Boy, did Mike Minor ever have some trouble in the first inning.
The Braves starter faced eight hitters in the first. He walked three, allowed two hits and threw a wild pitch.
The left-hander ended up surrendering three runs, and needed 39 pitches to finally get out of the first inning. Things were looking so shaky there for a little while that Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez needed to get someone up and warming in the bullpen before Minor was able to get out of the frame.
After back-to-back walks to Denard Span and Ryan Zimmerman leading off the first, Jayson Werth smoked a double to center, scoring one. Bryce Harper brought in another run with a groundout and Adam LaRoche added a two-out RBI single to right.
It’s already 3-0 Nationals.
Span again didn’t take much time before extending his hitting streak, lacing a single to center in the second.
The streak now stands at 27 straight games with a hit, tying Michael Cuddyer for the longest streak in the majors this season.
Span is now one game shy of being halfway to Joe DiMaggio’s 56-game streak, and three games short of the Nats’ team record, which is 30, set by Ryan Zimmerman in 2009.
Update: Dan Haren didn’t get off to as shaky a start as Minor did, but he still had to work out of a couple jams in the first two innings.
The Nats’ right-hander put two Braves on in both the first and second before getting out of trouble. Since then, however, Haren has been locked in.
At one point, Haren set down 11 straight Braves hitters, four via strikeouts. He then allowed a double to Elliot Johnson leading off the sixth that snapped that streak. Johnson came around to score on a Freddie Freeman sac fly, but Haren still has a 3-1 lead to work with after six.
He’s allowed just three hits and the one run so far, has struck out four and walked two. Haren threw 93 pitches through six.
Unfortunately for the Nats, Haren isn’t the only pitcher to settle in. Minor has also hit his stride after a rough start, and has now set down 13 straight.
The Nats haven’t had a baserunner since the second, when B.J. Upton made a running catch of a Harper line drive to save two runs.
Update II: Haren is indeed done after six. Drew Storen is now on for the seventh.