Braves Win Again With Some Help From Unexpected Heroes

A night after winning yet another game in their final at-bat, the Atlanta Braves left nothing to chance.  With a little help from a few unknowns, a return from the disable list by an all-star second baseman, and another good night by rookie Jason Heyward, the Braves cruised to a 10-2 win over the Washington Nationals.

While the outcome of the game was a huge victory for Atlanta, they actually trailed in the game as late as the sixth inning.  With last year’s top draft pick Mike Minor taking the mound for only his second big league start, there were some unknowns entering the game.  While the rookie pitched well, he left the game after the sixth inning with the Braves trailing.  He had allowed two Nationals to cross the plate in the sixth.

Minor was lifted for pinch hitter Diory Hernandez leading off the bottom of the sixth inning, and the Braves never looked back.  Hernandez led the inning off with a home run, Omar Infante followed that with a triple, and Jason Heyward walked.  Exit Nationals starting pitcher Scott Olsen, and enter Washington reliever Joel Peralta.  The second baseman Martin Prado, making his first appearance since returning from the DL, hit a run scoring double to even the game.  The usually light hitting Matt Diaz followed with another double, clearing the bases and giving Atlanta the lead for good.

In the seventh inning, the Braves scored four more runs to put the game out of reach.

The win was Atlanta’s sixth in seven games, and kept their lead for first place over the rival Phillies at 2 ½ games.

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