Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) - Jason Heyward's line drive base hit up the middle plated Rick Ankiel with the game-winning run in the ninth, giving the Atlanta Braves a dramatic 3-2 victory over the Washington Nationals.
In Atlanta's final at-bat, Ankiel posted a one-out single off Sean Burnett (0-7) and moved to second when Tyler Clippard walked David Ross. Clippard struck out Omar Infante for the second out but fell behind 3-0 to Heyward, who had the green light and ripped a single past a diving Ian Desmond at short to secure the Braves' 21st victory in their final at-bat.
Billy Wagner (7-2) struck out the side in the top of the ninth to get credit for the win, the club's seventh in eight games to remain 2 1/2 games ahead of the Phillies atop the NL East Division.
Neither starter factored in the decision despite each allowing only two runs in seven innings of work. Atlanta's Tim Hudson, attempting to win a sixth straight start, gave up eight hits and two walks, while Livan Hernandez scattered nine hits and a pair of bases on balls for Washington.
The Nats ended Hudson's 19 straight scoreless innings streak in the third when Mike Morse and Willie Harris each singled to begin the frame and came around to score on base hits from Roger Bernadina and Ryan Zimmerman, respectively.
The Braves tied it in the fourth, getting their first run on Melky Cabrera's double-play ground ball with the bases loaded. Alex Gonzalez then hit a high fly that somehow landed between Morse in right and second baseman Adam Kennedy, allowing Brian McCann to score the tying run on the single.
Atlanta had the bases loaded with one out in the seventh and failed to score, as Infante lined right back to Hernandez and Heyward flied out.
Before the game, the Braves placed Troy Glaus (knee) on the 15-day disabled list but filled that loss by acquiring first baseman Derrek Lee from the Chicago Cubs in exchange for three pitching prospects...Zimmerman was thrown out of the game by home plate umpire Scott Barry for throwing his bat and helmet after striking out swinging in the eighth inning. Nationals manager Jim Riggleman was also tossed by Barry for arguing the ejection...Hudson came into the game 10-1 with a 1.49 earned-run average in 16 career starts versus the Nationals franchise, while Hernandez had struggled to a 6-16 mark versus Atlanta...Zimmerman, Morse, Gonzalez, Ankiel and Atlanta's Martin Prado each had two hits for their respective club...The Braves will go for the three-game series sweep on Thursday with Derek Lowe slated to start opposite Washington lefty John Lannan.