Nationals vs. Braves – Game Summary – September 21, 2022

ATLANTA — — Brian Snitker wants the Atlanta Braves to pay more attention when they run the bases.

A fifth consecutive postseason awaits the defending World Series champions, and Atlanta’s manager knows the team can’t afford to make mistakes on base.

“As a baserunner, you have to focus on the guy in front of you and no one else because he might fall over, he might not see things the way others do,” Snitker said. “Your main focus is the guy in front of you. when you’re running the bases, and we weren’t very conscientious in some situations today.”

Joey Meneses hit a go-ahead two-run homer to Jesse Chavez in the seventh inning, and the Washington Nationals snapped the Braves’ five-game winning streak with a 3-2 victory Wednesday when Atlanta was hurt by a poor base running.

Ronald Acuña Jr. drove in an early run and scored another for Atlanta, which clinched a postseason appearance the night before.

Atlanta trailed by one run in the eighth when Michael Harris II hit a one-out single to right field with Austin Riley at second and William Contreras at first. Third base coach Ron Washington stopped Riley, who had rounded off third, but Contreras was almost on third and was picked off going back to second by catcher Tres Barrera, who had taken the throw from right fielder Lane Thomas. .

“Wash was trying on me the whole time and then at the last second he put up the stop sign, and I think Contreras was already there at that point,” Riley said. “It’s hard. It happens.”

Snitker said the Braves held a baserunning meeting Tuesday to go over the intricacies of staying sharp.

“It’s just that when you play close games, those are the things you can control,” Snitker said. “There are so many things in this game that you can’t control, but we can control our baserunning. It is awareness more than anything. We talk a lot about it. We show them different videos and different angles.

“Most of them are visual learners. We do it quite a bit.”

Atlanta remained a game behind the NL East-leading New York Mets, who lost 6-0 in Milwaukee. The Braves had won 10 straight games at home, outscoring opponents 47-16.

Atlanta is 52-26 at Truist Park with just one three-game series remaining against the Mets from Sept. 30-Oct. 30. 2. The Braves have a major league-best 71-29 record since May 31.

Meneses put the Nationals up 3-2 with his 10th homer, a 420-foot shot to left field by the 30-year-old rookie. He leads last place in Washington with 57 hits, 10 home runs and 25 RBIs since his major league debut on Aug. 2.

“I can’t say enough about what Joey has done for us since he’s been here,” Nationals manager Dave Martinez said. he comes out with a win.”

Andres Machado (2-0) pitched a scoreless sixth, Carl Edwards Jr. escaped a jam with runners on first and third in the eighth when Eddie Rosario lined out and Kyle Finnegan pitched a perfect ninth for his 11th save in 15 opportunities.

Chavez (4-2) allowed one run and one in 2/3 innings.

Atlanta took advantage of Paolo Espino’s erratic throws to first base to make it 1-0 at first. Acuña led off with a single, advanced to second on Espino’s throwing error on a pickoff attempt, and scored when Contreras reached on an infield single and Espino again threw wildly to first.

Atlanta had won 11 of 12 against the Nationals and started the day 26-8 in the series since the start of last year.

Bryce Elder allowed one run on two walks and six strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings for the Braves.

“He came in in the sixth and gave us a chance to win the game,” Snitker said. “I think he did a really good, solid job. He threw a few different things, but he was solid, very solid.”

Elder stranded a runner in scoring position in the third. He hit Josh Palacios with a pitch in the fifth and Palacios advanced to third on Barrera’s single before Thomas’ sacrifice fly cut the lead to 2-1.

Espino allowed four hits and two runs, one earned, over four innings. He has a 4.94 ERA in 17 starts.

COACHES ROOM

Nationals designated hitter Nelson Cruz missed his seventh straight game because of eye inflammation.

GOOD MOVES

Washington center fielder Victor Robles ran to his left to catch Acuna’s fly ball, got to his feet and accurately threw to first to double Vaughn Grissom for a double play in the fifth. … The Nationals finished the bottom of the seventh with a double play when Dansby Swanson struck out and Grissom was caught stealing. ….Thomas got the eighth assist from him. … Harris ran hard to his right to make a very small catch to left-center field in the bottom of the eighth inning.

UNTIL NEXT TIME

Nationals: After a day off Thursday, RHP Josiah Gray (7-9, 5.14 ERA) will face a yet-to-be-determined pitcher for the Marlins when Washington opens a three-game series at Miami.

Braves: LHP Max Fried (13-6, 2.52) will face Ranger Suarez (9-5, 3.53) when Atlanta opens a four-game series at Philadelphia. Fried is a no-decision with a 3.50 ERA in three starts against the Phillies this year.

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