Braves target another series win vs. Nationals
(Sports Network) - The Atlanta Braves will try to bounce back and take care of the Washington Nationals without extra innings Sunday in the finale of a three-game series from Turner Field.
The Braves needed 10 innings to post a 3-2 win on Friday courtesy of Justin Upton's game-winning home run, but the Nationals returned the favor with Saturday's 8-7 triumph in 15 innings. Adam LaRoche led off the top of the 15th with a home run and Kris Medlen was dealt the loss.
Jason Heyward had a big night with two home runs and three RBI, while Freddie Freeman and Brian McCann both went deep. McCann finished with three hits for the NL East-leading Braves, who lost for only the third time in the previous 21 games and are 14 1/2 games in front of Washington in the division.
Mike Minor started for the Braves and was forced out after just 1 2/3 innings, as he surrendered four runs and four hits.
"They were a lot more patient tonight," Minor said of the Nats' hitters.
Atlanta is 5-3 on its nine-game homestand and will start a six-game road trip next week against the New York Mets and St. Louis Cardinals.
Julio Teheran draws the start for Atlanta Sunday and he is looking to pitch his club to another series win. The Braves haven't lost a series since July 19-21 against the Chicago White Sox and are 4-1 in Teheran's last five starts.
Teheran, though, is coming off a loss to Philadelphia on Monday and gave up four runs in six innings of a 5-1 setback. He is 9-6 in 23 starts to go along with a 3.08 earned run average and defeated Washington on Aug. 6, tossing six innings of one-run ball in a 2-1 victory at Nationals Park. He is 1-1 in four starts with a 3.75 ERA lifetime against the Nats.
The Nationals had so much promise heading into the season, but things have taken a turn for the worse. They're playing well of late and still sit 8 1/2 games off a wild card spot.
LaRoche had a big hit in the 15th inning and Ryan Zimmerman also homered, while Wilson Ramos added three hits and two RBI and Denard Span collected a trio of hits at the plate.
"Just a full team effort. We used up everybody we had, plus one of our starters coming out and closing the game so pretty awesome," LaRoche said.
Stephen Strasburg yielded two runs in an inning of work and Craig Stammen picked up the win with three scoreless innings of relief. Strasburg was ejected for throwing behind Braves shortstop Andrelton Simmons twice on Saturday.
"I can't really explain it. I really didn't feel good out there," he said.
Dan Haren was called on to close out the Braves and fanned two batters in the 15th.
Washington, which has won six of eight games, is 1-1 on its 10-game road trip and will also visit the Chicago Cubs and Kansas City Royals.
Gio Gonzalez gets the call for the Nats Sunday and he is 0-2 in his last five starts. Gonzalez tossed four shutout innings in a 4-2 win over San Francisco on Tuesday before it started raining. Gonzalez is 7-5 in 24 starts to go along with a 3.42 ERA and lost to the Braves on Aug. 6, as he surrendered both runs in seven innings of a 2-1 loss.
Gonzalez, a left-hander, is 2-5 with a 5.24 ERA in eight career starts against the rival Braves.
The Braves are 11-4 against the Nationals this season and had won the last six matchups between the clubs. Atlanta recorded a three-game sweep over the Nationals last week in D.C.
08/18 10:58:39 ET