Braves win 13th straight, down Nationals
Washington, DC – The Atlanta Braves just keep on winning.
Jason Heyward broke a tie in the eighth inning with an RBI single and Justin Upton followed with a two-run double to cap a 3-for-4 game in Atlanta's 13th consecutive victory, 6-3 over the Washington Nationals to complete a three-game sweep.
Thanks to this whitewash, its second straight of the Nationals in Washington, Atlanta, trying for its first division title since 2005, now sits a comfortable 15 1/2 games ahead of the Nats for first place in the NL East.
Upton also homered for Atlanta, which has swept its past four series and 11 total this season, and is now 16-4 since the All-Star break. B.J. Upton had four hits.
"We knew they are fighting to get back in it," said Upton. "We knew that they weren't going to be a pushover here and these were some tough games that we had to play."
Kris Medlen (9-10) won his third straight start as he gave up three runs on three hits with a walk and six strikeouts over seven innings. He also drove in a run.
Jayson Werth hit a two-run home run and scored twice, while Ian Desmond also had an RBI for the Nationals, who have lost four straight and six of eight. Jordan Zimmermann went just four innings and gave up two runs on seven hits.
"It's been a tough season all around but we're going to do what we know how to do and that's come out here on Friday and do our best to win," said Werth.
With the score tied in the eighth, the Braves went ahead with a two-out rally. Andrelton Simmons doubled to right off Ryan Mattheus (0-1) and Joey Terdoslavich followed with a walk. After Ian Krol took over on the mound, Heyward singled to right to score one run and Justin Upton's hit to left scored two more for a 6-3 lead.
David Carpenter pitched a scoreless eighth while Craig Kimbrel left the bases loaded in the ninth to pick up his 36th save of the season. Wilson Ramos flied out to right to end the game.
The first inning saw Atlanta get on the board as Heyward led off with a double and came home two batters later on Freddie Freeman's single to center.
In the fourth, the Braves pushed another run across on Medlen's sacrifice fly with the bases loaded.
Medlen went through the Washington lineup unblemished the first time around and got the first two outs of the fourth, but Bryce Harper worked a walk for the Nationals' first runner of the game and Werth followed with his 16th home run of the season.
The score stayed 2-2 until the seventh when Upton homered to left for his 21st of the season, but the Nats tied the game again in the home half on a run- scoring groundout from Desmond.
The Braves are on their longest winning streak since ripping off 15 straight from April 16-May 2, 2000 ... Atlanta hosts Miami for three games starting on Friday ... Washington welcomes Philadelphia for a three-game set beginning on Friday ... The Braves have taken 10 of 13 from the Nationals this season ... Atlanta batted 4-for-12 with runners in scoring position and left 11 on base.