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Harper Adds Drama to the Braves Win, Phillies Defeat the Cubs

The Atlanta Braves (69-45) kept their win streak alive on Tuesday with a 2-1 victory over the Washington Nationals (54-59).

But the win didn’t come without its share of drama.

Bryce Harper

Bryce Harper

In the fifth inning with one out, Braves righty Julio Teheran (9-5) hit Bryce Harper on his right leg. This came after Harper had homered in the third inning, giving his team a 1-0 lead. He didn’t take this action well and exchanged words with Teheran and Braves catcher Brian McCann as the score was now 2-1 Braves.

Both team’s benches and bullpens emptied but there were no punches.

Once everything returned to “normal,” Teheran then held the Nationals to a scoreless inning. For the night, the pitcher threw for six innings and gave up one run with four hits.

Teheran said of Harper’s reaction to his hit via MLB.com, “I was surprised. I just was trying to get in there [with the fastball]. I didn’t want to make a mistake like I did with the homer. That’s how I hit him.”

The player sits at 12/1 to win the NL Rookie of the Year award.

A nod also needs to go to Evan Gattis for Tuesday’s win, whose two-run single in the fifth inning gave the Braves the lead and ultimately the win. For Gattis, he was only in the game as a replacement to Jason Heyward, who left in the first inning with a strained neck muscle.

For the Nationals, they’ve been struggling offensively and on Tuesday, manager Davey Johnson thought changing up the batting order would help. Ryan Zimmerman moved up and took the second spot behind Harper. This was a first for the player to bat in this spot in his nine-year big league tenure. Jayson Werth went to the third spot with Wilson Ramos taking the sixth spot.

I think we all know how the change worked out and now the Nationals have lost three in a row.

Lefty Gio Gonzalez’s (7-5) pitching was solid as he went seven innings and allowed two runs on six hits. On Monday, he learned he had been cleared by the league in the Biogenesis review.

With the win, the Braves now sit 14 1/2 games ahead of the Nationals. This represents their biggest division lead since back on Aug. 28, 2003.

On Wednesday, the series continues with Game 3. Righty Kris Medlin (8-10) will take the mound for the Braves against the Nationals righty Jordan Zimmerman (13-6). A 13th win sounds unlucky and it won’t happen as the Nationals get the win (-130, 7.5 o/u).

The Braves have their eye on the postseason and sit at +650 to win this year’s World Series.

Other NL East News…

Chase Utley

Chase Utley

While the Braves kept their win streak alive, the Philadelphia Phillies grabbed a 9-8 win against the Chicago Cubs, and snapped their five-game losing streak.

The fifth inning was key for the Phillies as Darin Ruf and Chase Utley smacked three runs. Tied at 5-5, Utley hit a triple to bring in the tying run. He then scored to give his team to the lead, followed by a Ruf home run–No. 4 for the season.

Phillies righty Kyle Kendrick (10-8) gave up five runs and six hits over six innings. He added an RBI single in the second inning.

For the Cubs, righty Edwin Jackson (7-12) gave up seven runs and 10 hits in his six innings on the mound.

The Phillies now sit 11 games behind the surging Braves. On Wednesday, the two teams will play their second game of three.

It’s lefty Cole Hamels (4-13) vs. the Cubs lefty Travis Wood (7-8). The Phillies get another win (-163,7.5 o/u).

The New York Mets (50-60) defeated the Colorado Rockies (52-62), 3-2 on Tuesday, snapping their losing streak. The series continues on Wednesday with Mets righty Matt Harvey (8-3) going up against Rockies righty Jhoulys Chacin (10-5).

The Mets will get another win (-210, 6.5 o/u).





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