EditorsNote: Changes in first 3 grafs, 9th graf
Rookie Ronald Acuna Jr. had four hits, and veteran Nick Markakis drove in three runs to spark the Atlanta Braves to their sixth straight win, a 10-5 victory over the visiting Washington Nationals on Friday at SunTrust Park.
Acuna went 4-for-5 to lift his batting average to .297, scored two runs and had two RBIs. Markakis was 2-for-3 with two walks and scored a run. Markakis delivered a two-run single in the eighth inning against left-hander Sammy Solis to provide insurance runs.
Atlanta (83-64) retained a 7 1/2-game lead over Philadelphia in the National League East and stretched its lead over Washington to 9 1/2 games.
The winning pitcher was Kevin Gausman (10-10), who pitched 5 2/3 innings and allowed four runs (three earned) on seven hits and two walks. He struck out one. Gausman is 5-2 since being acquired by the Braves and improved to 4-1 in his career against Washington.
Atlanta closer A.J. Minter worked a scoreless ninth inning in a non-save situation.
The Braves knocked out Max Scherzer (17-7) after four innings. He allowed six runs on seven hits and three walks, striking out six. Scherzer had allowed only three runs over 22 innings in his previous three starts against Atlanta.
The Nationals scored two runs in the second on an infield groundout by Matt Wieters and Wilmer Difo’s sacrifice fly, but the Braves matched them in the bottom half on Acuna’s looping two-run single.
Atlanta scored twice in the third on a two-run single by Tyler Flowers that was deflected off the glove of third baseman Anthony Rendon.
The Nationals tied the game the next inning on Juan Soto’s solo home run, his 20th, and Difo’s double to center. It was Soto’s fourth homer in his last four games.
Atlanta regained the lead in the bottom of the fourth on Freddie Freeman’s sacrifice fly and an RBI single by Markakis.
The Braves made it 7-4 in the sixth inning when Charlie Culberson singled past shortstop Trea Turner after the ball was deflected by pitcher Tim Collins to score Ozzie Albies.
The Nationals got a run in the seventh when Adam Eaton scored on Bryce Harper’s infield groundout.
—Field Level Media