By Michael Marzzacco
Dusty Baker rested five starters on Monday afternoon after a late return from Sunday night’s game in New York but his Nationals still got a 6-4 win over the Braves. Bryce Harper, Daniel Murphy, Ryan Zimmerman, Jayson Werth, and Wilson Ramos all sat out. Trea Turner finished a triple shy of the cycle, as he doubled in his first at-bat, homered in his second, and in his third singled. He drove in three runs.
Max Scherzer, Nats ace and potential Cy Young Award candidate, only had one strikeout over the first seven batters he faced but calmed down and only allowed two runs over seven innings. He improved his record with the win to 16-7 while striking out five.
After the Braves took a 1-0 lead in the second, the Nats scored five runs in the third courtesy of the longball. Turner hit his sixth of the season into left field, a two-run shot that gave the Nats the lead. Two batters later, Chris Heisey smashed a three-run homer into the left field seats that put Washington out front 5-1. It was Heisey’s ninth home run of the season.
In the fourth, Turner singled home Danny Espinosa brining him within a triple of the cycle. The Braves got a run back in the sixth and got two more in the ninth but Mark Melancon shut the door in the ninth to get the save as the Nats took the first game of their three game series with the Braves 6-4.
The series continues Tuesday night from Nationals Park. Gio Gonzalez (10-9, 4.14 ERA) will take the ball for the Nats while the Braves counter with Williams Perez (2-2, 4.62 ERA).