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Austin Riley propels Braves past Nationals in 12 innings

Sportsnaut
Jul 10, 2022; Cumberland, Georgia, USA; Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Ian Anderson (36) pitches against the Washington Nationals  during the first inning at Truist Park. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Austin Riley drove in his third run of the game with a 12th-inning single to lift the Atlanta Braves to a 4-3 victory against the visiting Washington Nationals on Sunday afternoon, completing a three-game sweep.

The Braves won for the sixth time in their last seven games by scoring the only run in the extra innings.

Riley led off the bottom of the eighth with a game-tying home run. With his game-winning single, he joined Dansby Swanson with three hits for the Braves.

Collin McHugh (2-1) was the winning pitcher by logging two innings. Six Atlanta pitchers combined on a five-hitter.

Lane Thomas smashed a pinch-hit, three-run home run in the sixth inning to account for Washington’s runs, but his ninth blast of the season couldn’t prevent the Nationals from losing for the 10th time in their last 11 games. Jordan Weems (0-1) took the loss, facing just two batters.

Riley’s 23rd homer of the season came off Kyle Finnegan, who struck out the side in the seventh in his first inning of work.

Atlanta starter Ian Anderson mostly cruised through the first five innings while allowing two hits. He recorded an out on the first batter of the sixth before back-to-back walks, so he was replaced by Dylan Lee. One out later, Thomas connected for his ninth home run of the season.

Anderson struck out five and walked four.

The Braves scored two runs in the third off Nationals starter Paolo Espino. Riley’s single brought in the first run and Eddie Rosario’s sacrifice fly added another.

Washington had a runner reach third base with one out in the seventh, but a double play helped the Braves escape. The Nationals didn’t have a base runner in the eighth or ninth innings and they didn’t have a batter get aboard in the 10th.

Riley struck out on a full-count pitch to end the ninth with the potential winning run on second base.

Tanner Rainey pitched the 10th and 11th for Washington, extending the game by escaping a first-and-third situation with one out in the 11th.

–Field Level Media