Thu, 07 Dec 2023

Nats edge Braves, who await NLDS opponent

Field Level Media
02 Oct 2023, 08:55 GMT+10

(Photo credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports)

Jacob Young's ninth-inning, two-run single was the difference as the visiting Washington Nationals downed the Atlanta Braves 10-9 to close the regular season Sunday afternoon.

The Braves, who hold home-field advantage throughout the postseason, have a first-round bye before their National League Division Series. They will face the winner of the best-of-three NL wild-card series between two of their division rivals, the Philadelphia Phillies and the Miami Marlins, which starts Tuesday in Philadelphia.

After Orlando Arcia put the hosts up with a run-scoring single in the bottom of the eighth, Atlanta (104-58) watched Michael Tonkin (7-3) blow a save opportunity in the top of the ninth, walking in Michael Chavis to knot the contest at 8-8.

Young's hit, which scored Luis Garcia and Dominic Smith, ensured that Marcell Ozuna's second homer of the day and 40th of the season, a solo shot in the bottom of the ninth, wasn't enough.

Hunter Harvey (4-4) earned the win in relief and Kyle Finnegan notched his 28th save for the Nationals, who won 16 more games than they did last season.

The Nationals (71-91) pinned four runs on the board in the first inning, beginning with Joey Meneses' RBI double. A Keibert Ruiz two-run, ground-rule double ensued, then Ruiz was brought around on Alex Call's two-out infield single.

Matt Olson roped a single to right in the bottom of that frame, plating Ozzie Albies and Austin Riley.

Ruiz's third RBI pushed across Lane Thomas, stretching Washington's lead to three. That advantage was wiped away in the bottom third on Ozuna's 432-foot blast to center, which also scored Albies and Nicky Lopez.

On Michael Harris II's two-run infield single in the seventh, Atlanta went ahead for the first time. This time, it was Washington's turn to pull back even, courtesy of a run-scoring groundout by Young and a hit by CJ Abrams in the eighth.

Left-handed starter Dylan Dodd turned in six innings for the Braves, allowing five earned runs on nine hits. His counterpart, Jackson Rutledge, gave up five earned runs on five hits in five innings for the Nationals.

--Field Level Media

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