The suddenly red-hot Atlanta Braves looked to keep the mojo working on Tuesday evening but, this time, their test was more difficult on paper. That, of course, was because the Braves were visiting the nation’s capital to kick off a series against the NL East-leading Washington Nationals. However, the opener was (very) kind to the road team, as the Braves bludgeoned the Nats early and often on the way to a 8-0 victory.
The evening began with Ozzie Albies crossing the plate in the top of the first inning, as Matt Kemp drove him home with an RBI single to open the scoring. From there, the second inning was quiet but Ender Inciarte walked to lead off the third and Albies (there is that man again) singled to set up a favorable situation for Freddie Freeman.
On cue, Atlanta’s best player launched a moonshot over the centerfield wall and, quickly, the Braves had a 4-0 lead. From there, the visitors simply chipped away at the scoreboard.
The fourth inning featured a leadoff double from Johan Camargo and, after two outs, Inciarte brought him across with an RBI double to extend the lead to 5-0. In the sixth, Julio Teheran (!) singled home Dansby Swanson after the shortstop doubled and, as if the Braves needed insurance, it arrived in the seventh frame.
Albies blasted a solo home run to make the margin seven runs and, later in the inning, Kurt Suzuki produced a ground-rule double to plate Freeman to the tune of an 8-0 lead. That was the end of the scoring but, needless to say, the offense did plenty of damage on this evening.
All told, Albies finished the evening with three hits and three runs scored (in addition to his home run) in five trips to the plate. This continued his lights-out play (.293/.354/.469 on the season) and the youngster was flanked by big days from Freeman (3-for-5, HR, double, two runs scored), Inciarte (2-for-4, two doubles, walk) and Camargo (2-for-4).
While he may have been overshadowed at times by the offensive barrage, Teheran was fantastic on this night. The right-hander navigated seven innings while scattering seven hits and allowing only two walks, and Teheran struck out five while keeping the Nats at bay. Following his exit, the door was slammed shut by Luke Jackson in the form of two scoreless innings but Teheran did the majority of the run prevention work and it was well executed.
There was a brief moment of fear in an otherwise beautiful contest, as Ender Inciarte slid into first base and had a bit of a hiccup.
Uh oh. It appears Ender Inciarte suffered a hand injury sliding head-first into first base. Stay tuned. pic.twitter.com/uRxCI8y1EB— FOX Sports: Braves (@FOXSportsBraves) September 13, 2017
Inciarte did remain in the game, however, and that is usually a good sign. Still, there should be something of an eyebrow raise until the team announces (or doesn’t announce) any sort of ailment.
At the end of the day, though, things went quite well in Washington on Tuesday and the team will look to build on their streak of five wins in six games on Wednesday. Stay tuned.