Charlie Culberson hit a three-run homer while Tyler Flowers and Ronald Acuna Jr. both hit two-run shots as the Atlanta Braves defeated the Washington Nationals 8-3 Wednesday night at Nationals Park.
Culberson (2-for-4, three RBIs, two runs scored) now has eight homers this season but three have come in the first three games of this series. He homered once in both games of Tuesday’s doubleheader and added this three-run blast that gave the Braves the lead for good.
He now has five homers against the Nationals already this year, and the three Atlanta homers in this game gave the Braves seven of their eight runs.
All of that power gave starter Mike Foltynewicz (9-7) more than enough offense. The right-hander allowed three runs (one earned) on six hits and fanned seven in 5 2/3 innings while walking two.
Washington starter Tommy Milone (1-1) lasted six innings but didn’t fare as well. He gave up seven runs on 10 hits — including all three homers — as the Braves took a six-run lead in the fourth inning, a hole which the Nationals couldn’t overcome.
Anthony Rendon gave Washington an early lead with an RBI single in the first. Then, in the second, Culberson capped a two-out rally with his three-run homer that gave the Braves a 3-1 lead.
Flowers (3-for-4, two RBIs, two runs scored) and Acuna (2-for-5, two RBIs) both struck against Milone in the fourth. Both hit their towering two-run homers to put Atlanta up 7-1.
Washington kept trying to chip away. The Nationals scored once in the fifth inning on Culberson’s error at third and added one more in the sixth when Bryce Harper hit a solo homer to left, his 28th of the season.
The Nationals then lost one of their best hitters moments later when rookie Juan Soto was thrown out by home plate umpire Greg Gibson after complaining about a called third strike from his previous at-bat. Washington hitting coach Kevin Long also got tossed.
But the Braves bounced right back in the seventh thanks to a Freddie Freeman RBI single that gave them an 8-3 lead.
With the win combined with Arizona’s victory Wednesday over Philadelphia, the Braves climbed to within a half game of the first-place Phillies in the National League East.
—Field Level Media