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Sean Murphy’s late homer not enough as Braves fall to Nationals 3-2

Atlanta will look to take series in game two

MLB: Atlanta Braves at Washington Nationals Reggie Hildred-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Braves were unable to generate much offense in the first game of Sunday’s doubleheader as they fell 3-2 to the Washington Nationals.

The Braves jumped out to an early lead in the second. Matt Olson walked to start the inning, but was erased on a ground out by Sean Murphy. Eddie Rosario followed with a single to the right center gap and Murphy kept on running to third to put runners at the corners. A sacrifice fly by Kevin Pillar made it 1-0.

Washington responded quickly in the second as Allan Winans allowed a single to Luis Garcia and a double to Jake Alu. A walk to Carter Kieboom loaded the bases. Winans struck out Drew Millas for the first out, but Jacob Young singled off of Winans’ glove to score Garcia to tie the game. CJ Abrams then delivered a sacrifice fly to center to give Washington the lead at 2-1.

Winans and Nationals starter Jackson Rutledge would settle in from there. Winans allowed a double to Joey Meneses, but nothing else in the third. He pitched out of another jam in the fourth, striking out Lane Thomas with runners at second and third to end the inning. He walked Dominic Smith to start the fifth, but picked him off. Meneses singled again, but was erased as Garcia lined into a double play.

Winans would exit after the fifth having allowed seven hits and two walks, but just two runs. He struck out six while throwing 89 pitches.

Kyle Wright took over in the sixth and allowed a single to Alu to start the inning. Kieboom then reached on a bunt single. Wright got Millas to ground into a double play, but Young followed with a hot shot to second that Albies was unable to come up with. Alu scored to make it 3-1.

Wright retired the side in order in the seventh and the eighth. The Braves got a solo home run by Sean Murphy in the ninth off of Kyle Finnegan to cut the deficit to 3-2, but Eddie Rosario grounded out to end the game.

The loss drops Atlanta to 99-56 on the season. They will try again tonight to capture their 100th win and clinch a series win. The second game is scheduled to start at 6:35 p.m. ET with Spencer Strider scheduled to face of against Joan Adon.

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