clear
Tuesday June 30th, 2015 8:46AM

Alex Wood fans 12, Braves edge Nationals 3-1

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
ATLANTA -- A visit from the Washington Nationals came at just the right time to fire up the Atlanta Braves.<br /> <br /> Alex Wood said he and his teammates enjoy the playoff atmosphere that comes whenever they play Washington.<br /> <br /> Wood set a career high with 12 strikeouts in 7 1-3 innings and the Braves beat Washington 3-1 on Sunday night to continue their recent success against the Nationals.<br /> <br /> Atlanta won two of three in the series to cut Washington's lead to 3 1/2 games in the NL East. The Braves are 9-4 against the Nationals this season and 22-10 over the last two years.<br /> <br /> "It's almost like a playoff game when we play them, no matter when it is," Wood said. "I think we've got some guys that are gamers in here and really enjoy that challenge and enjoy rising to that occasion."<br /> <br /> Wood (8-9), who allowed five hits, set another career high by throwing 124 pitches.<br /> <br /> Justin Upton homered for the Braves, who had lost nine of their last 10.<br /> <br /> Ian Desmond's fourth-inning homer was the only run allowed by Wood.<br /> <br /> With the game tied 1-1, Emilio Bonifacio led off the fifth with a bunt single, despite a creative defensive effort by Gio Gonzalez (6-9). The pitcher fielded the ball with his back to first base and flipped the ball between his legs to Adam LaRoche. Bonifacio was safe despite a collision with LaRoche.<br /> <br /> With two outs and Bonifacio on third, Jason Heyward hit a grounder to second baseman Danny Espinosa. LaRoche broke for the grounder, leaving first base uncovered because Gonzalez started running for the bag and then stopped before taking off again too late. Heyward was safe with the single as Bonifacio scored the go-ahead run.<br /> <br /> "I should have gotten over," Gonzalez said. "There's no excuse. You've got to get over on that ball, keep your team in the game."<br /> <br /> Nationals manager Matt Williams said Gonzalez "got caught watching the play."<br /> <br /> "We had a shot at getting (Heyward) at first base, certainly," Williams said. "There was nobody there. Ultimately, that's the difference in the game."<br /> <br /> Pinch-hitter Evan Gattis hit a single to right field off Jerry Blevins in the eighth to drive in Chris Johnson, who walked.<br /> <br /> Craig Kimbrel, pitching on the third straight night, had a perfect ninth to earn his 34th save.<br /> <br /> Gonzalez gave up two runs, six hits and four walks in 4 2-3 innings. He has lost four straight starts.<br /> <br /> Desmond led off the fourth with his 19th homer to right field. Upton tied the game in the bottom of the inning with his 21st homer.<br /> <br /> Upton collected two career milestones with the line-drive homer. It was his 1,000th hit and gave him 500 career RBIs.<br /> <br /> STREAKING SPAN<br /> <br /> Denard Span's fifth-inning double to right field gave him a 14-game hitting streak. He also doubled in the seventh and has reached base in 36 consecutive games since June 28 - seven shy of the Nationals' record set by Ryan Zimmerman from April 8 to May 25, 2009.<br /> <br /> RESPECT THE A<br /> <br /> Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said he thought the fuss over Bryce Harper scuffing the "A" in the dirt behind home plate with his cleat in Saturday night's game was "silly."<br /> <br /> The Braves' official Twitter account posted during Saturday's game: (hash)RespectTheA.<br /> <br /> Harper crossed the "A" on Saturday night by walking behind the umpire to the left-handed batter's box. On Sunday night, he took a more direct route to the box by walking in front of catcher Gerald Laird. Even so, Harper was booed by Braves fans before every at-bat. He was 0 for 4.<br /> <br /> TRAINER'S ROOM<br /> <br /> Nationals: Outfielder Steven Souza, who hurt his shoulder in a collision with the right-field wall Friday, was placed on the 15-day disabled list. Outfielder Michael Taylor was called up from Triple-A Syracuse. ... Werth started in right field after missing two straight starts with a sore right shoulder.<br /> <br /> Braves: Gonzalez said shortstop Andrelton Simmons (sprained left ankle) may play Tuesday, take Wednesday off, and then be ready for regular work.<br /> <br /> UP NEXT<br /> <br /> Nationals: Washington is off Monday and right-hander Doug Fister will start in Tuesday night's game at the Mets. Fister will try to extend his successful record - 5-0, 1.80 ERA - when pitching with at least an extra day of rest.<br /> <br /> Braves: Right-hander Julio Teheran will face Kevin Correia as the Braves open a four-game series against the Dodgers on Monday night. Teheran took the loss despite allowing only two runs in eight innings at the Dodgers on July 31.
© Copyright 2015 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
2014 Top 10: Looking back at the top sports stories of the year
It was another year for the record books in 2014, mostly for the right reasons -- state championships, new challenges and new stars taking their turn to shine. But there were also plenty of big stories that reminded us that sports -- like life -- isn
11:55PM ( 5 months ago )
NASCAR K&N Pro Series schedules set for 2015
DAYTONA BEACH, FL - NASCAR announced recently the 2015 schedules for its top developmental regional touring series, the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and NASCAR K&N Pro Series West.
2:00PM ( 5 months ago )
Lanierland boys final: Johnson makes history with win over Red Elephants <b> (VIDEO) </b>
Ever the aggressor on the court, Johnson
8:55AM ( 5 months ago )
Sports
Pits will be tight as Chili Bowl entry count hits 316
TULSA, OK - The 29th annual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Midget Nationals presented by General Tire is on track to be a record smashing event, with the entry count climbing over the 300 mark for the first time to 316 entries confirming 303 drivers for the indoor spectacular happening Tuesday, January 13 through Saturday, January 17 at the Tulsa Expo Center in Tulsa, OK.
9:59AM ( 5 months ago )
Falcons fire Mike Smith after 2nd straight losing season
Mike Smith's status as the winningest coach in Falcons history wasn't enough to save his job. Owner Arthur Blank said he fired Smith on Monday because in his "heart of hearts" he didn't believe Smith could take the Falcons to the Super Bowl.
7:58PM ( 6 months ago )
New promoters in place for 2015 at Senoia Raceway
SENOIA, GA - Lease papers have been signed and a team of new promoters is in place for the upcoming stock car racing season at Senoia Raceway in Senoia, GA.
6:00AM ( 6 months ago )
Professional Sports
Garner named new girls soccer coach at Gainesville
Former Gainesville High School athlete and coach, Shelly Garner, has been named new girls soccer coach at Gainesville.
11:44PM ( 9 hours ago )
Ralston qualifies third straight US Junior Championship
Spencer Ralston is headed back to the United States Junior Golf Championship tournament...
By AccessWDUN Staff
11:07PM ( 9 hours ago )
Budenholzer hopes Hardaway helps Hawks keep Millsap, Carroll
Now that he's added Tim Hardaway Jr., Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer has narrowed his focus on re-signing All-Star forward Paul Millsap and starting guard DeMarre Carroll.
11:06PM ( 9 hours ago )
Korver to have 3rd surgery since March, this time on elbow
Hawks guard Kyle Korver will undergo his third surgery since March when a specialist removes loose bodies from his right elbow on Tuesday.
10:48PM ( 9 hours ago )
Georgia high court says bonds for Braves stadium are valid
The Georgia Supreme Court has upheld the authorization of up to $397 million in bonds to build a new baseball stadium for the Braves in Cobb County.
By Associated Press
10:41AM ( 22 hours ago )