By Michael Marzzacco
The Braves spoiled Gio Gonzalez’s quest to 100 career wins as the Nats bullpen faltered late. The game would go to extra innings and Jace Peterson ended it in the 10th with a walk-off home run off of Shawn Kelley.
The Nats scored four runs in the third inning. Gonzalez led off with a base hit, Trea Turner walked, and Danny Espinosa got hit by a pitch to load the bases. Daniel Murphy grounded into what could have been a double play. Second baseman Gordon Beckham threw to shortstop Dansby Swanson. Swanson threw to first but Murphy beat the throw while Gonzalez scored the first run of the game. Then Bryce Harper launched a deep home run that went far near the back of the lower level in right field. It was Harper’s 22nd home run of the year as he continues his hot bat after returning from injury a week ago.
Atlanta answered with three runs in the fourth. Nick Markakis hit a two RBI double into left field while Matt Kemp added a run with an RBI sacrifice fly.
In the sixth, Chris Heisey hit a two run homer into left field that extended the Nats’ lead to 6-3. The Braves added a run in the sixth. In the bottom of the eighth with Yusmeiro Petit pitching in relief, Matt Kemp led off with a home run. The Braves loaded the bases thanks to a single by Jeff Francoeur, a throwing error by Petit to second on a sacrifice bunt by Antony Recker that allowed Francouer to get to third base and an intentional walk to Peterson. The game then went into a rain delay that lasted for about an hour. When the game resumed, Blake Treinen came in. The Braves tied it with an RBI groundout by Gordon Beckham.
Nobody scored in the ninth and the game went into extra innings. The Nats had a shot in the top of the 10th. Harper led off with a single. Wilson Ramos struck out. Ryan Zimmerman struck out but Harper stole second. Heisey grounded out to end the threat. In the bottom of the 10th with two outs, Peterson ended the game.
The Nats hit the road to Baltimore for the first of a four game home-and-home tilt with Orioles for the Beltway Series. First pitch from Camden Yards is at 7:05.