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Braves Defeat Nationals 3-2 Behind Heyward's Heroics

On a pretty frustrating night, the Braves continued to find ways to win. It was Jason Heyward's time to shine on Wednesday, and it was a fitting conclusion to pretty exciting day and night in Braves Country. Locked up in a 2-2 tie in the 9th, Jason Heyward came up to the plate with two runners on and two outs. After working the count to 3-0, The Jay Hey Kid had the green light. Tyler Clippard threw a hard fastball on the outer part of the plate, and Heyward didn't miss it. He ripped a line-drive single just out of the reach of shortstop Ian Desmond and Rick Ankiel came around to score easily from 2nd. 

Tim Hudson wasn't great on Wednesday, but did the job, and forced the Nats to ground into a ridiculous 4 double plays. He was leaving a few of his pitches up early in the game and Washington cashed in, but Huddy settled in as the game progressed.

The Nats scored the first two runs of the game for the 2nd night in a row with back-to-back RBI-singles in the top of the 3rd. Roger Bernadina hit a grounder to right field and Heyward wasn't able to throw the runner out at home. Ryan Zimmerman followed with a line drive shot into left field to score Willie Harris from 3rd. Fortunately for the Braves, Hudson settled down and got out of the inning.

The Braves could've had a much bigger 4th inning as the Braves loaded the bases with no outs, but Melky Cabrera slowed everything down with a 4-6-3 double play that scored a runner from 3rd. Alex Gonzalez followed and appeared to hit a pop fly to right, but neither Morse nor Adam Kennedy could make the play. The Braves and Nats were tied after 4 innings of play.

Not much went on in the middle innings. Hudson and Hernandez both settled down, and the Braves' bullpen continued their dominance. Once Hudson departed after the 7th inning, both Jonny Venters and Billy Wagner worked quick, scoreless innings to preserve the tie heading into the 9th inning.

You probably know how it goes from there. Gonzalez led off the 9th with a strikeout, and Ankiel fists a ball into right field for a single. David Ross walks to move Ankiel into scoring position. After an ugly strikeout by Omar Infante, Jason Heyward comes to the plate and provides yet another walk-off and home victory for the Bravos.

Tomorrow's game is an early one -- a 1:05 start -- so be sure to take an extra, extra long lunch hour tomorrow. It'll be Derek Lowe against John Lannon as the Braves go for the sweep and try to finish off their 7-game home stand with a 6-1 record.

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