The Atlanta Braves tolerated record-setting temperatures Saturday afternoon at Turner Field, defeating Stephen Strasburg and the Washington Nationals 7-5 to even the series.
With a first pitch temperature of 104 degrees – and eventually reaching an all-time Atlanta record of 106 – Strasburg lasted only three innings due to heat-related issues and a three-run third inning. The Braves would strike for three more in the fourth inning to give Mike Minor enough support for his fourth win of the year.
Atlanta drew four walks off Strasburg in his three innings. He issued consecutive one-out walks in the third to Michael Bourn and Martin Prado. Jason Heyward drove in the Braves' first run of the game with a double, which Freddie Freeman followed with a sacrifice fly before Dan Uggla hit a two-out RBI double to left.
Strasburg would draw a walk off Minor in the top of the fourth but would not return to pitch the bottom of the inning.
Chien-Ming Wang took the hill for the Nationals, and the Braves picked up where they had left off with a lead-off single from Andrelton Simmons. He was driven in four pitches later on a Juan Francisco double, who, after being moved over by Minor on a sacrifice, scored on a double by Bourn. After a wild pitch, Prado plated Bourn with a sacrifice fly.
Even though Simmons hit an RBI-single in the fifth, the Braves were still not out of the woods with their 7-2 lead in the sixth. Minor gave up a walk to Adam LaRoche and a double to Ian Desmond to start the inning, and Kris Medlen allowed both of them to score on singles from Tyler Moore and Jesus Flores. Medlen would be replaced with two outs in the seventh after giving up an RBI-double to LaRoche.
Eric O'Flaherty and Craig Kimbrel kept the Nats scoreless in the eighth and ninth to secure Minor's second win in his last 12 starts.Tags: Andrelton Simmons, Atlanta, Atlanta Braves, Craig Kimbrel, Dan Uggla, Eric O'Flaherty, Freddie Freeman, Jason Heyward, Juan Francisco, Martin Prado, Michael Bourn, Mike Minor, MLB, Stephen Strasburg