|
|Craig Kimbrel (S,5)||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||0.00|
|Pitches-Strikes - Julio Teheran 97-66, Luis Ayala 12-8, Jordan Walden 11-8, Eric O'Flaherty 14-9, Craig Kimbrel 12-8|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Julio Teheran 7-5, Luis Ayala 2-1, Jordan Walden 2-0, Craig Kimbrel 1-1|
|Batters Faced - Julio Teheran 27, Luis Ayala 3, Jordan Walden 4, Eric O'Flaherty 3, Craig Kimbrel 3|
|Denard Span, CF||5||2||2||1||0||0||0||.333|
|Jayson Werth, RF||5||0||1||1||0||2||0||.286|
|Bryce Harper, LF||4||1||1||2||1||2||1||.400|
|Ryan Zimmerman, 3B||5||0||1||0||0||0||2||.235|
|Adam LaRoche, 1B||3||0||1||0||1||0||1||.185|
|Ian Desmond, SS||4||0||2||0||0||1||2||.316|
|Danny Espinosa, 2B||4||0||0||0||0||0||3||.162|
|Kurt Suzuki, C||3||1||0||0||1||0||0||.231|
|Ross Detwiler, P||2||0||0||0||0||2||0||.000|
|Tyler Clippard, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Drew Storen, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a- Tyler Moore, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Craig Stammen, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a-flied out for Storen in the 9th|
|HR - Bryce Harper (5, Teheran)|
|SH - Ross Detwiler (1)|
|RBI - Denard Span (3), Jayson Werth (8), Bryce Harper 2 (10)|
|SB - Denard Span (2, 2nd base off Teheran/Laird), Jayson Werth (2, 3rd base off Teheran/Laird), Bryce Harper (1, 2nd base off Teheran/Laird), Ian Desmond (1, 2nd base off Walden/Laird)|
|Team LOB - 6|
|DP - Espinosa-Desmond-LaRoche|
|E - Ryan Zimmerman (1, Throwing)|
|Tyler Clippard (H,3)||0.2||1||1||1||3||0||0||6.35|
|Drew Storen (BS,1)||1.1||3||2||1||1||1||0||3.38|
|Craig Stammen (L,2-1)||1||1||2||2||1||2||1||7.20|
|Pitches-Strikes - Ross Detwiler 90-58, Tyler Clippard 35-18, Drew Storen 24-15, Craig Stammen 19-11|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Ross Detwiler 9-6, Drew Storen 2-1|
|Batters Faced - Ross Detwiler 26, Tyler Clippard 6, Drew Storen 8, Craig Stammen 5|
|Attendance - 33130|
|Game Time - 3:29|
|Temperature - 64|
|Umpires - Home - Adrian Johnson, First Base - Field Culbreth, Second Base - Bill Welke, Third Base - Brian O'Nora|