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Nats Keep Win Streak Alive, Braves Defeat Phillies

The Washington Nationals (58-60) grabbed their fourth consecutive win by defeating the San Francisco Giants (52-66), 4-2 on Tuesday.

O.k., it was against a bottom-of-the-division team and they still have a long way to go to catch up to the NL East-leading Atlanta Braves (73-47) but the consistent wins are giving the Nats some confidence. And a small glimmer of hope as they’re the fourth place team for the NL Wild Card, 8 1/2 games behind.

Tied at 1-1 in the sixth inning in Tuesday’s game, the Nationals Adam LaRoche slammed a two-run home run and gave his team its first lead. They were able to maintain it and scored one last run in the eighth on a Jayson Werth run.

It gave the team a 4-2 advantage and eventually the win.

LaRoche said of the win via MLB.com, “Good win, good little streak we are on. Better late than never. We’re still in the hole pretty good. We have a lot of work to do.”

Jayson Werth

Jayson Werth

But earlier in the game, it wasn’t an all-happy Nationals team as Werth got into a confrontation with lefty pitcher Gio Gonzalez (7-5) in the dugout during the first inning.

CSN Washington’s Chris Hughes wrote of the altercation:

“Werth walked past Gonzalez and said something that provoked Gio to turn around and start yelling back at the outfielder, causing pitching coach Steve McCatty to step in the pitcher’s way. Werth kept walking and appeared to take a seat in the corner of the dugout after the exchange.

It was likely about a defensive mistake Gonzalez made in the first inning on a would-be inning ending double play. Gonzalez was slow to cover first on a Buster Posey groundball and Ian Desmond and Adam LaRoche clearly weren’t happy with the miscue.”

In his four innings on the mound before a rain delay, Gonzalez, playing with a sore back, threw a shoutout while Giants lefty Madison Bumgarner (11-7) gave up one run.

The series will continue on Wednesday with righty Jordan Zimmerman (13-6) on the mound against righty Tim Lincecum (6-11). He has been playing well and will try to lead his team to avoid a seventh-straight loss but the Nationals will prevail (-150, 7 o/u).

Braves Stop the Phillies, 3-1

Righty pitcher Kris Medlen (10-10) saw his fourth straight win on Tuesday against the Philadelphia Phillies (53-66). In his seven-plus innings he gave up one run with five hits and at bat, he had a RBI double that led to the team’s first run of the night.

Kris Medlen

Kris Medlen

Medlen said of his successful hitting via MLB.com, “That’s what you try to do every day. Obviously, we’ve been told we don’t get paid to hit and whatever else. But any time you can contribute with the bat — getting bunts down and getting hits — obviously it’s going to help you and help your confidence going back to the mound the next inning.”

It was just a month ago that a slumping Medlen was on the verge of being sent to the bullpen. His improved play comes at a good time as his team has battled the injury bug, especially the pitching staff.

On Tuesday, injured righty Tim Hudson said via the radio waves that he’ll be ready for 2014’s spring training and that “we’re looking at being totally healed from this thing at the end of November or beginning of December.” Hudson is recovering from an ankle injury.

For now, the team will persevere without him and they’re doing o.k. as they sit 14 games ahead of the Nationals. Looking ahead to this year’s World Series, the Braves are +650 to win it.

This three-game series will continue on Wednesday with Braves righty Brandon Beachy (1-0) against the Phillies lefty John Lannan (3-5).

The Braves get another win (-220, 8 o/u).



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