WASHINGTON (AP) — The Atlanta Braves technically committed no errors in their 5-4 loss to the Washington Nationals on Monday night, though a comedy of errors in the bottom of the 13th inning did them in.
“That last inning, it was Little League-esque,” Tim Hudson said.
Chad Tracy singled in the winning run when his ball stuck in Atlanta second baseman Dan Uggla’s glove, scoring Danny Espinosa and leaving Atlanta, losers of three straight, six games behind Washington in the NL East.
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Ian Desmond led off the 13th with an infield single off Cristhian Martinez (5-3) before Espinosa tried to bunt and hit into a forceout. Kurt Suzuki then hit a slow roller for an infield hit, allowing Espinosa to take third.
With the infield in, Tracy hit a ball to Uggla. He said he planned to tag Suzuki, who was running from first base, then touch first base to put out Tracy and complete the double play.
“He hit me a tough groundball that I dropped to my knees to catch, and I didn’t exactly know where Kurt was once I got up,” Uggla said. “And I just tried to throw the ball home, and I couldn’t get the thing out of my glove.”
Uggla said he would repeat the same strategy if given another chance at the play, but Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez took a different approach.
“You can’t go anywhere else but the play at the plate,” Gonzalez said.
Uggla was initially given an error before it was changed to a single for Tracy.
“The ball never left the infield,” Gonzalez said. “That’s just good breaks on their part and tough breaks on ours.”
Craig Stammen (6-1), Washington’s eighth pitcher and final remaining reliever, pitched two hitless innings for the win.
In the first, Martin Prado, who had three hits, doubled with one out against Jordan Zimmermann. He scored on Jason Heyward’s single.
The Nationals scored four runs in the first off Hudson. Jayson Werth led off with a double and scored on Bryce Harper’s single. Ryan Zimmerman then singled, and both runners moved up when Michael Morse lined a ball that ricocheted off Hudson’s right hand. Harper came home on Adam LaRoche’s infield out and Desmond hit a two-run home run to left – his 18th of the season.
“It was a horrible pitch,” Hudson said.
In the fourth, Chipper Jones walked, Uggla doubled, and with one out Paul Janish lined to Espinosa at second. He couldn’t handle it, and Jones scored on the single.
Heyward’s two-run homer in the fifth tied the score at 4. It was his 21st of the season.
Zimmermann pitched five innings, equaling his shortest outing of the season. He allowed four runs on four hits, walking two and striking out two.
Hudson, who hasn’t lost since the Nationals beat him July 1, allowed four runs and eight hits. He walked two and struck out two.
Starters Ben Sheets and Tommy Hanson could move to bullpen tomorrow for Atlanta.
NOTES: The Braves signed 1B Lyle Overbay to a minor league contract. Overbay,
released by Arizona on Aug. 5, will report to Triple-A Gwinnett on
Thursday. … The game’s start was delayed by rain for 56 minutes. …
On Tuesday, Atlanta’s Paul Maholm (11-7, 4.39 ERA) will face Stephen