Nationals rally but fall to Braves 7-6 in 10th

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 11, 2014 at 11:59 pm •  Published: April 11, 2014
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ATLANTA (AP) — Washington manager Matt Williams assumed Atlanta pinch-runner Jordan Schafer came in the game to try to steal second with two outs in the 10th.

Instead, Schafer's instructions were to take off on a hit-and-run.

Schafer scored from first base on Justin Upton's bloop single to right field, giving the Atlanta Braves a 7-6 win over the Nationals on Friday night.

Chris Johnson singled with two outs off left-hander Jerry Blevins (1-1), and Schafer replaced him. ith a 2-2 count, Schafer ran on the pitch and Upton dropped a single in front of Bryce Harper.

Schafer already was rounding third when Harper bobbled the ball. No error was charged.

Blevins threw to first base, trying to keep Schafer close, before the third hit by Upton.

"They put him in the game to steal second base right there," Williams said. "Otherwise they wouldn't want to lose Johnson. We just want to try to prevent that as much as possible. Ended up the ball he hit, he was going anyway. That's the way it goes sometimes."

Williams said right fielder Jayson Werth left the game with "a little bit of tightness" in his groin before the bottom of the 10th.

"We decided it was best to get him out of there and re-evaluate tomorrow," Williams said.

The Nationals have lost three of their first four games against the NL East rival Braves this season. Atlanta won las year's season series 13-6.

Williams said the good news was his team rallied after trailing 4-0.

"Bottom line to it was we got back in the game and had a chance to win it," Williams said.

Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez's bench already was thin when he used Schafer.

"At the end of the day, you've got to use all the bullets you can," Gonzalez said.

Luis Avilan (2-1) pitched around two walks, one intentional, in the 10th.

Atlanta burst ahead with a four-run second against Tanner Roark, who allowed five runs and five hits in 4 2-3 innings. He hadn't pitched since a win over the Mets on April 4.

Roark, who hit three batters with pitches, said he wasn't affected by the long layoff.

"No, I felt great out there," Roark said. "I just didn't really have the command of my pitches that I wanted."

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