Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) - Gio Gonzalez struck out 10 through seven
dominant innings to cap a three-game sweep by the Washington Nationals over
the Atlanta Braves with a 7-2 victory on Sunday.
Gonzalez (7-1) allowed just one hit, three walks and two runs in Washington's
sixth win in seven games. He also knocked in a run for his first career RBI.
With the win, the Nationals improved to 29-18 on the season and are 11 games
over .500 for the first time since their inaugural season in DC when they were
55-44 after playing their 99th game on July 25, 2005.
Steve Lombardozzi knocked in a pair of runs while Jesus Flores added three
hits, two RBI and a run scored for Washington before leaving the game in the
seventh inning with an undisclosed injury suffered while running the bases.
Brandon Beachy (5-3) gave up three runs -- one earned -- on three hits and
four walks with seven strikeouts over five-plus innings to suffer the loss.
Michael Bourn scored both runs for the Braves, who dropped their seventh
With the score tied, 2-2, Beachy was replaced by Livan Hernandez after the
starter hit Danny Espinosa to lead off the sixth inning and Hernandez
immediately issued a free pass to Rick Ankiel.
Flores stepped up next and slapped a single up the middle to bring home
Espinosa. After a Gonzalez sacrifice bunt placed runners on second and third
with one out, Lombardozzi pulled a two-run double into the right-field corner.
Two batters later, Ryan Zimmerman slapped a base hit to right to plate
Lombardozzi and put the Nationals ahead, 6-2.
Bryce Harper's leadoff blast into the right-field bleachers in the eighth
inning finalized the scoring as the Braves had just three baserunners over
their final four at-bats and no runner reach second until Dan Uggla's one-out
double in the ninth.
After Washington stranded runners on second and third in the top of the first
inning, the Braves took the lead in the bottom of the frame when Bourn worked
a leadoff walk, stole second, advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt from Tyler
Pastornicky and came home on Martin Prado's groundout to short.
Bourn gave Atlanta a 2-0 lead in the third when he sent a one-out triple into
the right-center field gap and crossed the plate the next batter on
Pastornicky's squeeze bunt.
But Washington answered in the fourth inning after loading the bases with no
outs on walks by Adam LaRoche and Espinosa around Pastornicky's missed catch
error at second base on Ian Desmond's potential double-play grounder.
Ankiel struck out before Flores sent a base hit to left, plating LaRoche.
Gonzalez then lifted a sacrifice fly to left-center field to score Desmond,
but Lombardozzi followed with a soft liner to second to end the inning and
keep it a 2-2 game.
Beachy fell to 1-2 in four career appearances against Washington...Gonzalez
has won five straight starts...The Nationals have won five straight over the
Braves...Atlanta struck out 13 times in the game...The Nationals are now 11-3
against the NL East on the season.
The Sports Network