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Freeman goes deep twice, Braves Bullpen shines in 7-6 comeback win over Nationals

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Braves once again leverage the long ball in comeback victory.

MLB: Atlanta Braves at Washington Nationals Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Early on, it seemed like Atlanta was in for a rude awakening as they once again trailed big early in a game. However, a lineup that is emerging as one of, if not the best, offenses in the majors once again was there to save the day.

After the Braves went down quietly in the top of the first inning, the Nationals decided they would jump on the Braves early after last nights offensive outburst. After a single by Adam Eaton, Robbie Erlin allowed three straight extra base hits from Trea Turner, Juan Soto, and Asdrubal Cabrera that led to three runners crossing the plate. After one inning, the score was 3-0. After the Braves were retired in order in the top of the second inning, the Nationals extended their lead to 5-0 after a two run home run by Eaton.

After 1 23 innings, the Braves replaced Robbie Erlin with Huascar Ynoa. Once again, a Braves starter could not survive multple innings into a start, and the Braves bullpen was needed for another large amount of innings.

Both teams were retired in order in the third inning. To start the fourth inning, Ronald Acuna Jr. walked and then stole his fifth base of the season. However, it was unnecessary, as Freddie Freeman launced his ninth home run of the year into the night sky to make the score 5-2. The Braves attempted to get another scoring threat in place, but Ozzie Albies ended the inning on a ground out. Ynoa once again sat the Nationals down in order in the fourth.

After a Nick Markakis strikeout, Tyler Flowers was hit by an Austin Voth Pitch. As Flowers was being attended to, Voth was replaced by Wander Suero. Awaiting Suero was Acuna Jr., who connected on the first pitch from Suero for his 11th home run of the season to make the score 5-4. After Suero escaped the fifth without suffering further damage, the Nationals were ready to answer the resurgent Braves. Juan Soto walked, converted his second steal of the season, and made it to third on a Josh Harrison single. Yan Gomes then hit a sacrifice fly as Soto scored to make the score 6-4.

After Michael A. Taylor singled. Ynoa was replaced by A.J. Minter. As he has done all season, Minter was up for the challenge as he struck out Carter Kieboom to end the rally. The Braves threatened to score again after consecutive singles by Adam Duvall and Dansby Swanson in the top of the sixth inning. However, Austin Riley lined into a double play and Albies grounded out to end the inning. Minter recorded two quick outs in the bottom of the inning. However, he then walked both Turner and Soto. Fortunately, he forced Cabrera to ground out to end the inning.

Markakis singled to start the seventh inning, but that was quickly erased when Travis d’Arnaud grounded into a double play. Acuna Jr. then walked, and Freeman stepped to the plate and hit his 11th home run of the season to score Acuna Jr. and himself and tie the game at six. Once again, a Braves player hit multiple home runs in a game and the Braves hit three total home runs in what has become a nightly trend for Atlanta.

After Marcell Ozuna ended the top of the seventh inning, Chris Martin easily made his way through the Nationals in order in the bottom of the inning to keep the score tied. After a Duvall strikeout, Swanson decided the game had been tied long enough and put the Braves ahead with a solo shot for his seventh home run of the season, making the score 7-6. After Riley and Albies produced outs to end the inning, Shane Greene did his best Chris Martin impression and recorded three straight outs in the bottom of the eighth.

In the top of the ninth, d’Arnaud singled with one out, but yet another Braves double play from the bat of Acuna Jr. ended the inning. Mark Melancon entered the game in the ninth inning to face the heart of the Nationals’ order. Turner lined out to Ender Inciarte and Soto flied out to Duvall. Cabrera reached first on a single, but then Melancon got Brock Holt out on a fly ball to end the game and earn a Braves victory.

Once again, the Braves offense and bullpen were excellent. While Atlanta’s offense produced seven runs off four home runs, the bullpen completed 7 13 innings and allowed only one additional run from the Nationals. Another big night from both Acuna Jr. and Freeman shows that the Braves truly have six or seven different options that can take over a game each night, and that they are never out of a ball game. After a night that started out bleak, the Braves bats once again backed their struggling rotation to take one step closer to the postseason.