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Nationals Vs. Braves: Brian McCann Walk Off Single Delivers 6-5 Victory For Atlanta

A one out single in the bottom of the 10th by Braves catcher Brian McCann scored Martin Prado and gave the Braves a much needed 6-5 victory over the Washington Nationals. The win allows Atlanta to avoid a sweep as they gear up for a three-game set with the first place Philadelphia Phillies over the weekend. 

The Nationals Doug Slaten walked Martin Prado to lead off the 10th inning. After a Nate McLouth sacrifice bunt advanced Prado to 2nd, Slaten intentionally walked Chipper Jones to get to McCann. 

Washington scored first off of Atlanta starter Derek Lowe when Danny Espinosa hit a two-run homer in the 2nd inning that gave the Nationals an early 2-0 lead. The Braves came right back in the 3rd as Chipper Jones hit his fourth home run of the season to cut the Nationals lead to 2-1. 

Washington struck again in the fourth scoring two runs. One came on an Adam LaRoche single that scored Laynce Nix and the other when LaRoche scored on a Dan Uggla throwing error. The Nationals added one more run in the 6th on a Ivan Rodriguez solo home run. 

The Braves struck back in the 7th inning in a big way. After a Freddie Freeman walk and an Alex Gonzalez single, Nationals starter Jordan Zimmermann was replaced by Sean Burnett who immediately walked pinch hitter Brooks Conrad to load the bases. The next batter, Martin Prado sent a 3-2 pitch over the center field wall for a game-tying, grand-slam home run.  The score remained 5-5 until McCann's single in the 10th gave Atlanta the victory. 

Jordan Zimmermann pitched well for the Nationals and deserved a better fate. His final line was 6.1 innings allowing five hits and three runs. Zimmermann struck out a career high 11 batters while walking just two. Doug Slaten took the loss for the Nationals surrendering two hits and one run in 2.1 innings of work. 

Derek Lowe lasted 6.0 innings for the Braves but allowed five hits and five runs in the process. Lowe struck out six and walked three. He also surrendered two homers which matched the total that he had given up in his previous eight starts this season. Craig Kimbrel picked up the win in relief by pitching a scoreless 10th one night after blowing the save in Atlanta's 7-3 loss last night. 

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