The Nationals finally got off to the quick start manager Davey Martinez had been looking for, with two homers in the first two innings Sunday against the Braves.
Adam Eaton crushed a two-run shot to left-center field in the first inning and Yan Gomes lined a solo homer to left field in the second inning off Braves starter Mike Soroka. For Eaton, it was his 13th; Gomes hit his eighth.
The Nats’ 3-0 lead was their first in the series and first time they had scored a run before the fifth inning in the last four games.
Max Scherzer struck out Freddie Freeman on a 97 mph fastball to end the first. In the second, Scherzer got Josh Donaldson on a called third strike, also reaching 97 mph.
But Matt Joyce connected on a solo homer to right field to open the scoring for Atlanta. His second of the series came on a 3-2 count.
In the third, Juan Soto launched his 33rd homer of the season over the left field wall on a 1-0 pitch. The Nats have hit one homer in each of the first three innings. They already have six hits off Soroka.
Scherzer has five strikeouts through three innings.
After three innings, the Nats lead the Braves 4-1.
Update: In the top fo the fifth, Trea Turner was ejected after arguing with home plate umpire Mike Estabrook following his second called third strike of the game. Martinez then argued with Estabrook and was tossed. Wilmer Difo took over for Turner at shortstop to begin the bottom of the fifth.
Mid-fifth, the Nats lead the Braves 4-1.
Update II: In the seventh, Gomes hit his second homer of the game, a solo shot to left-center. Eaton drove a run-scoring double down the right field line. Cabrera lined a two-run double to right field. Cabrera has three hits and Eaton and Gomes each have two hits on the day.
Mid-seventh, the Nats lead the Braves 8-1.
Update III: Cabrera delivered another RBI with a single to score Adrián Sanchez in the ninth. He had four hits and three RBIs on the afternoon. Charlie Culberson launched a solo shot in the bottom of the ninth. Javy Guerra struck out two in the ninth, but allowed a pair of late RBI hits before recording the final out on a popup to shortstop.
Final score: Nats 9, Braves 4.