McGowin, Nats’ bullpen dominates in 10-4 win over Braves
By CHARLES ODUM
AP Sports Writer
ATLANTA (AP) — Victor Robles’ third hit, a bunt single in the sixth inning, gave Washington the lead, Brock Holt had four hits and the Nationals leaned on their bullpen to beat the Atlanta Braves 10-4 Saturday night.
Atlanta led 4-3 before Washington scored twice in the sixth. Luis Garcia’s run-scoring single tied the game before Robles placed a bunt single between first baseman Freddie Freeman and reliever Tyler Matzek (3-3), driving in Holt from third with the go-ahead run.
Holt’s fourth hit was an RBI single in the ninth, when the Nationals scored five runs.
Kyle McGowin (1-0) had four strikeouts in 2 1/3 perfect innings to earn his first win.
McGowin, Wander Suero, Sean Doolittle and Ryne Harper combined for 5 1/3 hitless innings.
After hitting three homers in Friday’s doubleheader split, Ronald Acuña Jr. made Braves history by leading off the first with a homer off Erick Fedde. The 22-year-old Acuña set the Braves record with 18 career leadoff homers. Felipe Alou had 17 for Atlanta from 1966-69.
Three of Acuña’s nine homers this season have led off a game.
Fedde gave up a two-run homer to Travis d’Arnaud in the third and a line-drive shot to Adam Duvall to open the fourth. Atlanta has hit 10 homers in the first three games of the four-game series.
Fedde gave up four runs in 3 2/3 innings — his third straight game allowing four or more runs. He has allowed eight homers in eight games this season after giving up 11 in 21 games in 2019.
Max Fried allowed three runs in five innings.
Third baseman Carter Kiebom, recalled before the game, drove in Trea Turner with a bloop single to right field for a 2-0 lead in the first inning. Kurt Suzuki had a run-scoring groundout.
Atlanta’s first error of the season by a middle infielder helped Washington score a run in the fifth.
Second baseman Johan Camargo fielded a grounder by Howie Kendrick and threw wide to shortstop Dansby Swanson at second base in an attempt to start a double play. Robles scored from third on the throwing error, cutting Atlanta’s lead to 4-3.
Each team made roster moves before the game.
Infielder Wilmer Difo was designated for assignment when Kieboom was recalled from the Nationals’ alternate training site in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Manager Dave Martinez said Kieboom, a first-round pick in 2016, would start at third base the remainder of the season.
The Braves recalled right-hander Chad Sobotka, who gave up five runs in the ninth, including a two-run double to Luis Garcia and run-scoring doubles to Howie Kendrick and Kurt Suzuki. Atlanta optioned right-hander Huascar Ynoa to its alternate site.
Nationals: Martinez said OF Juan Soto (sore left elbow) “feels a little bit better today.” … Martinez said IF/OF Josh Harrison (contusion left forearm) was “a little beat up. He’s sore.” … OF Adam Eaton (jammed knee) was to be evaluated after batting practice.
Braves: 2B Ozzie Albies (bone contusion in right wrist) continues to move closer to ending his month-long say on the IL. He took batting practice and fielded grounders. Following another day of increased work on Sunday, Albies could play a simulated game at the alternate training site.
Nationals: LHP Patrick Corbin, who was 1-1 with a 2.81 ERA in three starts against the Braves in 2019, will start in Sunday’s final game of the series.
Braves: RHP Josh Tomlin (1-2, 4.37) will make his fourth start after opening the season in the bullpen.
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