The Atlanta Braves had to sweep the Nationals this weekend to keep hopes of a National League East championship alive. Two walk-off wins and a 5-1 win on Sunday night later, and the Bravos have a fighting chance with a little more than two weeks remaining.
Mike Minor was the story on Sunday night. The young southpaw worked six innings of one-run ball, scattering five hits and two walks. He struck out three. Minor's ERA in the second half of the season is now 2.29 ERA.
Gio Gonzalez was not nearly as effective for the Nationals, working his way through five wild innings on the mound. He gave up just two runs on four hits and four walks, although he was pitching in and out of trouble all night.
Chipper Jones drove home the first run of the game with an RBI single in the third inning. Freddie Freeman then followed with a sacrifice fly to make it 2-0. Washington cut the deficit in half with a two-out single from Ian Desmond in the sixth that plated Bryce Harper.
Jason Heyward grounded out sharply in the seventh inning with runners on the corner. Adam LaRoche touched first and then fired home, but Michael Bourn was able to avoid a tag at the plate to add the third run. Dan Uggla then came up with a huge two-run single to make it 5-1 after seven innings.
Luis Avilan and Chad Durbin worked a perfect eighth and ninth inning, respectively, to secure the rainy victory at Turner Field.