Braves Fall To Nationals In 15 Innings, 8-7

Former Brave Adam LaRoche Hits Winning Homer

Sunday, August 18, 2013
Jason Heyward hit two home runs for Atlanta.
Jason Heyward hit two home runs for Atlanta.
- photo by Tim Evearitt

ATLANTA -- Jason Heyward provided the Braves hope with a game-tying ninth-inning home run. But his dramatic two-run shot was not enough to prevent Kris Medlen from suffering a loss in a marathon affair that he never expected would include him.

After providing two scoreless innings of relief, Medlen allowed Adam LaRoche to open the 15th inning with the solo home run that provided the Nationals with an 8-7 win over the Braves on Saturday night at Turner Field.

Hamstrung by the fact that Mike Minor exited the shortest start of his career with two outs in the second inning, the Braves sent their last available reliever, Luis Avilan, to begin the 11th inning. After Avilan produced two scoreless innings, manager Fredi Gonzalez was forced to call upon Medlen, who was scheduled to start on Tuesday against the Mets.

Medlen kept the Nationals scoreless through his first two innings. But his decisive seven-pitch at-bat against LaRoche concluded when the former Braves first baseman hit a hanging curveball into the right-field seats.

The Braves had won 18 of their past 20 games and 11 out of the 14 games they've previously played in the season series against the second-place Nationals, who sit 14 1/2 games back in the National League East. But the fact Atlanta lost for the fifth time when scoring at least five runs this year served as just one of this night's many oddities.

Heyward got the Braves rolling in the first inning with his second leadoff home run of the week, and then capped his fifth career two-homer game by sending Rafael Soriano's 1-0 fastball over the right-center-field wall with two outs in the ninth. The dramatic two-out shot allowed the Braves to overcome the early struggles of Minor, who allowed four runs and needed 67 pitches to record just five outs.

By the time the five-hour-plus game concluded, the fact that Nationals ace Stephen Strasburg had been ejected in the second inning was a distant memory. In retaliation of Bryce Harper getting hit twice on Friday night, Strasburg followed Heyward's first-inning home run by hitting Justin Upton in the rear with his next pitch -- a 97-mph fastball.

While it was obvious Strasburg intentionally hit Upton, there was reason to wonder why he threw three consecutive wild pitches, including two straight fastballs that went behind Andrelton Simmons in the second inning. He opened the frame with a four-pitch walk to Jordan Schafer, who scored after advancing one base on each of the wild pitches.

Strasburg's sudden loss of command or flurry of ill-intended pitches came with the Nationals leading, 4-1, and having the comfort of knowing Minor had already made an early exit. Regardless, home-plate umpire Marvin Hudson had no choice but to eject Strasburg and Nationals manager Davey Johnson. Warnings had been issued to both clubs after Upton was hit.

Nationals reliever Tanner Roark allowed one hit over four scoreless innings and produced the first hit of his career -- a two-out fifth-inning double off Anthony Varvaro. The Braves began cutting into a 6-2 deficit on Brian McCann's two-run homer in the sixth off Fernando Abad and Freddie Freeman's eighth-inning solo shot off Drew Storen.

---- Source: MLB.com


Fair Announces Class 6A Preseason All-State Team

The Star Physical Therapy Class 6A Preseason All-State football team has been announced in Murphy Fair's Tennessee High School Football magazine. No players from the Chattanooga area were voted to the team. Offense QB Tate Kolwyck Arlington 5-11 175 Soph RB Greedy Howse Siegel 5-11 185 Sr. RB Ayron Thompson Whitehaven 5-9 ... (click for more)

PHOTOS: More CFC Action From Saturday's 3-0 National Semifinal Win

$40 Million Traffic Improvement Set To Connect Hamilton Place More Directly With I-75 And Ease Congestion On Shallowford Road

The city, state and CBL & Associates are cooperating on a $40 million plan to make the Hamilton Place section more accessible to Interstate 75. The upcoming project will provide a direct connection for southbound I-75 traffic with Hamilton Place Boulevard. The project will also provide a new connection for those on Hamilton Place Boulevard to enter I-75 northbound. ... (click for more)

Report Says Truck Driver Who Caused Wreck That Killed 6 People At Ooltewah Exceeded Allowable Driving Hours

A preliminary report from the National Transportation Safety Board on a June 25 wreck at the Ooltewah exit that killed six people says the driver of the truck that caused the multiple-vehicle wreck "had exceeded the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulation hours-of-service when the crash occurred." It says Benjamin Brewer began his return trip to London, Ky., from Florida at 4:30 ... (click for more)

Why Is The City Diverting Federal Transportation Funds From Real Need?

The city of Chattanooga and CBL, owner of Hamilton Place Mall, would have the mass of taxpayers believe that improving mall access from the interstate is not impacting us financially.   Namely, CBL has committed to fund the city’s match of $8 million, so they will receive $32 million in Federal Transportation Funds that are allocated annually to local jurisdictions through ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: A Hero Is Coming Home

In late September, a very special funeral will be held in Bearden, Tenn., when 1 st Lt. Alexander “Sandy” Bonnyman Jr., will finally come home to lie in peace with his family. Sandy’s been dead for 72 years now, ever since he was killed in combat on the Tarawa Atoll in the Gilbert Islands on Nov. 22, 1943. He and a number of other Marine heroes were buried back then in a shallow ... (click for more)