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Washington Nationals beat Atlanta Braves behind Gio Gonzalez effort

By
Alex Butler
Washington Nationals starting pitcher Gio Gonzalez (47) pitches against the Atlanta Braves in the first inning on Thursday at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI
Washington Nationals starting pitcher Gio Gonzalez (47) pitches against the Atlanta Braves in the first inning on Thursday at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo

Aug. 9 (UPI) -- Gio Gonzalez allowed one run in seven innings, leading the Washington Nationals to a 6-3 win against the Atlanta Braves Thursday at Nationals Park.

The Nationals and Braves split the four-game series 2-2. Michael A. Taylor was 1-for-4 with a home run in the victory. Trea Turner, Anthony Rendon and Daniel Murphy each had two hits for the Nationals.

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Nick Markakis started the scoring, hitting a solo home run off of Gonzalez in the top of the second inning. Nationals rookie sensation Juan Soto tied the score by taking a bases-loaded walk in the bottom of the third inning. Rendon plated Adam Eaton on a sacrifice fly later in the inning, giving Washington a 2-1 edge.

Taylor hit his sixth home run of the season in the bottom of the fourth frame. Daniel Murphy plated Rendon with an RBI double in the bottom of the sixth inning, giving Washington a 4-1 advantage.

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Braves rookie Ronald Acuna Jr. hit his 13th home run of the season in the top of the eighth frame to cut the deficit in half.

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Ryan Zimmerman brought in Rendon on an RBI single and Mark Reynolds plated Wilmer Difo on another RBI single in the bottom of the eighth inning to push the Nationals' advantage to four runs.

Dansby Swanson brought in the final run of the game, scoring the Braves' Kurt Suzuki in the top of the ninth inning on a sacrifice fly.

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Gonzalez allowed six hits while tossing three strikeouts to earn his seventh victory of the season.

"If [Gonzalez] keeps us in the ballgame, we have a chance to win," Nationals manager Dave Martinez told reporters. "He did that. I wanted to get him out and make sure he felt really good. He had a great day. He kept us in the game. We scored some runs and we held the lead."

The Nationals begin a three-game series against the Chicago Cubs at 2:20 p.m. Friday at Wrigley Field in Chicago. The Braves host the Milwaukee Brewers in a three-game series starting at 7:35 p.m. Friday at SunTrust Park in Atlanta.

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