Trea Turner considered to punish the Braves, but they withstood his onslaught and won the afternoon contest anyway, pounding 13 hits and scoring seven runs to even the series against the Nationals, making a winner out of Josh Collmenter in his first Atlanta start.
The game started in what feels like the only way it could have: a Trea Turner home run. However, the Braves got that run right back off of Gio Gonzalez, as Nick Markakis dunked in a two-out, opposite field single to score Ender Inciarte, who had doubled to lead off the inning.
Collmenter issued three walks in the second, loading the bases with one out, but then struck out Gio Gonzalez, bringing Turner to the plate. Miraculously, he managed to strike out Turner after an eight-pitch at-bat with an 89 mile-per-hour cutter, which may have been the hardest pitch he threw on the afternoon.
The Braves broke through against Gonzalez in the third, as four straight singles (including an RBI hit from Freddie Freeman that spoiled the shift) and a Nick Markakis GIDP pushed two more runs across and gave the Braves a 3-1 lead.
The Nationals got one of those runs back with (yet another) Trea Turner homer, this time leading off the top of the fifth. However, Gonzalez didn’t manage to shut down the Braves in the bottom of the inning, as Inciarte and Adonis Garcia once again got back-to-back hits, setting up another Nick Markakis RBI single after Matt Kemp got himself hit with a pitch. That chased Gonzalez, but new pitcher Trevor Gott didn’t have much better luck, as Anthony Recker then hit another single to push the lead to 5-2, and after Dansby Swanson struck out, Gott walked Gordon Beckham with the bases loaded for the sixth Atlanta run. Brian Snitker lifted Collmenter with the bases juiced and two outs, but pinch-hitter Blake Lalli grounded out.
The rest of the game was fairly quiet after the bullpens took over. Brandon Cunniff, Chris Withrow, Jose Ramirez (suspension pending and all), and Jim Johnson finished out the game allowing just an unearned run, while the Braves managed only one more run of their own off the Nats’ bullpen. Those two runs both came in the seventh: in the top of the inning, Ben Revere hit a ball back to Withrow that was thrown away (scored a hit and an error), advanced to third on a single by (of course) Turner, and then scored on a Jayson Werth groundout. In the bottom of the inning, Recker’s one-out single scored Kemp, who had doubled to lead off the frame.
Ender Inciarte led the Atlanta attack with three hits, including a double, as well as a walk, and scored three of the team’s seven runs. Trea Turner contributed three hits of his own, including the two homers, but his teammates didn’t quite back his efforts to the same degree.
Josh Collmenter’s win was his second of the season and he allowed just the two runs in five innings, both on Turner homers, while allowing just two other hits and walking three. Amazingly, though, he struck out eight hitters, that is, about half his outs came via the strikeout. Gio Gonzalez allowed six runs to the Braves again, making it two straight poor outings for him against them.
Ender Inciarte now has the most hits in baseball since the All-Star Break (87); Daniel Murphy tied a Nationals franchise record for single-season hits with a double in this one, giving him 184 on the season.