By Michael Marzzacco
Anthony Rendon and Ryan Zimmerman went yard and later on scored three runs in the eighth to take game two of the three game set by a final of 9-7. The Nationals’ magic number to clinch the National League East now stands at 16.
The Braves scored three runs in the first two innings off of Gio Gonzalez, capped by an inside-the-park home run by Dansby Swanson in the second. The Nats scored their first run of the contest in the bottom of the second with an RBI single by Gonzalez that scored Rendon.
Gonzalez struggled in this outing, lasting just three innings allowing six runs on eight hits striking out four.
After Atlanta stretched their lead to 4-1, the Nationals answered in the bottom of the third in grand style. Rendon hit a grand slam into the left field seats. As Rendon headed to the dugout, Trea Turner was at the top step waiting for him and exclaimed, “That’s my favorite player!” Rendon got a curtain call.
Then Zimmerman followed with a solo shot over the scoreboard in right field and all of a sudden the Nationals were out front 6-4.
The Braves tied in the fourth and the Nats finally got out front in the bottom of the eighth. Ben Revere got an RBI fielder’s choice that scored Michael Taylor. The Nats added onto their lead with a 2-RBI single by Turner that brought home both Danny Espinosa and Revere.
The Braves could only muster a run in the ninth as Mark Melancon shut the door for his 39th save of the season. Reliever Koda Glover got the win, working the eighth inning.
The series concludes tonight at 7:05 as Stephen Strasburg (15-4, 3.59 ERA) returns from the DL as he goes up against Mike Foltynewicz (8-5, 4.31 ERA).