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WATHC: Juan Soto swats long homer as Nats down Braves

MLB: Washington Nationals at Atlanta Braves
Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Washington’s Juan Soto hit a 462-foot home run in the seventh inning to spark the visiting Nationals to a 4-2 win over the Atlanta Braves on Wednesday.

It was the 25th home run for Soto and third at Atlanta’s Truist Park this season. After crossing home plate, Soto seemed to blow a kiss in the direction of the Atlanta bullpen.

Washington starter Sean Nolin was ejected for hitting Freddie Freeman with a pitch in the first inning. Plate umpire Lance Barksdale saw the pitch as retaliation for Soto being hit in the back by Atlanta reliever Will Smith in Tuesday’s game.

Washington (58-81) ended a five-game losing streak against the Braves. Atlanta (73-65) is now 13-5 against the Nationals this season.

Nolin’s early exit forced the Nationals to use six relievers. The winning pitcher was Austin Voth (4-1), who allowed one run on 1 2/3 innings. Kyle Finnegan worked a scoreless ninth, striking out two, to earn his eighth save.

The losing pitcher was Richard Rodriguez (4-3), who surrendered Soto’s home run in his lone inning.

Atlanta starter Touki Toussaint failed to retire any of the three batters he faced in the fourth before he was lifted. He allowed two runs, one earned, on one hit, four walks and a hit batsman. Toussaint struck out three.

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The Nationals got an unearned run in the first inning when Lane Thomas scored on Josh Bell’s infield grounder. Thomas reached on third baseman Austin Riley’s throwing error.

Bell hit a solo homer on the first pitch of the fourth inning. His 25th homer set a single-season club record for home runs by a switch hitter.

Atlanta’s Adam Duvall hit his 33rd homer and drove in his 98th RBI with a solo homer in the fourth against Andres Machado, cutting the deficit to 2-1.

Eddie Rosario tied the game for the Braves with a solo homer in the sixth off Voth. It was Rosario’s ninth homer, his second since joining the Braves on July 30.

The Nationals added an insurance run in the eighth on an RBI ground-rule double by Luis Garcia off Drew Smyly.

–Field Level Media