Nats Bullpen Survives, Outlasts Braves

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Photo: Patrick McDermott-USA Today Sports

By Michael Marzzacco

The Nationals used two home runs by Ryan Zimmerman and back-to-back home runs by both Zim and Daniel Murphy to pad their lead on the Braves. This time, unlike the previous night, the bullpen got the job done as the Nationals took the second game of the three-game series, 10-5.

The Nats put up three runs in the first to go up 3-0 early. They got their first run with an RBI groundout by Bryce Harper after Ryan Raburn hit a triple. Then Zimmerman and Murphy hit back-to-back jacks.

The Braves scored five unanswered runs over the fourth and sixth innings to go up 5-3, highlighted by a two-run home run by Rio Ruiz that put Atlanta ahead. All five runs were surrendered by Nats starting pitcher Joe Ross. The Natoionals rallied in the bottom of the sixth. Raburn got on with a single to lead it off and got to second base on a passed ball with Harper at the plate. Harper got a base hit into center field that scored Raburn. Zimmerman then belted his second home run of the game to put the Nats in front for good. It was also his 19th of the season.

Murphy and Anthony Rendon each got on. Murphy singled while Rendon was hit by a pitch. Matt Wieters added to their lead with a two-run double that sent them home, putting the Nats up 8-5. In the seventh, Murphy doubled home Zimmerman. The Nats got their 10th and final run in the eighth with an RBI single by Trea Turner.

If the Nationals bullpen got an intervention from blowing a late lead the night before, it certainly worked Tuesday night. The bullpen allowed no runs and just four hits. Trevor Gott was the first man to come in the game and was credited with the win. He finished the sixth inning getting Brandon Phillips to ground out.

Enny Romero came on the in seventh. He first struck out Nick Markakis, allowed a walk to Matt Kemp but got Matt Adams to ground into a double play. Romero was also on the mound in the eighth, facing four batters. He struck out the first two, gave up a single, but responded by striking out Lane Adams to end the threat.

Shawn Kelley came on for the ninth and got Ender Inciarte to fly out to begin the frame. He allowed singles to the next two batters but got Kemp to fly out for the second out. Dusty Baker would then turn to Oliver Perez to finish the game and Perez got Matt Adams to fly out to seal the Curly W.

The Nationals and Braves will meet this afternoon for the series finale with first pitch at 4:05 p.m. from Nationals Park. Tanner Roark (6-3, 3.87 ERA) will take the ball for the Nationals, going up against Julio Teheran (5-4, 5.08 ERA)

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