MLB: Nationals continue dominance over Braves with 8-5 win

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Keibert Ruiz hit a three-run homer to highlight a seven-run outburst in the fourth inning and spark the Washington Nationals to an 8-5 win over the visiting Atlanta Braves on Sunday.

Ruiz added a sacrifice fly and Washington won the final three games in the four-game weekend series. The Nationals lead the season series 6-2.

The Nationals ruined the major league debut of Hurston Waldrep, Atlanta’s No. 1 draft pick in 2023. After he threw three scoreless frames, Washington got to Waldrep with a run-scoring single by Luis Garcia Jr. and a three-run shot by Ruiz, his fourth, into the team’s bullpen in right field.

After allowing two walks and a hit to load the bases, the Braves replaced Waldrep with left-hander Aaron Bummer, whose first pitch was roped into the right-field corner by C.J. Abrams for a three-run double. The seven runs were the most scored by the team in an inning this season.

In 3 2/3 innings, Waldrep (0-1) allowed seven runs on four hits, four walks and one strikeout.

Washington starter DJ Herz, who was making his second major league start, worked 4 1/3 innings and allowed two runs on four hits, three walks and five strikeouts. Jacob Barnes (3-2) got the final two outs and pitched one total inning to earn the win.

The Braves scored two runs in the second inning. Adam Duvall walked and later scored on a single by Michael Harris II. Travis d’Arnaud scored on a wild pitch with the bases loaded.

The Nationals stretched their lead to 8-2 in the fifth when Ruiz drove home Jesse Winker with a sacrifice fly to center. Reliever Jesse Chavez entered and prevented Washington from scoring again.

Atlanta cut the lead to 8-5 in the ninth inning on a three-run homer by Jarred Kelenic, his fourth, off reliever Jordan Weems. After Ozzie Albies singled, the Nationals turned to closer Kyle Finnegan, who retired sluggers Austin Riley, Marcell Ozuna and Matt Olson to end the game and earn his 18th save.

The start of the game was delayed by 35 minutes by the threat of rain, which never arrived.

–Field Level Media

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