Joc Pederson hit a tiebreaking single with two out in the 10th inning, lifting the Atlanta Braves to a 7-6 victory over the Washington Nationals on Thursday night.
Ozzie Albies opened the 10th on second and advanced to third on a flyout. He scampered home on Pederson’s bases-loaded single against Wander Suero (2-3).
Stephen Vogt hit two solo homers for Atlanta, which took of three in the series. Freddie Freeman, Adam Duvall and Jorge Soler also connected.
“That’s what happens in the postseason,” Pederson said. “You play good teams, and they score runs late, and you get down and you can crumble or you can fight, and we showed we had some fight in there today. A lot of great at-bats towards the end of the game. Freddie and Duvall came up huge, and that’s what it takes in October.”
The NL East-leading Braves moved 3 1/2 games ahead of second-place Philadelphia, which lost 4-3 to Colorado.
Jacob Webb (3-2) retired the side in order in the 10th to earn the win.
There was no drama from the mound after Washington’s Juan Soto was hit by a pitch on Tuesday and Atlanta’s Freeman was plunked on Wednesday. Austin Riley was hit by Suero in the 10th, but there was no reaction from either bench.
Instead, the teams played a back-and-forth game that included five solo homers by the Braves.
“Mind-numbing, exhausting,” Atlanta manager Brian Snitker said. “Proud of the guys tonight. They fought their rears off in that type of game and the adversities. That was something, some really good performances by guys in a tough ballgame.”
Soler hit a tiebreaking drive off Erick Fedde in the sixth, and both of Vogt’s homers came against Fedde. Freeman and Duvall connected against Mason Thompson in the eighth, powering Atlanta to a 6-5 lead.
“We battled back,” Washington manager Dave Martinez said. “That’s all we could do. We made some mistakes pitching-wise, and I talk about it all the time. You can’t make mistakes to good hitters. As you can see tonight, they can hit it a long way, but the boys played hard. They battled back. They bounced back and got some outs for us.”
Lane Thomas led off the ninth with a triple off Braves closer Will Smith and scored on Josh Bell’s grounder to make it 6-all. The Braves missed a chance to turn a double play and end the game when second baseman Albies threw errantly to first.
Washington took a 5-4 lead on Luis García’s fourth homer in the eighth, a drive to center off Richard Rodríguez.
Snitker can’t help glancing at the out-of-town scoreboard during games to see what’s the latest with the Phillies and New York Mets.
“I don’t look early (in the season),” he said. “I’m looking a lot now. They’re out there. They’re right in front of us, and I think probably everybody is.”
Braves: Vogt left in the top of the seventh after fielding a ball in front of the plate and throwing to third. He was clinging his right side, but the Braves didn’t announce an immediate diagnosis.
The Nationals have yet to decide on a starter for Friday’s game at Pittsburgh. Braves RHP Ian Anderson (6-5, 3.61 ERA) will pitch opposite Marlins LHP Trevor Rogers (7-6, 2.52) as Atlanta and Miami begin a three-game series. Anderson is 0-1 with an 8.59 ERA in two starts against the Marlins this year.
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