August 7, 2018 / 8:40 PM / 7 days ago

Harper, Zimmerman power Nats past Braves in DH opener

Bryce Harper and Ryan Zimmerman hit back-to-back homers in the fourth and combined to drive in five runs as the Washington Nationals defeated the Atlanta Braves 8-3 in the opener of a day-night doubleheader Tuesday at Nationals Park.

The Nationals did all of their damage in the fourth and sixth innings, scoring four runs in each frame. Starter Jefry Rodriguez even helped, getting his first major league hit while earning his first win in the majors.

Zimmerman went 3-for-5 with three RBIs and one run scored. Harper, who has been hitting better since the All-Star break, finished 2-for-5 with two RBIs and two runs scored.

Rodriguez (1-1) went five innings and gave up just one run on three hits. He also fanned three without a walk.

Atlanta starter Max Fried left after two innings after getting hit with a shot from Spencer Kieboom. The ball appeared to hit the pitcher near his hip, and the Braves announced later that Fried came out due to a left groin strain.

Kolby Allard (1-1) replaced Fried in the third but ran into trouble in the fourth after the Braves took a 1-0 lead in the top of the frame on a Johan Camargo RBI single.

Washington took charge in the bottom of the inning as Harper and Zimmerman banged out their back-to-back solo homers. Later in the frame, Trea Turner and Juan Soto lined back-to-back RBI singles that gave the Nationals a 4-1 lead.

The Soto hit scored Rodriguez, who doubled earlier for his first hit. Allard allowed four runs on seven hits in just two innings.

The Braves made it 4-2 when Nick Markakis lined an RBI single in the sixth before Washington answered with four more in the bottom half.

Anthony Rendon (sacrifice fly) and Harper (RBI single) each drove in one before Zimmerman brought in two on a double for an 8-2 lead. Charlie Culberson added a solo homer for the Braves in the ninth.

Before the doubleheader, the Nationals announced the signing of free agent relief pitcher Greg Holland. He made his team debut in the game and struck out the side in a scoreless seventh inning.

The nightcap of the doubleheader is scheduled to start at 7:05 p.m. ET.

—Field Level Media

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