September 15, 2018 / 9:28 PM / 6 months ago

Soto, Nationals sprint to 7-1 victory over Braves

Adam Eaton and Anthony Rendon both drove in two runs and rookie Juan Soto made history on the bases Saturday afternoon as the Washington Nationals defeated the Atlanta Braves 7-1 at SunTrust Park.

The Nationals turned the game into a track meet at times with six stolen bases, led by Soto with three. The 19-year-old left fielder became the youngest player since 1900 to swipe three bags in one game.

Wilmer Difo added two steals and Eaton had one. Washington also drew 14 walks from seven Atlanta pitchers.

Nationals starter Jeremy Hellickson returned from the disabled list, but left during an at-bat in the fourth inning in which he appeared to reinjure his right hand or wrist. He could not finish the at-bat and left after allowing one run on two hits in three innings.

Jefry Rodriguez (3-2) came on in relief and turned in a stellar effort. He tossed 4 2/3 hitless innings with one strikeout and three walks.

Atlanta starter Julio Teheran (9-8) lasted four innings and allowed two runs on three hits with seven strikeouts. But he also walked six and allowed four stolen bases.

The Nationals took a 1-0 lead in the first on Soto’s RBI single.

Atlanta tied it in the bottom half on a Freddie Freeman sacrifice fly. The Braves were helped in that inning by a Hellickson throwing error on a pickoff play, which moved Ronald Acuna Jr. to third base.

Washington took charge after that. Eaton drew a bases-loaded walk in the fourth that gave the Nationals a 2-1 lead. Soto stole two of his bases in that inning after walking and eventually scored the tie-breaking run.

Washington added three more in the sixth on an RBI double by Eaton and a bases-loaded, two-run double by Rendon.

The Nationals made it 6-1 in the seventh when Rodriguez collected his first career RBI with a single to center, after Difo had walked and swiped his second base of the game. Mark Reynolds stretched it to 7-1 in the eighth with a run-scoring double.

—Field Level Media

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