Atlanta, GA – Andrelton Simmons scored the game-winning run after Ian Desmond's throw was off target as the Atlanta Braves edged the Washington Nationals, 2-1, on Friday.
Simmons opened the inning with an infield single then moved to third on a Michael Bourn single. Tyler Pastornicky then cued a grounder to Desmond and short, but his throw sailed past Kurt Suzuki at the plate and Simmons scored easily.
Simmons finished the game 2-for-3 and drove in a run for the Braves, who have won two in a row on the heels of a three-game skid.
Craig Kimbrel (2-1) earned the win after striking out the side in the ninth. Kris Medlen started for Atlanta and allowed one run on five hits and struck out a career-high 13 batters.
"My two-seamer felt great tonight. The ones to the lefties really came back low for me," Medlen said. "Even the ones I threw, I threw a couple to the righties, they kind of froze them. I don't know, its just one of those nights where everything felt that it was working for me."
Sean Burnett (1-2) was charged with the loss after giving up the winning run in the ninth.
"It was one of those games. Can't really hang your head too much. A tight game, both teams battled, they were able to push one across at the end," Nationals right fielder Jayson Werth said. "It seemed like they kind of bled us to death at the end there. It was tough spot. But all and all, we'll come back tomorrow and play our game. We got a lot of big games coming the rest of the way and there's nothing to be discouraged about."
Atlanta broke a scoreless tie in the fourth when Freddie Freeman scored on a Simmons' sacrifice fly to right field. Freeman opened the frame with a double to left field before moving to third on a David Ross ground out. Simmons followed with the sacrifice fly.
With a runner on first in the fifth inning Jason Heyward lifted a fly ball deep to left field, but Roger Bernadina made a spectacular catch as he collided with the wall, robbing Heyward of an extra-base hit and potentially saving a run.
Bernadina was shaken up on the play, but remained in the game.
Bryce Harper knotted things up with a lead off homer in the sixth inning. It was the rookie's 19th of the season.
Medlen hasn't lost in his last 25 starts dating back to May 31, 2009 ...The Braves are 23-4 in Medlen's 27 career starts, and 9-0 this season ... Ross Detwiler started for the Nats. He allowed one run on seven hits and one walk while striking out five over six innings.