Braves beat Nationals in 12 innings to prevent sweep

April 11, 2018

Atlanta left fielder Peter Bourjos, a defensive sub in the last of the seventh, had a two-run single with the bases loaded off Ryan Madson in the top of the 12th inning to lead the Braves to a 5-3 victory over the Nationals on Wednesday afternoon, preventing a three-game series sweep.

Washington slugger Bryce Harper led off the 11th with a single and scored on a double by Howie Kendrick to tie the game at 3-3.

Former Washington catcher Kurt Suzuki had three hits with two solo home runs, including one to lead off the top of the 11th inning, to give the Braves a 3-2 lead against Shawn Kelley.

Kelley had retired the first nine batters he faced in three games this season.But last season, hegave up 12 homers in just 26 innings.

The Nationals (6-6) have lost four of their last six games at home and are four games back of the red-hot New York Mets in the National League East.

Atlanta pitcher Arodys Vizcaino came on inthe ninth for the Braves and gave up a one-out homer to Matt Adams that tied the game at 2-2.

The Nationals had a shot to tie the game in the last of the seventh, but Adams was thrown out easily at home plate while trying to score on a single to left by Wilmer Difo. Bourjos gunned down from leftthe slow-footed Adams, who was given the green light by third-base coach Bobby Henley.

Washington starting pitcher A.J. Cole gave up his second solo homer in the fourth, as Suzuki hit a two-out shot off the foul pole in left field as the Braves took a 2-1 lead.

The Nationals had tied the game at 1 with a two-out RBI single by Trea Turner in the third.

Ozzie Albies, the second batter of the game, hit a solo homer to right off Cole to give the Braves a 1-0 advantage.

The Nationals hit into four double plays in the first six innings.

In his first start this season, Cole was battered by the Braves, allowing 10 earned runs in three and two-thirds innings onApril 3 in Atlanta. This time, he gave up just two runs in5 1/3innings.

Before the game, the Nationals activated catcher Matt Wieters off the 10-day disabled list and designated for assignment backup catcher Miguel Montero.

Could Pedro Severino see more action as the starter at catcher, as he did Wednesday?

“We’ll see,” manager Dave Martinez said. “Wieters is coming back off an injury. It’s an oblique injury, so we definitely want to be careful. But Sevy’s earned the right to play. And I want him to play. He’s done well. We’ll see what we do, how we handle it, match them both up.”

Washingtonleft fielderAdam Eaton went on the disabled list before the game Wednesday with a bone bruise on his left ankle.

NOTES: The Official United States Marine Corps Color Guard was the Color Guardon Wednesday... The Nationals begin a series Thursday night at home against the Colorado Rockies. Washington lefty Gio Gonzalez (1-0, 1.59) will face the Rockies’Chad Bettis (1-0, 2.53) in the first game of the four-game set ... Colorado manager Bud Black was the main target for the Washington managerial position prior to the 2016 season. But he turned down the offer, according to published reports, and the spot went to Dusty Baker.