For most of Thursday night it looked like the Washington Nationals would walk out of Turner Field for the first time since 2009 with a sweep of the Atlanta Braves. Instead, the Nationals were defeated by a 10th-inning walk-off RBI single by Brian McCann giving the Braves a 6-5 victory.
The Nats were up 5-1 in the seventh when reliever Sean Burnett entered the game with two men on base. After walking Brooks Conrad to load the bases Burnett gave up a grand slam to Martin Prado in the after a 10 pitch at-bat putting a damper on starter Jordan Zimmermann's performance and the Nationals night. The slam tied the game and pushed the two teams into extra innings for the second night in a row. This time however, the Nationals ended up on the losing end. Doug Slaten came in to relieve Burnett and manager Jim Riggleman left in him in for a little over two-innings and into the 10th when Slaten gave up the single to McCann.
The performance of the night for Washington has to belong to Zimmermann who went six-innings giving up three runs on five hits and striking out an astounding 11 batters. No Nationals pitcher has claimed 11 strikeouts in a game since Stephen Strasburg's debut last June when he struck out 14. Offensively, second baseman Danny Espinosa had a 1-for-3 night with two RBIs that came off a two-run home run.
The Nationals are now 18-19 and remain in fourth place in the NL East.