Dylan Dodd’s afternoon got off to a rough start. CJ Abrams singled on Dodd’s first pitch of the game and then stole second. He moved to third on a single by Lane Thomas on a ball that Orlando Arcia probably should have fielded. Joey Meneses then sent a double off the wall in left to give Washington a 1-0 lead. Keibert Ruiz then followed with a ground rule double to left to make it 3-0.
After a visit by Rick Kranitz, Dodd retired Carter Kieboom and Ildemaro Vargas, before Alex Call reached on a swinging bunt that scored Ruiz to push the lead to 4-0. Dodd walked Drew Millas, but got Jacob Young to fly out to finally end the inning.
The Braves answered right back though in the home half of the inning against Nationals rookie Jackson Rutledge. Ozzie Albies reached on a four-pitch walk and then moved to third on a double by Austin Riley. Matt Olson followed with a single to right that scored both to cut the deficit to 4-2.
In game 162, Matt Olson collects RBI No. 138 & 139. pic.twitter.com/bthzxcIlpv— MLB (@MLB) October 1, 2023
Dodd allowed a one-out double to Thomas in the second and then an RBI single to Ruiz to give the Nationals a 5-2 lead.
The Braves struck back in the third. Albies reached on another walk and then moved to second after Nicky Lopez was hit by a pitch. Ozuna then homered for the second time in as many days to tie the game.
Team Home Run Tally: 306 ✅ pic.twitter.com/D63TobNgfD— Bally Sports: Braves (@BravesOnBally) October 1, 2023
After allowing the run in the second, Dodd settled in and held the Nationals scoreless for the remainder of his outing. He would exit after the sixth having allowed nine hits and five runs. All five of those runs came in the first two innings.
Jesse Chavez allowed a single and a walk in the seventh, but escaped as Arcia gunned down Thomas at the plate on a double steal attempt to end the inning.
The Braves loaded the bases with two outs in the seventh against Nationals reliever Cory Abbott. Davey Martinez then went to his bullpen for Jose Ferrer who allowed an infield single to Michael Harris that scored two runs to give the Braves their first lead of the day at 7-5.
Brad Hand entered in the eighth and allowed a bloop single to Vargas and then walked Alex Call. A bunt by Drew Millas moved both runners into scoring position. Brian Snitker then went back to his bullpen for Joe Jimenez who got Jacob Young to ground sharply to Albies for the second out. Vargas scored on the play to make it 7-6. Abrams followed with a liner off the glove of Jimenez for an infield single. Call scored to the tie the game.
The Braves answered back quickly in the eighth. Eddie Rosario just missed a home run that hit the top of the brick wall in right center for a double. He came around to score on a single by Arcia to put Atlanta back up 8-7.
Things fell apart again though in the ninth as Michael Tonkin entered and allowed a single to Ruiz and a walk to Luis Garcia. Vargas dropped down a bunt to move both runners into scoring position. The Nationals sent Dominic Smith to the plate, but the Braves intentionally walked to load the bases. Tonkin then lost Millas on a 3-2 pitch to walk in the tying run. Young followed with a single to center that scored two to put the Nationals in front 10-8.
Marcell Ozuna homered again in the ninth for his 40th home run of the season. The homer was their 307th and tied the 2019 Minnesota Twins for the most ever in a single season. Harris followed with a double to right, but Travis d’Arnaud struck out for the second out. Kyle Finnegan then got Rosario to fly out to left to end the game.
The loss drops the Braves to 104-58. They will enjoy a week off before starting the Division Series on Saturday, October 7.