Freeman reaches milestone in Braves victory over Nationals
WASHINGTON -- Freddie Freeman went 2-for-5, including his 1,000th career hit, and drove in two runs, as the Atlanta Braves beat the Washington Nationals 5-2 on Thursday in a game that was delayed 3 hours, 5 minutes by the threat of inclement weather that never materialized.
Kurt Suzuki added two hits, including a home run, and scored twice for Atlanta.
Braves starter Mike Foltynewicz (7-5) gave up two runs on eight hits in six innings before Sam Freeman took over in the seventh. Foltynewicz has given up only six runs in his last four starts after getting shelled for 11 hits and eight runs in 3 1/3 innings on June 12 at Washington.
Suzuki hit a solo homer in the sixth to give the Braves a 3-2 edge off Washington starter Gio Gonzalez (7-4), who gave up three runs on seven hits in six innings.
Freeman had an RBI double off reliever Sammy Solis to make it 4-2 in the seventh. It was the milestone hit for Freeman, who is batting .345 this season. Nick Markakis had another RBI double off Solis later in the inning for a 5-2 bulge.
The second-place Braves (41-43) are 8 1/2 games behind the first-place Nationals (50-35), who had won three in a row. Jose Ramirez pitched the eighth for the Braves and Jim Johnson went the ninth for his 19th save and got the last out with a runner on base and Bryce Harper on deck.
Leadoff man Brian Goodwin had three hits with a homer for Washington and Ryan Zimmerman, Wilmer Difo and Anthony Rendon added two. Johan Camargo and Ender Inciarte also had two hits for the Braves.
The Nationals took a 1-0 lead in the second as Rendon led off with a double and eventually scored on a sacrifice fly by Difo. Earlier in the evening, Rendon failed to make the National League All-Star team as one of five finalists in the fan vote.
Freddie Freeman had an RBI single to tie the game at 1 in the third off Gonzalez. Atlanta took its first lead at 2-1 in the fourth as Suzuki had a leadoff double and scored on a single by Camargo.
Goodwin hit a homer on an 0-2 pitch to tie the game at 2 in the fifth. That gave him six homers in his last 23 games.
Inciarte tweeted during the delay: "This No-Rain delay is something i've never seen before!!"
The Nationals were taken to task for the delay on twitter, including Braves broadcaster Chip Caray. There were only a few hundred fans in the stands when the game ended.
NOTES: Washington CF Michael A. Taylor left the game in the top of the fourth after he reached on a fielder's choice and grounded out to third in the last of the third. The Nationals do not announce information on possible injuries during the game. ... Washington RHP Max Scherzer (10-5, 1.94 ERA) and Atlanta RHP R.A. Dickey (6-5, 4.44) are scheduled to start Friday. ... Atlanta C Kurt Suzuki and LHP Ian Krol both played for Washington in 2013. ... The Braves plane landed at 2:36 a.m. ET on Thursday at Dulles International Airport in northern Virginia after Atlanta lost at home Wednesday night to the Houston Astros.