It took the Washington Nationals 11-innings, but they rallied and beat the Atlanta Braves Wednesday night by the score of 7-3. The Nats were down 3-1 with one out in the ninth before scoring two in the inning to tie the game. Washington then used two huge offensive plays in the eleventh to seal the game and send the Braves reeling to their second straight defeat.
Nationals lefty John Lannan pitched a decent game giving up two runs on five hits in six-innings of work, but his undoing came in the first-inning of the game after Brian McCann hit a two RBI double. Add an Eric Hinske home run off struggling pitcher Doug Slaten in the bottom of the seventh and it looked like all the Braves would need, but the Nationals slowly started to chip away at the Braves lead.
Left fielder Laynce Nix plated catcher Wilson Ramos in the second on an RBI single. Nix was a shiny point in the Nationals offense going 3-for-5 with two singles, a double and one RBI. The Nationals would not score again until the ninth-inning. With one out and the bases loaded infielder Alex Cora pinch hitting hit a single off Craig Kimbrel to score Nix and Jerry Hairston Jr. to tie the game and put a man on third for the go ahead run. However, both Ian Desmond and Jayson Werth struck out to put the game back in the Braves hands and fortunes in the bottom of the ninth. Reliever Sean Burnett was able to get three straight outs to send the game into extra innings.
Then Desmond and Werth redeemed themselves in the eleventh. Desmond hit a two-RBI double to break the tie and the very next batter, Werth, sent a two-run home run over the wall to give the Nationals a four run cushion. Reliever Tyler Clippard came in at the bottom of the eleventh and held the Braves off for the win.
The Nationals have returned to .500 with a record of 18-18 and they continue to hold onto fourth place in the NL East and have begun to put a little room between them and the NL East cellar dwelling New York Mets.