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Braves rally, but Nationals eke out victory

August 19, 2016

ATLANTA -- After surrendering a three-run lead in the eighth inning of Friday night's game at Turner Field, the Nationals halted Jim Johnson's recent dominance and extended their mastery of the Braves with a 7-6 win that was decided by Clint Robinson's two-out single.Robinson's single ended Johnson's scoreless streak at

ATLANTA -- After surrendering a three-run lead in the eighth inning of Friday night's game at Turner Field, the Nationals halted Jim Johnson's recent dominance and extended their mastery of the Braves with a 7-6 win that was decided by Clint Robinson's two-out single.
Robinson's single ended Johnson's scoreless streak at 10 innings and provided the Nationals their 10th win in 11 games against Atlanta. Robinson went 2-for-3 and has hit safely in 14 of his past 19 starts, driving in runs in 10 of those 19 starts.
"I wanted to be aggressive. I'm trying to get a pitch to hit and do something with it," Robinson said. "It's fun. As a bench guy, your opportunities are limited. To justify your spot on the team, you have to come up big in big situations and instill confidence in the manger that you can get it done. When your number is called, it definitely helps my confidence having a good game today. I have to keep going."
Nationals starter Tanner Roark provided 6 1/3 innings that were only blemished by a pair of home runs -- Ender Inciarte's two-run shot in the sixth and Nick Markakis' solo shot in the seventh.

Making his first start since straining his oblique muscle July 30, Braves righty Julio Teheran allowed two of the three runs charged to him during his fifth and final inning. Dansby Swanson recorded a pair of hits, but also committed the first of two costly throwing errors that ultimately doomed the Braves, who lost for the eighth time in their past nine games when Mark Melancon completed a scoreless ninth.

The Nationals have won 10 of 11 against the Braves this season and 24 of 30 dating back to the start of last season.
Revere makes catch of year bid: With two outs in the fourth, it looked like Freddie Freeman hit his 25th homer to right-center field off Roark. However, center fielder Ben Revere leapt high and made a spectacular catch as he crashed against the wall to end the inning.

"The ball sounded pretty good off the bat, so I thought Freeman got all of it," Revere said. "Then I looked up, I say, 'It's already a home run.' As I'm getting closer, I may have a chance at this. I leaped and then I had a chance." More >
Late rally: Markakis robbed Robinson of a potential home run to begin the fifth and then drilled a solo shot -- his seventh homer since July 7 -- to pull the Braves within two runs in the seventh. After Gordon Beckham's throwing error gave one run back, Atlanta produced a game-tying, three-run eighth with the assistance of Anthony Rendon's throwing error. After Rendon's throw to second base went to right field, Freeman recorded a game-tying, two-run double -- his 11th extra-base hit within a span of 41 at-bats.

"We want to end strong and on a positive note," Freeman said. "Getting our guys back is a big key to that and getting them back in and their feet wet again is going to be big for us going down the stretch."

Turner Burner:Trea Turner continues to be productive in the top spot, going 3-for-4 with two runs scored. He scored in the first inning on a groundout by Bryce Harper. Turner scored another run on a bloop single by Harper in the fifth. Turner also made a nice play when he backhanded the ball and threw out Beckham at first base. It was Turner's speed that caused Beckham to make a throwing error in the eighth and allow Robinson to score the sixth run for Washington.

Teheran's return: Teheran's velocity was down a little and he primarily used his offspeed pitches after the second inning. This was his first start since going on the disabled list July 30 with an oblique strain. Even without his best stuff, the right-hander limited the Nationals to one run until he surrendered a couple of soft run-producing singles in Washington's two-run fifth. Madison Younginer gave up a pair of runs in the sixth, including one on Swanson's throwing error.
"I used more of my changeup today and my curveball," Teheran said. "I didn't go to use my slider that much, but it's a different game and we'll see how I feel for my next one. Hopefully I feel better for my next one."
"Clint came up to me and said, 'I need those more than you.' It's nice when they rob you, your teammates rob them back." -- Freeman, in reference to Revere robbing his potential home run just moments before Markakis robbed Robinson
Swanson recorded his first extra-base hit when he began the eighth with a double off Matt Belisle. Swanson was four when the Braves selected Belisle in the second round of the 1998 MLB Draft.

Jayson Werth went 0-for-5 as his on-base streak was snapped at a franchise-record 46 games, but his groundout in his last at-bat moved pinch-runner Pedro Severino into scoring position, setting the stage for Robinson's tiebreaking hit. More >
The Braves turned two in the third when they successfully challenged that Turner did not beat Matt Kemp's throw to first base. As Kemp caught Harper's fly ball in left field, Turner appeared to be distracted by center fielder Inciarte, who created deception by acting like he was fielding a grounder to center. Turner, who had been running on the play, stopped before making his way back toward first base.

Atlanta won another challenge in the ninth when a quick review clearly showed Swanson beat Danny Espinosa's throw to first base. The overturned call resulted in a one-out infield single, but Melancon then promptly ended the game by retiring Jace Peterson and Inciarte.

Nationals: Back on the mound Saturday at 7:10 p.m. ET at Turner Field, right-hander Max Scherzer is coming off his shortest outing of the season, when he left the game after four innings against the Rockies. But he has still pitched at least seven innings more than any other pitcher this season.
Braves:Tyrell Jenkins will be looking to bounce back when he opposes Scherzer. Jenkins had allowed one or zero in three consecutive starts before surrendering seven runs in just four innings against the Nationals on Sunday.
Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.

Bill Ladson has covered the Nationals/Expos for since 2002 and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats.

Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for since 2001.