EditorsNote: update 2: fixes stat in last sentence of next-to-last graf
Left-hander Dallas Keuchel further established his credentials as ace of the Atlanta pitching staff with six scoreless innings, and the Braves hit two home runs in a 4-3 win over the visiting Washington Nationals on Friday.
It was Keuchel’s first career victory over Washington in his sixth try. Keuchel (7-5) allowed six hits and two walks, striking out three, and won his fourth straight start.
Ozzie Albies and Josh Donaldson homered for the Braves, who won their eighth straight and extended their lead in the National League East to nine games over second-place Washington.
Atlanta has won 12 straight at home, tying a franchise record for the modern era.
Shane Greene worked a perfect ninth inning to record his 23rd save, his first since joining the Braves at the trade deadline.
Washington starter Patrick Corbin (11-7) was visibly frustrated by the strike zone enforced by plate umpire Paul Emmel, often taking his hat off and gesturing when he thought a call was incorrect. He issued six walks, the most in his seven-year career. Corbin worked five innings and allowed two runs, one earned, on three hits with nine strikeouts.
The Atlanta defense short-circuited a Washington rally in the first inning. Trea Turner and Howie Kendrick opened the game with singles. Anthony Rendon lined a ball to center field, but Ronald Acuna Jr. was able to fire a strike to third and retire Turner for a forceout.
The Braves scored the first run in the third inning when Albies connected for his 20th home run. It was the first home run for Albies since Aug. 24 against the New York Mets.
Atlanta made it 2-0 in the fourth. Adam Duvall doubled, took third on Rendon’s fielding error and scored on a sacrifice fly by Tyler Flowers.
Donaldson hit a two-run homer off Wander Suero to put Atlanta ahead 4-0 in the seventh. It was Donaldson’s 35th homer, and it made the 2019 Braves only the 16th team with three players to hit 35 or more home runs.
The Nationals cut the deficit to 4-3 in the eighth when Ryan Zimmerman hit a three-run homer off reliever Luke Jackson. The homer, his fifth, traveled 433 feet.
—Field Level Media