Nats Bullpen Falters Again

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Photo: Greg Fiume/Getty Images

By Michael Marzzacco

The Nationals scored nine runs but still took the loss to the Atlanta Braves in the three-game series opener Monday night at Nationals Park. The culprit once again was the bullpen. The final score was 11-10.

In the eighth, Jacob Turner gave up a solo home run to Matt Adams, a one-out double by Rio Ruiz and a walk to Dansby Swanson that put two on. It prompted Nationals manager Dusty Baker to turn to Enny Romero. Romero hit Danny Santana to load the bases and a sacrifice fly followed that to pull the Braves within 9-8. Matt Albers came on following that and got out of the jam.

Albers came on in the ninth inning and walked two batters before giving up a three-run homer by Tyler Flowers.

Bryce Harper was pretty upset after the game.

“We need some help. We need some help big time,” Baker told reporters after the game.

The bullpen has posted a 7.24 ERA over 13.2 innings while giving up four home runs in their last four games.

Stephen Strasburg got the start and gave up six runs in five innings while striking out 10. Atlanta took a 3-0 lead in the first with home runs by Nick Markakis and Matt Kemp. In the bottom frame, Trea Turner homered and Matt Wieters hit an RBI single that scored Bryce Harper putting them within 3-2. Brian Goodwin went yard in the bottom of the second and a sacrifice fly by Anthony Rendon gave the Nats a 4-3 lead. Matt Adams hit a three-run homer in the top of the third to put the Braves up 6-4. The Nats got a run back in the bottom of that frame with an RBI groundout by Strasburg. In the fourth the Nats added four runs. Harper hit his 16th home run of the year.

The Nats got three more runs with an RBI double by Adam Lind, an RBI single from Michael Taylor and an RBI single by Goodwin.

Trailing 11-9 in the ninth, Turner hit an RBI single but it wasn’t enough. The Nats will look to redeem themselves tonight.



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