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Nationals recover after blowing lead, beat Braves 7-6

August 20, 2016
Washington Nationals starting pitcher Tanner Roark (57) delivers to an Atlanta Braves batter in the first inning of a baseball game Friday, Aug. 19, 2016, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
Washington Nationals starting pitcher Tanner Roark (57) delivers to an Atlanta Braves batter in the first inning of a baseball game Friday, Aug. 19, 2016, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

ATLANTA (AP) — Clint Robinson hit a tiebreaking single with two outs in the ninth and the Washington Nationals recovered after giving up a three-run lead to beat the Atlanta Braves 7-6 on Friday night.

Robinson’s single to left field off Jim Johnson (2-6) drove in pinch-runner Pedro Severino from second base. Severino replaced Wilson Ramos, who singled.

The Nationals led 6-3 in the eighth before the Braves took advantage of throwing errors by shortstop Danny Espinosa and third baseman Anthony Rendon to score three runs. Freddie Freeman’s two-run double off Koda Glover (1-0) tied it.

The NL East-leading Nationals improved to 10-1 against the last-place Braves this season. Washington has won 24 of 30 games in the rivalry since the start of the 2015 season.

Mark Melancon pitched the ninth for his 35th save. A review overturned an out call on Dansby Swanson’s grounder to Espinosa for his second hit of the game with one out. Melancon then struck out Jace Peterson and Ender Inciarte’s grounder to first ended the game.

Inciarte had two of Atlanta’s four hits against Tanner Roark, including a two-run homer in the sixth. Nick Markakis added a homer to deep right field in the seventh, knocking Roark out of the game.

Roark, who allowed three runs in 6 1/3 innings, was in line to win his fifth straight start before Atlanta rallied in the eighth.

Nationals center fielder Ben Revere made a leaping catch, reaching over the top of the wall, to take a home run away from Freeman in the fourth. Revere crashed to the warning track, holding his glove hand up with the ball as Freeman stared in disbelief near second base.

Jayson Werth was 0 for 5 with three strikeouts, ending his Nationals-record streak of reaching base in 46 consecutive games. Werth tied Rusty Staub for the longest streak in Nationals/Expos franchise history.

Julio Teheran allowed three runs on six hits and three walks in five innings in his return from the 15-day disabled list with a right lat strain. He is 0-6 in 13 home starts this season.

Braves rookie shortstop Swanson had a throwing error, his first in his first week in the majors, to allow a run to score in the sixth. He doubled in the eighth.

MINORS MOVE

The Nationals acquired LHP Sean Burnett from the Twins for cash considerations. Burnett was assigned to Triple-A Syracuse. The 33-year-old Burnett has pitched in the majors with the Pirates, Nationals — from 2009-12 — and Angels. He last appeared in the majors with the Angels in 2014.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Nationals: 1B Ryan Zimmerman (bruised left wrist) and C Jose Lobaton (left elbow tendinitis) arrived in Atlanta and are expected to come off the DL on Saturday.

Braves: LHP Eric O’Flaherty, placed on the 15-day DL with left elbow neuritis, will be examined to see if surgery is necessary. O’Flaherty, 31, has a 6.91 ERA in 39 games — double his career 3.24 mark entering the season. “I feel for him,” said manager Brian Snitker. “He just can’t do what he’s capable of.”

UP NEXT

Nationals: RHP Max Scherzer (12-7, 2.95) lasted only four innings in his last start at Colorado, his shortest of the season. Before that start, he had lasted at least seven innings in six straight starts.

Braves: Rookie RHP Tyrell Jenkins (2-3, 4.89) allowed seven runs in 4 2/3 innings in a 9-1 loss to the Nationals in his last start on Sunday. It ended a streak of three straight strong starts in which he allowed a combined two runs and earned two wins.

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