LaRoche's homer in the 15th lifts Nats over Braves
Atlanta, GA – Adam LaRoche held his signature helicopter finish just a half second longer than usual.
LaRoche smacked a go-ahead leadoff homer in the top of the 15th inning to lift the Washington Nationals to an 8-7 win over the Atlanta Braves in the middle test of a three-game set.
Kris Medlen (10-11) had spun two innings of shutout ball before LaRoche golfed a 1-2 curveball into the seats in right field.
Jason Heyward cracked a two-out game-tying, two-run shot in the bottom of the ninth, his second homer of the tilt, to send the contest into extras where Craig Stammen (6-5) fired three scoreless innings of no-hit ball to earn the win.
Dan Haren worked a scoreless 15th inning to notch his first career save and snap Washington's six-game slide against the Braves.
"Just a full team effort. We used up everybody we had, plus one of our starters coming out and closing the game so pretty awesome," LaRoche said.
Nationals starter Stephen Strasburg was ejected in the second inning for throwing at Andrelton Simmons.
The Nationals led 4-1 before Strasburg walked Jordan Schafer to begin the second. Schafer then scored after Strasburg fired three consecutive wild pitches.
Strasburg first spun a curveball into the dirt before tossing two straight fastballs that whizzed by the lower back of Simmons. The second fastball resulted in Strasburg's ejection.
Strasburg had a 5.79 ERA and lasted just an average of 3 2/3 innings per start in Atlanta heading into the tilt.
Ryan Zimmerman belted a solo homer in the triumph.
Brian McCann had a two-run blast and Freddie Freeman hit a solo shot for Atlanta, which had won 18 of its last 20 games coming in.
"They were a lot more patient tonight," Braves starter Mike Minor said of the Nationals' hitters.
The Nats struck quickly in the opening frame as Wilson Ramos' two-run single made it 2-0.
Heyward led off the home first with a blast over the wall in right-center, but a two-run single by Werth in the second gave Washington its 4-1 spread.
Tyler Roark, who tossed four innings of one-hit ball in relief of Strasburg, stroked an RBI double in the fifth and Ian Desmond's RBI single in the sixth gave Washington a 6-2 advantage before McCann's two-run shot in the home sixth trimmed the deficit to 6-4.
Zimmerman and Freeman traded solo homers in the eighth, which made the score 7-5.
Minor surrendered four runs on four hits and four walks over 1 2/3 innings ... The Nationals were 3-for-14 with runners in scoring position, while Atlanta finished 0-for-7 with RISP.