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Braves vs. Nationals: Atlanta Bashes Stephen Strasburg Early, Win 7-4 In Rainy D.C.

The Braves needed a big victory on Friday night against phenom Stephen Strasburg and the Nationals. They got it behind a few key hits in the early innings and a solid start from Tim Hudson.

After back-to-back singles from Martin Prado in the first inning, Dan Uggla drove a ball to right field to plate the first run of the game. Brian McCann struck out, but Freddie Freeman sharply hit a ball into the outfield to score Chipper. Jack Wilson lined a ball right at third baseman Ryan Zimmerman that the gold glove winner had bounce off his glove and into the outfield.

With a lead of 3-0, Jason Heyward nearly hit a three-run homer to blow the game wide open, but he hit it to the deepest part of the park and was caught at the wall. The Nationals added a run of their own in the second inning on a ball hit down the right field line from Wilson Ramos.

Dan Uggla continued his strong performance with an RBI-double to left field. Brian McCann then belted a hanging slider into the right field gap to plate two more runs. 

After plating two runs in the sixth and a solo-home run from Jayson Werth, the Nationals cut Atlanta's lead to 6-4. Fortunately, a wild rundown play from Michael Bourn and Chipper Jones added an insurance run in the ninth.

Craig Kimbrel allowed a leadoff single in the ninth, but the rookie closer recorded the next three outs without incident and earned save No. 46 of the season. 

Not only did Atlanta win, but the Cubs came up with a big victory over the St. Louis Cardinals. The Braves lead in the wild card is now three games and the elimination number is down to three games as well.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.