Washington Nationals Recap: Four Run Fourth Inning Hurts Nats In Loss To Braves
By Ricky Keeler
Tonight, the Atlanta Braves (38-41) were able to snap their nine game losing streak against the Washington Nationals (43-36) due to one big inning. The Braves offense was able to put four runs up in the fourth inning against Doug Fister (3-4, 4.34) in a 4-1 win. Matt Wisler (2-1, 2.60), who the Nats were able to score four runs against on June 25, was able to shut out the Nats tonight over the first 5.1 innings.
After the first three innings were scoreless, Atlanta was able to put up a huge inning against Fister. After Cameron Maybin led off the inning with a base hit, A.J. Pierzynski was able to drive a 3-2 pitch from Fister over the wall in right two batters later for his fifth home run of the season. This put Atlanta up 2-0. Then, Juan Uribe would follow Pierzynski with a solo shot to dead center field for his sixth of the season to make it 3-0 Braves.
Later in the inning, after the Nationals elected to walk Eury Perez intentionally with two outs and a man on second, Wisler would help his own cause with a base hit to right field. His first hit of his career drove in Kelly Johnson to give the Braves a 4-0 lead. Those would be the only four runs that Fister would give up. He went six innings, gave up four runs on seven hits, struck out four, and walked two on 98 pitches (63 strikes).
As for Wisler’s performance on the mound, he was able to keep the Nationals off the board despite lacking some control. He walked five batters, but gave up only one hit and struck out six in 5.1 innings to pick up the second win of his career.
In the top of the seventh inning, the Nationals would get on the board against reliever Nick Masset. With runners at the corners and two outs, Denard Span would hit a RBI single to center that scored Ian Desmond. The Nats had a chance to tie the game, but Danny Espinosa struck out swinging against David Aardsma to end the inning.
In relief of Doug Fister, Felipe Rivero threw the final two innings for the Nats. He did not give up a hit and struck out two batters during his outing. Over the final two innings, Braves’ relievers Jim Johnson and Jason Grilli, who picked up his 22nd save of the season, were able to retire the last six Nats hitters they faced, combining to strikeout three.
Next Game: The rubber game of this three game series between the Washington Nationals and Atlanta Braves will take place tomorrow night at 7:10 PM ET. You can catch the game on MASN and MLB Network. Max Scherzer (9-5, 1.79) gets the start fof the Nats against Manny Banuelos, who will be making his Major League debut for the Braves.