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Strasburg hurt, but then Nats walk-off

MLB.com

WASHINGTON -- It was a good and bad news scenario on Wednesday night at Nationals Park. The good news was that the Nationals defeated the Braves, 5-4, in 11 innings and lowered their magic number to 15 to win the National League East. The bad news is, Washington lost Stephen Strasburg to an an elbow injury.

With the score tied at 4, no outs and the bases loaded in the 11th, Wilson Ramos lofted a single to left field off Braves right-hander Brandon Cunniff to score Jayson Werth with the game-winning run.

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WASHINGTON -- It was a good and bad news scenario on Wednesday night at Nationals Park. The good news was that the Nationals defeated the Braves, 5-4, in 11 innings and lowered their magic number to 15 to win the National League East. The bad news is, Washington lost Stephen Strasburg to an an elbow injury.

With the score tied at 4, no outs and the bases loaded in the 11th, Wilson Ramos lofted a single to left field off Braves right-hander Brandon Cunniff to score Jayson Werth with the game-winning run.

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"It was important [getting the victory]," Nationals manager Dusty Baker said. "This was a team victory. We used guys that we haven't used in the past. They came through."

Strasburg feels pinch in elbow, set for MRI

Video: ATL@WSH: Strasburg exits with an injury

Atlanta went ahead, 4-3, in the 10th inning when with runners on first and second and two outs, Jace Peterson singled to left field off Trevor Gott, scoring Nick Markakis.

After Danny Espinosa and Chris Heisey singled with Jim Johnson on the mound in the bottom half of the frame, Anthony Rendon reached on an infield single, scoring Espinosa.

Strasburg started the game and retired six of the eight hitters he faced, but the right-hander left in the third inning after striking out Mike Foltynewicz. Strasburg felt a pinch in the back of his elbow and will undergo an MRI on Thursday.

The Nationals ended up using nine relievers, who allowed a combined three runs in 8 2/3 innings and struck out 11 batters. The winner was Mat Latos, who won his first game as a member of the Nationals.

"It's awesome we are able to pull off a great win. It's close to one in the morning. " said Nationals right-hander Lucas Giolito, who pitched 3 1/3 innings. "At least we get to end on a high note."

Foltynewicz provided the Braves another strong start, as he recorded eight strikeouts and limited the Nationals to one run over six innings. After hitting a third-inning leadoff double which positioned him to score Atlanta's first run, Dansby Swanson homered for the second straight night to give the Braves a 3-1 lead in the seventh inning.

"Foltynewicz gave us a chance to win and I thought we played pretty well," Swanson said. "Obviously, losing is never fun. There's always opportunities to learn and grow from something like this."

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Strasburg injured: Strasburg had missed 16 games with right elbow soreness before taking the mound Wednesday, and Baker insisted the right-hander was ready to pitch.

Video: ATL@WSH: Baker discusses Strasburg, walk-off win

"He did everything that was asked of him. He was cleared," Baker said. "He wasn't trying to be a hero. He said that he felt fine."

Impressive poise: Foltynewicz surrendered singles to two of the first three batters he faced and loaded the bases in the first inning when he walked Ramos. But Foltynewicz escaped the first inning unscathed while striking out both Bryce Harper and Ryan Zimmerman. The 24-year-old right-hander also pitched around Ramos' sixth-inning leadoff double when he ended his 106-pitch night with consecutive strikeouts of Espinosa and Wilmer Difo.

Video: ATL@WSH: Foltynewicz fans eight over six innings

"He was really good," Braves manager Brian Snitker said. "He just competed and left everything out there. He's believing in his stuff and he's committed to it. He's just coming along exactly the way we thought he would." More >

Murphy reaches milestone: In the eighth inning, Daniel Murphy tied the score at 3 with a single to left-center field off left-hander Ian Krol, scoring Stephen Drew and Trea Turner. Murphy became the fourth member of the Nationals -- Zimmerman, Adam Dunn and Adam LaRoche are the others -- to drive in 100 runs in this season.

Video: ATL@WSH: Murphy ties the game with a two-run single

Prospect battle: In a battle of MLBPipeline.com's top five prospects, Swanson (No. 4) got the better of Giolito (No. 3) when he began the seventh inning with a home run that landed 401 feet away from home plate with an exit velocity of 105 mph according to Statcast™. The solo shot was the Braves shortstop's second career homer, but the first to clear an outfield wall. He produced his first when he hit one of the inside-the-park variety during Tuesday night's game.

"I was getting too much [slack] for it around here and from back home and stuff for my first one being an inside-the-parker," Swanson said. "So I figured this time I'd be a little bit easier on myself."

QUOTABLE
"I like the way we fought back. You can tell contending teams have a lot to fight for, but [the Braves] have given us all we can handle even though we have beaten them pretty well." -- Baker

SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Once the Braves claimed a one-run lead and determined Johnson would remain in the game to pitch the bottom of the 10th inning, Johnson was given a chance to experience his second career plate appearance. Like his only previous one on June 28, 2014, this one resulted with a strikeout.

REPLAY REVIEW
Before scoring on Werth's RBI single in the second inning, Difo reached on an infield single that was unsuccessfully challenged by the Braves, who felt Peterson's throw beat the speedy third baseman to the first-base bag. Following a two-minute, 37-second review, the call stood.

Video: ATL@WSH: Difo records a single, call stands in 2nd

"I just looked at what I saw on the [stadium's video board]," Snitker said. "He looked out. I just don't get it sometimes. There has been a few. I don't like that there is not enough evidence to overturn. I think it should be, 'Is he out or is he safe?'"

WHAT'S NEXT
Braves: John Gant will be on the mound when Atlanta opens a three-game series against the Mets on Friday at 7:40 p.m. ET. Gant allowed one run over 6 2/3 innings against the Mets on June 17. This will be his second start since missing nearly two months with a left oblique strain.

Nationals: Right-hander A.J. Cole will make his fourth start of the season Thursday on the heels of his best outing yet. First pitch is 7:05 p.m. against the Phillies. Cole shut down the Mets on Friday at Citi Field, allowing only one run over six innings while besting Noah Syndergaard in a Nationals win.

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Bill Ladson has covered the Nationals/Expos for MLB.com 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 MLB.com since 2001.

Mike Foltynewicz, Daniel Murphy, Jace Peterson, Wilson Ramos, Stephen Strasburg, Dansby Swanson, Jayson Werth