Alex Wood fans 12, Braves edge Nationals 3-1

Published on NewsOK Modified: August 10, 2014 at 11:14 pm •  Published: August 10, 2014
Advertisement
;

ATLANTA (AP) — A visit from the Washington Nationals came at just the right time to fire up the Atlanta Braves.

Alex Wood said he and his teammates enjoy the playoff atmosphere that comes whenever they play Washington.

Wood set a career high with 12 strikeouts in 7 1-3 innings and the Braves beat Washington 3-1 on Sunday night to continue their recent success against the Nationals.

Atlanta won two of three in the series to cut Washington's lead to 3½ games in the NL East. The Braves are 9-4 against the Nationals this season and 22-10 over the last two years.

"It's almost like a playoff game when we play them, no matter when it is," Wood said. "I think we've got some guys that are gamers in here and really enjoy that challenge and enjoy rising to that occasion."

Wood (8-9), who allowed five hits, set another career high by throwing 124 pitches.

Justin Upton homered for the Braves, who had lost nine of their last 10.

Ian Desmond's fourth-inning homer was the only run allowed by Wood.

With the game tied 1-1, Emilio Bonifacio led off the fifth with a bunt single, despite a creative defensive effort by Gio Gonzalez (6-9). The pitcher fielded the ball with his back to first base and flipped the ball between his legs to Adam LaRoche. Bonifacio was safe despite a collision with LaRoche.

With two outs and Bonifacio on third, Jason Heyward hit a grounder to second baseman Danny Espinosa. LaRoche broke for the grounder, leaving first base uncovered because Gonzalez started running for the bag and then stopped before taking off again too late. Heyward was safe with the single as Bonifacio scored the go-ahead run.

"I should have gotten over," Gonzalez said. "There's no excuse. You've got to get over on that ball, keep your team in the game."

Nationals manager Matt Williams said Gonzalez "got caught watching the play."

"We had a shot at getting (Heyward) at first base, certainly," Williams said. "There was nobody there. Ultimately, that's the difference in the game."

Pinch-hitter Evan Gattis hit a single to right field off Jerry Blevins in the eighth to drive in Chris Johnson, who walked.

Craig Kimbrel, pitching on the third straight night, had a perfect ninth to earn his 34th save.

Gonzalez gave up two runs, six hits and four walks in 4 2-3 innings. He has lost four straight starts.

Continue reading this story on the...


Trending Now


AROUND THE WEB

  1. 1
    'Maze Runner' finds way to box office victory
  2. 2
    The first games that show off iOS 8's graphics are available for download
  3. 3
    Morrison grabs second half winner to hand his side all three points
  4. 4
    Foxes launch comback to secure stunning victory
  5. 5
    WATCH LIVE: Thousands Take To The Streets For The People's Climate March
+ show more