After the Nationals dropped the first two games of the series, manager Dusty Baker decided to give many of his regular position players a day off in order to recharge. So Baker turned to a lineup filled with his team’s young talent, which provided a spark in the Nationals’ 5-2 victory on Thursday night against the Braves at Nationals Park.
Nationals outfielder Victor Robles, the club’s top prospect and No. 4 overall per MLBPipeline.com, went 2-for-4 with an RBI triple and a pair of runs, while infielder Adrian Sanchez added a two-run double in the sixth.
Their offense helped back another quality start from right-hander Tanner Roark, who was held up by a 30-minute rain delay at the start of the game before limiting the Braves to two runs over six innings. It marked Roark’s seventh quality start in his last eight outings, as he continues to round into form heading into the postseason.
Braves right-hander Mike Foltynewicz had his outing cut short, leaving the game after four innings with a cut on the tip of his right middle finger. He gave up three runs on four hits with three strikeouts and one walk before exiting.
It has only been a week since Robles’ callup, but the Nationals’ top prospect is already giving them a glimpse of the threat he can be on the basepaths. On his RBI triple in the fourth inning, Robles raced from home to third base in 11.12 seconds — the fastest time for any Nationals player since Statcast™ began tracking the data. The three-bagger gave the 20-year-old his second career RBI and extended the Nats’ lead to 2-0.
Albies extends hitting streak: Ozzie Albies got the Braves right back in the game in the sixth inning, launching a Statcast-projected 390-foot home run to left-center field to cut the deficit to 3-2. The knock was not only his second in three days, but it extended the 20-year-old rookie’s hit streak to 12 games. Albies has four home runs since he made his Major League debut on Aug. 1.
The Braves head back to SunTrust Park for their final homestand of the season, which will begin with a three-game weekend set against the Mets. Friday’s series opener (6:35 p.m. CT first pitch) will see lefty Sean Newcomb (2-8, 4.38 ERA) oppose the Mets’ Rafael Montero (5-9, 5.05 ERA).