Flowers home run lifts Braves to 11-10 comeback win vs Nats
WASHINGTON (AP) — After getting to Stephen Strasburg early, Tyler Flowers wouldn’t let the Atlanta Braves squander the opportunity.
Flowers hit a go-ahead three-run home run off Matt Albers in the ninth inning and Atlanta came from three runs down to beat Washington 11-10 on Monday night.
“It was definitely one of those games where you could have rolled over a few times there, just as they could have, too” Flowers said. “Lot of big hits early and throughout the game.”
Flowers had been hitless in his first four at-bats before he took Albers’ fastball to the opposite field and into the Nationals bullpen for his fourth homer of the season.
Matt Adams hit a pair of homers. His first was one of three allowed by Strasburg over five uneven innings.
“That doesn’t happen very often especially the way he’s been pitching,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said of Strasburg, who allowed two runs or fewer in four previous starts. “It happens though. Even to the best of them, they have games like that.”
Adams’ second homer scored the first of five runs allowed by Washington’s relievers.
Albers (2-1) allowed the last three of those in the ninth to concede the Nationals 11th blown save and second during a four-game losing streak.
With closer Koda Glover going on the disabled list with a back injury Sunday, there is no obvious solution for a team that still comfortably leads the NL East.
“We’ve just got to keep grinding,” said Albers of a relief unit that entered Monday with a 4.97 ERA. “Luckily we’re doing well right now as a team. So we’re just trying to pick up our end of the bargain. Try to go over each other. Just keep each other positive, really.”
Atlanta’s bullpen allowed two runs over 5 and 2/3 innings. Jason Motte (1-0) pitched a scoreless eighth and Jim Johnson allowed a run but completed the ninth for his 13th save.
Braves starter Mike Foltynewicz gave up a career-high eight runs and three homers, and lasted just 3 1/3 innings. He exited in the middle of a four-run fourth inning that gave Washington a 9-6 lead.
The Braves closed to 9-8 in the eighth on Adams’ solo shot and Ender Inciarte’s sacrifice fly. Then Nick Markakis and Adams both walked to bring up flowers, who worked the count to 2-0 before going with Albers’ fastball.
“I thought I had a chance (at a home run),” Flowers said. “I know when other guys hit them, I don’t know when I hit them.”
HIT AND MISS
The Nationals lost despite pounding out 17 hits, including three each by Trea Turner, Brian Goodwin, Michael Taylor and Adam Lind. Turner, Goodwin and Bryce Harper all homered.
“We just came off a series where we didn’t really swing the bats well, neither,” said Nationals second baseman Daniel Murphy. “This is the ebbs and flows of the season.”
Braves: Selected RHP Kyle Wright out of Vanderbilt with the fifth overall pick of the 2017 amateur draft, which began Monday night.
Nationals: Took LHP Seth Romero out of the University of Houston with the 25th overall selection.
Nationals: Recalled RHP Trevor Gott to Triple-A Syracuse and optioned INF Wilmer Difo to Syracuse. Gott made one appearance for the Nationals in 2016. He’s 2-0 with a 3.30 ERA with Syracuse this season.
Braves: RHP Bartolo Colon (oblique strain) threw a bullpen session Monday, and Snitker doesn’t expect him to need a rehab start before returning from the disabled list. “We’re going to bring him back with some sides and then plug him in probably early next week at some point in time,” Snitker said.
Nationals: 1B Ryan Zimmerman (back) was out for a third straight game, though manager Dusty Baker hoped he would return Tuesday and then play “quite a few games until the next off day.”
Both of Tuesday’s starters are coming off stellar outings last Thursday. Braves RHP R.A. Dickey (4-4, 4.73) allowed a run on three hits over seven innings in a 3-1 victory over Philadelphia. Nationals righty Joe Ross (3-2, 6.16) struck out a career-high 12 in 7 and 1/3 innings in a 6-1 win against Baltimore