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Atlanta at Washington

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Atlanta (90-62) «000003101581
Washington (81-71)000020000271

Braves cool off Nationals, reduce magic number to two

CBSSports.com wire reports
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WASHINGTON -- Atlanta Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez doesn't want a repeat of starter Alex Wood's outburst that got him ejected from Wednesday night's game against the Washington Nationals.

He'll take the offense's surge that came an inning later, though.

Justin Upton and Dan Uggla each hit a home run in a three-run sixth inning, and the Braves rallied past the Nationals for a 5-2 victory, lowering their magic number for clinching the NL East title to two games.

"We struggled early, but it was bound to happen," Upton said. "We've been struggling for a while here. At some point, we had to break out."

Brian McCann and Jordan Schafer also drove in runs as the Braves snapped a three-game skid. Atlanta has not won the division since 2005, the last of 11 straight titles.

Washington entered 4½ games behind Cincinnati for the second NL wild card.

"That's just not enough," Nationals manager Davey Johnson said of taking the series two games to one. "We just can't afford to lose."

Washington revealed after the game that Stephen Strasburg is being pushed back for the second time because of forearm tightness. He was scheduled to start Thursday but could not get loose Wednesday. He's now scheduled to start Saturday.

"I don't really know why it's happening," said Strasburg, who will be replaced by Gio Gonzalez in the rotation. "When it happens, it happens. It's like a strong cramp. So, I just think it would put us in a bind if I went out there and felt it."

Kameron Loe (1-2) got one out for the victory. Craig Kimbrel, Atlanta's seventh pitcher, rebounded from his loss Tuesday to record his 48th save.

As he was being replaced after giving up two runs in the fifth inning, Wood was ejected for shouting and pointing at home plate umpire CB Bucknor. The rookie was upset with Bucknor's ball-four call with the bases loaded earlier in the inning.

"It was just one of those things where I let my emotions get the best of me there," Wood said. "In the latter part of that inning it was a big situation. I kind of felt it could have gone the other way and I did some things, said some things I probably shouldn't have said. (I) Immediately regretted it after I got inside."

The inning began when Anthony Rendon singled and Washington pitcher Ross Ohlendorf bunted him to second. Span then hit a bouncer to first that Freddie Freeman bobbled for an error, putting runners on first and third.

After Ryan Zimmerman walked to load the bases, Jayson Werth walked on a close 3-2 pitch to force in the game's first run.

Wood slammed his pitching hand into his glove as he came down off the mound and began yelling at Bucknor. Third baseman Chris Johnson attempted to calm Wood, while Fredi Gonzalez came out to argue and was ejected by Bucknor.

"I thought I made a pitch and I didn't. I reacted probably the opposite of the way I should of," Wood said.

Asked what he thought of the pitch after seeing the replay in the clubhouse, Wood said, "He called it a ball. It's a ball."

When play resumed, Bryce Harper hit a sacrifice fly, scoring Span.

Atlanta bench coach Carlos Tosca came out to remove Wood, who shouted and pointed at Bucknor on his way to the dugout.

"You don't do that kind of stuff on the mound. But he was fired up," Gonzalez said.

"That's something you learn from, and control your emotions. So, we'll chalk it up as a young starter in an emotional game that we wanted to win, and he got himself a little excited."

Washington's Denard Span extended his hitting streak to 29 straight, the longest in the majors this season.

Ohlendorf (4-1) allowed three runs over six innings.

The right-hander, making his second start in place of Strasburg, retired 10 straight to start the game.

But with Atlanta trailing 2-0 in the sixth, Uggla led off with his 22nd home run.

"I mean you can never tell," Uggla said of Wood's outburst. "Things like that, sometimes they can spark something, sometimes the other pitcher just bears down."

Schafer then bunted and went all the way to third when Ohlendorf's throw to first sailed down the right field line.

Ohlendorf got two outs, but Upton hit the first pitch he saw over the wall in left-center to put Atlanta ahead 3-2. It was Upton's 23rd home run.

Notes

Atlanta won the season series, 13-6. ... Atlanta OF Jason Heyward (fractured jaw) took simulated at-bats Wednesday, saying it went well. "It's something to be excited about, but I've got work to do and I'm not going to be satisfied until I'm back," he said. ... SS Andrelton Simmons didn't start after playing through neck tightness in Tuesday's doubleheader. Gonzalez said the decision was precautionary, and Simmons entered the game in the seventh. ... Washington LHP Ross Detwiler (back strain), on the DL since July 7, threw a bullpen session Wednesday. He'll throw another this week and then travel to Viera, Fla., to pitch in the Instructional League Monday. Johnson said given the number of games left, it's unlikely Detwiler will pitch for Washington again this season. ... The Braves open a three-game series Friday at the Cubs.

 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
 
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Dan Uggla (front) and the Braves are on the cusp of their first division championship since 2005.  (USATSI)
Dan Uggla (front) and the Braves are on the cusp of their first division championship since 2005. (USATSI)

Players of the Game
Atlanta

J. Upton
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 2
Washington

R. Ohlendorf
IP 6.0
H 4
ER 3
BB 0
K 6
 
Atlanta Braves
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Elliot Johnson, SS-LF4000011 .202
Justin Upton, RF4122010 .261
Freddie Freeman, 1B4000011 .310
Evan Gattis, LF3010000 .236
   Andrelton Simmons, PR-SS1100000 .246
Brian McCann, C3111100 .258
Chris Johnson, 3B3010010 .327
   Paul Janish, PR-3B0000000 .189
Dan Uggla, 2B4111012 .183
Jordan Schafer, CF4121010 .253
Alex Wood, P1000010 .000
   Kameron Loe, P0000000 .000
   a-Joe Terdoslavich, PH1000011 .224
   Anthony Varvaro, P0000000 .000
   b-B.J. Upton, PH1000012 .188
   Luis Ayala, P0000000 .000
   Scott Downs, P0000000 .000
   David Carpenter, P0000000 .000
   c-Reed Johnson, PH1000002 .259
   Craig Kimbrel, P0000000 .000
Totals3458519  
a-struck out for Loe in the 6th
b-struck out for Varvaro in the 7th
c-grounded out for Carpenter in the 9th
Batting
2B - Brian McCann (13, Stammen)
HR - Justin Upton (26, Ohlendorf), Dan Uggla (22, Ohlendorf)
RBI - Justin Upton 2 (67), Brian McCann (56), Dan Uggla (55), Jordan Schafer (20)
2-OUT RBI - Justin Upton 2 (16), Jordan Schafer (12)
Team LOB - 4
Fielding
DP - Johnson-Uggla-Freeman
E - Freddie Freeman (10, Misplayed grounder)
Atlanta Braves
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Alex Wood 4.2620230 3.24
Kameron Loe (W,2-3) 0.1000000 7.77
Anthony Varvaro (H,6) 1000010 2.67
Luis Ayala (H,9) 0.1100100 2.97
Scott Downs (H,25) 0.1000000 1.93
David Carpenter (H,12) 1.1000000 1.89
Craig Kimbrel (S,48) 1000010 1.31
HBP - Rendon (by Anthony Varvaro)
Pitches-Strikes - Alex Wood 88-54, Kameron Loe 9-6, Anthony Varvaro 15-10, Luis Ayala 14-7, Scott Downs 4-3, David Carpenter 15-11, Craig Kimbrel 12-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Alex Wood 7-4, Kameron Loe 1-0, Luis Ayala 1-0, Scott Downs 1-0, David Carpenter 1-3, Craig Kimbrel 2-0
Batters Faced - Alex Wood 22, Kameron Loe 1, Anthony Varvaro 4, Luis Ayala 3, Scott Downs 1, David Carpenter 4, Craig Kimbrel 3
Washington Nationals
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Denard Span, CF5110010 .282
Ryan Zimmerman, 3B4000111 .279
Jayson Werth, RF2021200 .323
Bryce Harper, LF3011011 .280
Ian Desmond, SS4000006 .283
Adam LaRoche, 1B4010000 .239
Wilson Ramos, C4000001 .282
Anthony Rendon, 2B3120000 .262
Ross Ohlendorf, P1000011 .000
   a-Corey Brown, PH1000011 .200
   Craig Stammen, P0000000 .000
   Ryan Mattheus, P0000000 .000
   Xavier Cedeno, P0000000 .000
   Erik Davis, P0000000 .000
   b-Stephen Lombardozzi, PH1000000 .254
Totals3227235  
a-struck out for Ohlendorf in the 6th
b-grounded out for Davis in the 9th
Batting
SF - Bryce Harper (4)
SH - Ross Ohlendorf (3)
RBI - Jayson Werth (75), Bryce Harper (52)
SB - Jayson Werth (10, 2nd base off Loe/McCann)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
DP - LaRoche
E - Ross Ohlendorf (4, Throwing)
Washington Nationals
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Ross Ohlendorf (L,4-1) 6433062 3.28
Craig Stammen 1211020 2.82
Ryan Mattheus 1.2111110 5.94
Xavier Cedeno 0100000 7.36
Erik Davis 0.1000000 3.52
HBP - Johnson (by Craig Stammen)
Pitches-Strikes - Ross Ohlendorf 72-48, Craig Stammen 22-15, Ryan Mattheus 30-17, Xavier Cedeno 2-2, Erik Davis 7-5
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Ross Ohlendorf 4-7, Craig Stammen 1-0, Ryan Mattheus 3-1, Erik Davis 1-0
Batters Faced - Ross Ohlendorf 21, Craig Stammen 6, Ryan Mattheus 7, Xavier Cedeno 1, Erik Davis 1
Game Information
Attendance - 30636
Game Time - 3:20
Temperature - 65
Umpires - Home - C.B. Bucknor, First Base - Dale Scott, Second Base - Todd Tichenor, Third Base - Jordan Baker