3 months ago
ATLANTA -- The Nationals took advantage of a struggling Braves' bullpen as they erupted for six runs in the eighth inning of a 7-3 victory on Wednesday at SunTrust Park. The Nationals are now within 3 1/2 games of the Dodgers for home-field advantage in the playoffs.
"They lost command of the strike zone and helped us out there," Nationals manager Dusty Baker said. "It is easy to be patient when they are not near the strike zone. We capitalized on it and usually you are going to get hits after that."
The Nationals patiently watched the Braves' bullpen implode as they worked four straight walks in the eighth inning. Adam Lind and Michael A. Taylor capped the frame with back-to-back RBI singles to secure starter Gio Gonzalez's 15th win of the season. Gonzalez allowed two runs over seven innings of work, striking out eight batters
The two clubs combined for nine home runs -- three of which came off the bat of Padres rookie right fielder Hunter Renfroe -- to break the Petco Park single-game record. In the process, Arizona increased its lead over Colorado to 5 1/2 games in the race for the first Wild Card spot. After Milwaukee's loss, the D-backs' magic number to clinch a postseason spot sits at four as they head home for a six-game homestand.
"In all seriousness, it's a big win," D-backs reliever Archie Bradley said. "To not get swept, going home with an off-day and hopefully finish these last six the way we want to and get things rolling and start playing the way we want to heading into hopefully a home Wild Card Game."