Washington Nationals Recap: Michael Taylor’s 10th Inning Walk-Off Home Run Gives Nats 5-2 Win Over Braves

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Tonight, the Washington Nationals (69-65) were one out away from suffering a tough loss to the Atlanta Braves (54-81). Then, Matt den Dekker delivered a two-out pinch-hit single to tie the game. In the following inning, Michael Taylor continued his clutch hitting that he’s done all season as he walked it off with a pinch-hit three run home run to win it for the Nats, 5-2, over the Braves. It is the Nats’ third straight win and the Braves’ tenth straight loss.

The Nationals got on the board first in the first inning. With two outs, Bryce Harper crushed a solo shot into the upper deck in right center. Harper’s 32nd of the season gave the Nats an early 1-0 lead. Then, in the third inning, the Braves got their first run of the game. With runners on the corners and two outs, A.J. Pierzynski was able to beat out an infield single to third base that scored Nick Markakis and tied the score at one.

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Other than that one run, Roark had a decent outing in his first start since June 28 against the Phillies. The right-hander went 4.1 innings, gave up one run on five hits, walked three, and struck out one on 69 pitches (41 strikes). The Braves got him out of the game in the fifth inning as they loaded the bases. But, Matt Thornton got back-to-back groundouts from Pierzynski and Adonis Garcia to end the inning.

The Nationals had a good opportunity to re-take the lead in the bottom of the sixth. Ryan Zimmerman, Clint Robinson, and Yunel Escobar hit three straight singles to load the bases. With Teheran’s pitch count rising, the Nats couldn’t take advantage as Ian Desmond struck out swinging and Jose Lobaton flew out to left. Teheran went six innings, gave up one run on five hits, struck out four, and walked four on 114 pitches (69 strikes).

The game would remain tied until the top of the eighth inning when Drew Storen took over for Felipe Rivero, who threw two hitless innings. Freddie Freeman, who has been a Nats killer, led off the inning with a double. Two batters later, Nick Swisher drove Freeman in with a base hit to right that gave Atlanta a 2-1 lead.

The Nats would rally in the bottom of the ninth when Yunel Escobar hit a leadoff double to right against Arodys Vizcaino. With Trea Turner running for Escobar, Desmond bunted him over to third. After a Wilson Ramos strikeout, Matt den Dekker, in his first at-bat of the night, singled to left center to tie the game at two. For Vizcaino, it was his first blown save of the season.

In the bottom of the tenth, Harper led it off with a base hit against Matt Marksberry (0-3, 6.35). Brandon Cunniff would give up a single to Zimmerman to put runners on the corners. Then, Michael Taylor, who was pinch-hitting for Robinson, delivered a walk-off three run home run to left center. It was Taylor’s 14th home run of the season. Jonathan Papelbon (3-1, 1.68) got the win after throwing two scoreless innings in the ninth and tenth. It was the first time Papelbon had thrown two innings in any game since July 22.

Next Game: The Washington Nationals will continue their four game series against the Atlanta Braves tomorrow night at Nats Park. You can catch the game at 7:05 PM ET on MASN. Gio Gonzalez (9-7, 4.13) will get the start for the Nats against Shelby Miller (5-12, 2.56) for the Braves.

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