A night after the Atlanta Braves won a walk-off due to an error by Washington Nationals, they won in another unconventional fashion on Saturday when Andrelton Simmons was hit by a pitch to drive in the winning run. The Braves won 5-4 in another close game at Turner Field.
David Ross started the fateful eighth-inning rally with a single. Dan Uggla and Chipper Jones followed with one-out walks off Nats reliever Dan Mattheus to load the bags. Mattheus missed inside to Simmons, just nipping his jersey on the way to drive in the go-ahead run in the form of a pinch-running Jeff Baker.
Freddie Freeman was responsible for half of the Braves' comeback from an early 4-0 deficit and finished a double short of the cycle. He tripled and scored on a Dan Uggla single in the second inning before smashing a solo homer off Edwin Jackson in the fourth.
A sixth-inning rally that tied the game was made possible by a blown call by first base umpire Marvin Hudson on the first play of the frame. Martin Prado hit a comebacker to Jackson, who made a throw that forced Adam LaRoche stretch for the ball. Hudson, who had a poor angle on the play, ruled that LaRoche's foot came off the bag, causing the former Brave to immediately argue. Nationals manager Davey Johnson also argued the play with Hudson, getting ejected in the process.
Jason Heyward took his at-bat next and tied the game with a two-run homer, his 27th of the season.
The comeback eased the tension caused by another flaky start by Tommy Hanson, who gave up four runs, two earned, in five innings.
Hanson gave up a two-run shot to LaRoche, his 30th of the year, in the first inning. An inning later, Hanson walked Jesus Flores with one out. Steve Lombardozzi reached when Freeman couldn't decide whether to throw to second base on his groundball, but the real damage came when Hanson threw a sacrifice bunt attempt into right field to allow both runners to score.
Craig Kimbrel put together his 36th save of the year by striking out the side as usual, though it was more clutch than usual. After striking out Danny Espinosa to start the inning, Chad Tracy singled to left on a 1-2 count. The pinch-running Eury Perez stole second and advanced to third on a throwing error by J.C. Boscan. Kimbrel struck out Lombardozzi and Tyler Moore to end the game and seal the win.
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