R.A. Dickey, Atlanta Braves baffle Washington Nationals

By Guy Curtright, The Sports Xchange  |  Sept. 21, 2017 at 11:17 PM
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ATLANTA -- Knuckleballer R.A. Dickey got back on track after a rough three-start stretch and in the process snapped a five-game losing streak to the Washington Nationals dating to 2012.

Dickey allowed four hits and walked none over eighth innings, and Arodys Vizcaino, who had three-walk meltdown the day before, got the save as the Atlanta Braves edged the Nationals 3-2 on Thursday night.

Dickey (10-10) had allowed 17 runs (16 earned) over 14 1/3 innings in his previous three September starts, but he gave up just a second-inning homer to Ryan Zimmerman and an eighth-inning run.

Vizcaino also had a bounce-back outing, striking out all three batters he faced in the ninth inning for his 12th save after walking in three runs in the eighth inning on Wednesday.

The Nationals made it a one-run game in the eighth inning as Anthony Rendon led off with a double and scored on Matt Wieters' two-out single.

The only Nationals hitter to reach after Zimmerman's homer until the eighth was Trea Turner in the third on a single, and he was picked off.

The homer by Zimmerman gave him a career-high 34 and was his third in the past four games.

Nationals starter Tanner Roark (13-10) allowed six hits and three runs in seven innings, striking out seven and walking none.

Ozzie Albies had three hits for the Braves.

Ender Inciarte led off the game for the Braves with a triple and scored on a single by Albies, who showed no ill effects after being hit on the left knee by a pitch the previous night.

Zimmerman matched that run for the Nationals by taking Dickey deep leading off the second. He barreled a knuckleball floating up and in, smashing a screaming liner down the left field line and into the seats.

The Braves went up 3-1 with two runs in the fourth off Roark, who allowed four hits in the inning and also made a wild pickoff throw. Freddie Freeman hit a sacrifice fly, and Johan Camargo delivered a RBI single.

NOTES: The Nationals won the season series against the Braves 10-9. ... CF Ender Inciarte, who sat out Wednesday to rest a sore left thumb, is trying to become the first Braves player with 200 hits since Marquis Grissom in 1996. He has 191 hits. ... Braves C Tyler Flowers was in the lineup for the first time since being hit on the left wrist by a pitch Sept. 13. He went 0-for-3. ... The Nationals play a weekend series in New York against the Mets and then have three games in Philadelphia to conclude their nine-game road trip. ... Washington's 47-27 road record in the best in the National League. ... The Braves end their home schedule in the first year at SunTrust Park with a weekend series against the Phillies.

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