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Sport Gomes' homer in 8th lifts Nationals over Braves, 5-3

06:40  03 june  2021
06:40  03 june  2021 Source:   msn.com

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ATLANTA (AP) — Yan Gomes hit a go-ahead homer in the eighth inning, Jon Lester gave Washington's thin rotation a boost and the Nationals beat the Atlanta Braves 5-3 on Wednesday night.

Washington Nationals starting pitcher Jon Lester works in the first inning of the team's baseball game against the Atlanta Braves on Wednesday, June 2, 2021, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore) © Provided by Associated Press Washington Nationals starting pitcher Jon Lester works in the first inning of the team's baseball game against the Atlanta Braves on Wednesday, June 2, 2021, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Gomes' drive to left-center off A.J. Minter (1-2) with two outs broke a 3-all tie and helped the Nationals earn their second consecutive win over the Braves after Atlanta won the opener of the four-game series.

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Juan Soto's two-run homer in the fifth gave Washington a 3-1 lead. Ozzie Albies' two-run double in the seventh tied the game.

Atlanta Braves' Austin Riley (27) is out at first base by Washington Nationals first baseman Josh Bell (19) catches the throw during the third inning of a baseball game Wednesday, June 2, 2021, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore) © Provided by Associated Press Atlanta Braves' Austin Riley (27) is out at first base by Washington Nationals first baseman Josh Bell (19) catches the throw during the third inning of a baseball game Wednesday, June 2, 2021, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Soto had been 0 for 7 against Drew Smyly before he hit a fastball into the stands in left-center to break a 1-all tie. The drive was Soto's sixth of the season and second in two days.

Lester, starting on three days' rest, was asked by Nationals manager Dave Martinez to “just take us as long as he can go.” Lester came within one out of matching his longest start of the season as he gave up only one run on five hits and two walks in 5 2/3 innings.

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Atlanta Braves' Dansby Swanson (7) celebrates with Ehire Adrianza after hitting a home run in the third inning of the team's baseball game against the Washington Nationals on Wednesday, June 2, 2021, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore) © Provided by Associated Press Atlanta Braves' Dansby Swanson (7) celebrates with Ehire Adrianza after hitting a home run in the third inning of the team's baseball game against the Washington Nationals on Wednesday, June 2, 2021, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Lester's start was especially important after Washington placed right-hander Stephen Strasburg on the 10-day injured list with a neck strain before the game. Strasburg previously was on the 10-day IL from April 15 until May 21 with right shoulder inflammation.

Dansby Swanson's homer to right-center tied the game in the second.

The Nationals loaded the bases with one out in the third before Smyly struck out Gomes and Kyle Schwarber. Smyly allowed three runs on seven hits and two walks in 4 1/3 innings.

Washington right-hander Tanner Rainey gave up a double to pinch-hitter Abraham Almonte to open the seventh. Rainey struck out pinch-hitter Pablo Sandoval and Ronald Acuña Jr. before walking Freddie Freeman.

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Washington Nationals' Kyle Schwarber tosses his helmet after striking out with the bases loaded to end the top of the third inning of the team's baseball game against the Atlanta Braves on Wednesday, June 2, 2021, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore) © Provided by Associated Press Washington Nationals' Kyle Schwarber tosses his helmet after striking out with the bases loaded to end the top of the third inning of the team's baseball game against the Atlanta Braves on Wednesday, June 2, 2021, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Albies' double to the wall in right-center off Daniel Hudson (4-1) drove in Almonte and Freeman to tie the game. Hudson remained in the game to pitch a perfect eighth.

Brad Hand worked the ninth for his ninth save in 11 chances.

Trea Turner’s run-scoring single off Chris Martin in the ninth pushed the lead to two runs. Turner’s single up the middle drove in Victor Robles, who was hit by a pitch and stole second.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Nationals: Schwarber left the game after appearing to hurt his left leg on a dive for Almonte's double in the seventh. Andrew Stevenson replaced Schwarber in left field. ... RHP Erick Fedde (illness) apparently is not a candidate to take Strasburg's spot in the rotation Sunday at Philadelphia. Fedde is still scheduled make a rehab start for Class A Wilmington on Thursday and could rejoin the Washington rotation next week. ... RHP Kyle McGowin was recalled from Triple-A Rochester.

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Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Drew Smyly works in the first inning of the team's baseball game against the Washington Nationals on Wednesday, June 2, 2021, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore) © Provided by Associated Press Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Drew Smyly works in the first inning of the team's baseball game against the Washington Nationals on Wednesday, June 2, 2021, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Braves: RHP Edgar Santana favored his right leg leaving the field after he was hit by Josh Harrison's liner in the seventh. Santana threw out Harrison. ... OF Cristian Pache (right hamstring strain) was activated from the 10-day IL and optioned to Triple-A Gwinnett. Pache was hitting only .111 before the injury. “He needs to play every day,” manager Brian Snitker said. “He needs to hit.”

Atlanta Braves shortstop Dansby Swanson catches a fly ball from Washington Nationals' Josh Harrison during the first inning of a baseball game Wednesday, June 2, 2021, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore) © Provided by Associated Press Atlanta Braves shortstop Dansby Swanson catches a fly ball from Washington Nationals' Josh Harrison during the first inning of a baseball game Wednesday, June 2, 2021, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

UP NEXT

Nationals LHP Patrick Corbin (3-4, 6.23 ERA) starts Thursday in the finale of the four-game series.

Sticking with his season-long plan to give starters an extra day of rest when possible, Snitker has pushed back RHP Ian Anderson one day to Friday night's series opener against the Los Angeles Dodgers and delayed announcing his new Thursday starter.

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Atlanta Braves' Ronald Acuna Jr. gestures toward the Braves' dugout after being caught stealing second during the first inning of the team's baseball game against the Washington Nationals on Wednesday, June 2, 2021, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore) © Provided by Associated Press Atlanta Braves' Ronald Acuna Jr. gestures toward the Braves' dugout after being caught stealing second during the first inning of the team's baseball game against the Washington Nationals on Wednesday, June 2, 2021, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore) Atlanta Braves' Freddie Freeman loses his helmet as he tries to beat out an infield ground ball in the first inning of a baseball game against the Washington Nationals Wednesday, June 2, 2021, in Atlanta. Freeman was out. (AP Photo/John Bazemore) © Provided by Associated Press Atlanta Braves' Freddie Freeman loses his helmet as he tries to beat out an infield ground ball in the first inning of a baseball game against the Washington Nationals Wednesday, June 2, 2021, in Atlanta. Freeman was out. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Braves GM Alex Anthopoulos: We can add payroll at trade deadline .
There’s a vast array of directions the Braves can choose to go as they look to bolster the roster, although as with most clubs, they’re likely several weeks away from making any actual transactions. Sellers often prefer to wait until the market has more competition, and the Braves themselves right now probably want to take more time to evaluate the roster. Atlanta is five games out of first place at the moment and three games under .500.

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