The Washington Nationals have seemingly had the Atlanta Braves' number all year long. The Braves were finally able to exact a little revenge due to a stellar pitching performance from Kris Medlen and a little luck.
While the Braves were kept in check most of the night, they were able to push across the winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning on a throwing error by Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond. With runners on the corners and one out, Tyler Pastornicky hit a ground ball to Desmond, who was playing in to keep the runner from scoring. Desmond immediately fired home, but his throw was off target as Andrelton Simmons crossed the plate to give the Braves a 2-1 victory on Friday night.
"We'll take it," manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "You know what, keep putting people on base and something's going to break. We got 10 hits today, hit the ball hard, had some people on base. We'll take it. We had a sac fly RBI by Simmons, whatever it takes."
Medlen had a great outing for the Braves. He gave up one run on five hits and struck out a career-high 13 batters. His only mistake was a hanging curveball that Bryce Harper deposited in the left field seats.
"My two-seamer felt great tonight," Medlen said. "Ones to the lefties really came back for me. Even the couple of them I threw to righties kind of froze them. I don't know, just one of those nights where everything kind of felt like it was working for me. You go through an entire outing and make just one pitch that you regret throwing, just the worst pitch of the night."
The Braves got on the board in the fourth inning on a sacrifice fly by Simmons that scored Freddie Freeman. Simmons also had two base hits for the night. Martin Prado led all Braves batters with three hits, including a double.
Eric O'Flaherty pitched a perfect eighth inning, and Craig Kimbrel struck out the side on 10 pitches in the top of the ninth to earn the win.
"It's a big series for us, and to win it like that, hopefully we can take that momentum and keep it going," Pastornicky said of the series against the Nationals. "Having the crowd behind us and a good atmosphere like we had tonight, it's big."
The Braves will send Tommy Hanson (12-8, 4.35 ERA) to the mound against Edwin Jackson (9-10, 3.85 ERA) on Saturday at 4:05 PM EDT in Atlanta.
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