Washington, DC, United States (4E Sports) – The Washington Nationals capitalized on an error by shortstop Andrelton Simmons, scoring two runs in the ninth to complete a come-from-behind 6-5 win over the Atlanta Braves Tuesday in the opener of a day-night doubleheader at Nationals Park.
Denard Span extended his hitting streak to 27 games and his crucial hit in the ninth slipped between Simmons’s legs, helping the Nationals escape with a victory that moved them 4 1/2 games behind the Cincinnati Reds in the National League Wild Card race.
After pitching 5 2/3 innings in his past two starts combined, Nationals starter Dan Haren allowed one run on three hits with two walks and four strikeouts over six innings. He worked his way out of a first-inning jam and retired 14 of the final 15 batters he faced.
Reliever Ian Krol (2-1) was credited with the victory after getting the final out in the ninth to help the Nationals clinch their first win in seven games against the Braves at Nationals Park this season.
Braves closer Craig Kimbrel (3-3), who entered the game with a 1.04 ERA in 61 appearances, absorbed the loss and the blown save after giving up three runs in the ninth.
Braves starter Mike Minor struggled to find his command, walking the Nationals’ first two batters before surrendering a run-scoring double to Jayson Werth.
However, the Braves slowly got back into the game and eventually took a 4-3 lead behind Evan Gattis’ two-run shot. Gattis was hitless in his prior 18 at-bats before the home run.
In the ninth, the Braves added another run for a 5-3 lead. Elliot Johnson singled, advanced to second base on a throwing error by Harper, stole third base and scored on another error by Ian Desmond.
However, Kimbrel walked two of the first three batters he faced and allowed an infield single to Wilson Ramos to load the bases with no outs.
Chad Tracy hit a grounder to first base to score one run before Span brought home the two deciding runs by hitting one up the middle that Simmons couldn’t handle.
The game was supposed to be played Monday but was postponed due to the shooting at the Washington Navy Yard.