The Nationals need their stopper to come through.
Right-hander Stephen Strasburg is attempting to slow the Braves roll against his team. The Nationals have lost four straight against the Braves, and six of their last seven overall. I won’t mention 2013. You’re welcome.
Strasburg has made 13 starts against Atlanta. His last win against the Braves was August 21, 2012.
The Braves got the first run of the game again. In the first inning with two outs, Freddie Freeman launched a long fly ball deep over the right-center field fence for a 1-0 Atlanta lead. It was Freeman’s 12th homer of the season and came on a 2-2 pitch.
Facing Mike Minor, the Nationals struck out twice in the first frame. The Braves led 1-0 after one in D.C.
Update: With two outs in the bottom of the second, Ian Desmond launched a solo blast to left. His homer tied the game at 1-1 as the game moves to the third. It was Desmond’s 14th homer of the season.
Update II: The Braves strung together three consecutive singles in the fourth to go ahead 2-1. Andrelton Simmons’ RBI single scored Jason Heyward and the Braves led 2-1 heading to the bottom of the fourth.
Update III: This is not turning out to be Strasburg’s night. Three more hits allowed in the fifth. The final one was a two-run double by Heyward to give the Braves a 4-1 lead. The Braves have already collected nine hits in five innings.
Update IV: Strasburg’s night is over. He was unusually hittable and allowed a second wave of runs. He went six innings, allowing nine hits, four runs, all earned, walked none and struck out eight. Strasburg tossed 107 pitches and 71 for strikes. He left with the Nats down 4-1.
Adam LaRoche and Danny Espinosa each have a pair of hits, but the Nationals are 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position.
Update V: Denard Span delivered a two-out triple to plate Espinosa in the seventh, trimming the Braves lead to 4-2.
Update VI: Craig Kimbrel came on in the ninth with his club up by two runs. Pinch-hitter Nate McLouth walked to begin the frame.
Two outs later, on a 2-1 count, Anthony Rendon crushed a stunning and dramatic two-run shot off of Kimbrel to tie the game 4-4. It was his 11th homer of the season.
Jayson Werth walked. LaRoche grounded out to send the game into extra innings.
Braves are 4-4 in extra innings, Nationals are 1-6.
Update VII: With one out in the 11th, pinch-hitter Kevin Frandsen was tagged out on a throw from third baseman Chris Johnson that was off line. First baseman Freeman jumped towards the foul line to catch the throw and tagged out Frandsen. Matt Williams requested a manager’s challenge. The video review upheld the call at first. The delay took one minute and 30 seconds.
The game remained tied 4-4 heading to the 12th inning.
Update VIII: In the 13th inning, the second inning for reliever Jerry Blevins, B.J. Upton was walked. Freeman laced a single to right to put men on the corners with no one out.
Evan Gattis slapped a clean single to left to score Upton and the Braves led 5-4. Andrelton Simmons added an RBI groundout to make it 6-4 Atlanta.
The Nationals were unable to tally a run in the bottom of the 13th off of reliever Jordan Walden and with the loss relinquish first place in the NL East.
Ryan Buchter (1-0), making his major league debut, notches the win. Buchter went one inning, allowed no hits, no runs, one walk and struck out one.
Blevins took the loss, falling to 2-3. Walden notched his second save.
Final score: Braves 6, Nationals 4 in 13 innings.