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Braves Batter Stephen Strasburg, Nationals In 7-5 Win

The chances of the Braves winning on Saturday afternoon at steamy Turner Field looked grim after a few innings. The Nationals had Stephen Strasburg on the mound, and they worked themselves to an early 2-0 lead against Mike Minor. Thanks to some timely hitting and heat exhaustion to Strasburg, the Braves rallied to win 7-5 and even the series.

Jason Heyward drove the first run across in the third inning with an RBI-double off the left field wall. Freddie Freeman then drove in a run with a sacrifice fly, and Dan Uggla followed by finally snapping his cold streak, smoking a ball down the left field line for an RBI-double of his own to give Atlanta a 3-2 lead.

Juan Francisco added a run with an RBI-double in the bottom of the fourth, who was then driven in by a Michael Bourn double. After moving up to third on a wild pitch, Martin Prado drove Bourn in with a sacrifice fly. Andrelton Simmons came up with a key two-out single back up the middle to score Freddie Freeman in the fifth inning, giving the Braves a 7-2 lead.

The Nationals fought back for two runs in the sixth and one more in the seventh, but were unable to cash in on any more of their opportunities. Craig Kimbrel entered the ninth and struck out two of the three batters he faced to clinch a 7-5 victory.

The Braves and Nats will meet on Sunday afternoon to wrap up the series. It'll be Tim Hudson against Gio Gonzalez on the mound in what should be a terrific game. First pitch is scheduled for 1:35 p.m. ET.

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