13 Straight Wins As Braves Complete Sweep Of Nationals

Atlanta 6 Washington 3

Thursday, August 8, 2013
Jason Heyward get big hit in 8th inning.
Jason Heyward get big hit in 8th inning.
- photo by Tim Evearitt

WASHINGTON -- Kris Medlen's effort, combined with the consecutive two-out run-scoring hits Heyward and Upton delivered in the eighth inning, provided the Braves all that they needed to notch their 13th consecutive victory with Wednesday night's sweep-clinching 6-3 win over the Nationals at Nationals Park.

After the Nationals tied the game in the seventh with the assistance of one of the two costly hits Jayson Werth produced against Medlen, the Braves quickly regained the lead. Andrelton Simmons sparked the decisive eighth inning with a two-out double and Joey Terdoslavich followed with a walk that led Nationals manager Davey Johnson to pull Ryan Mattheus and bring left-hander Ian Krol in to face Heyward.

Heyward greeted the southpaw by sending a go-ahead single through the infield's right side. Upton then laced a two-run double that provided the Braves some cushion as they secured their 11th series sweep of the season.

While sweeping both the Phillies and Nationals during this six-game road trip, the Braves demonstratively strengthened their already-comfortable spot atop the National League East. Their 13-game winning streak, the longest in the Majors this year, has put them 15 1/2 games in front of the second-place Nationals.

Medlen proved to be both masterful and unfortunate as he surrendered just three hits, but still allowed three runs over seven innings. He proved perfect in five separate innings, and in the process, evoked memories of when he posted a 0.97 ERA in the 12 starts he made during last season's final two months.

Medlen totaled 34 pitches while proving perfect through the first three innings and then needed just five more pitches to retire the first two batters he faced in the fourth. But his mastery was then halted when he issued Bryce Harper a five-pitch walk just ahead of Werth's game-tying opposite-field home run.

Werth further soured Medlen's effort with a one-out seventh-inning single that put him in position to race to third base when Adam LaRoche followed with a single. Ian Desmond followed with a game-tying grounder that proved to be too soft for Simmons and Dan Uggla to turn what would have been an inning-ending double play.

Upton had given the Braves a short-lived lead when he drilled a one-out solo home run off Fernando Abad in the seventh. Looking much like he did when he totaled nine home runs in this season's first 15 games, Upton has homered five times in his past 30 at-bats to increase his season total to 21.

After providing Medlen an early lead, the Braves were not able to take full advantage of the rocky Jordan Zimmermann, who surrendered just two runs despite needing 88 pitches to complete four innings. Heyward scored the first of Atlanta's runs when he doubled to begin the game and scored on Freddie Freeman's one-out single.

B.J. Upton's first four-hit performance of the season began with a second-inning leadoff double that went to waste. But his fourth-inning single helped load the bases before Medlen helped himself with a sacrifice fly that would have been an extra-base hit had Denard Span not raced into the left-center-field gap to make an impressive catch.

--- Source: MLB.com

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