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MLB: Nats rally in 9th to top Braves behind rookie’s HR

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Rookie catcher Riley Adams delivered a two-out two-run homer to spark a three-run ninth-inning rally and lift the visiting Washington Nationals to a 3-2 win over the Atlanta Braves on Saturday.

Adams, acquired from Toronto at the trade deadline, hit the first pitch from Atlanta closer Will Smith (3-6) over the fence in left field for his first career home run.

The win ended Washington’s five-game losing streak and Atlanta’s four-game winning streak.

The Nationals opened the ninth inning with Josh Bell’s walk and pinch-hitter Ryan Zimmerman’s double to left. After Carter Kieboom flied out, Bell scored on an infield grounder and Adams handed Smith his third blown save of the season with the home run.

Washington starter Josiah Gray was impressive in his second start for the Nationals since being acquired from the Los Angeles Dodgers at the trade deadline. Gray worked five innings and allowed two runs, one earned, on four hits, two walks and a career-high 10 strikeouts.

Andres Machado (1-0) struck out two in one scoreless inning and Kyle Finnegan worked a perfect ninth for his third save.

Atlanta starter Charlie Morton pitched six scoreless innings and allowed three hits, two walks and seven strikeouts. It was his fourth scoreless start of the season.

The Braves scored a run in the first inning on Jorge Soler’s long home run to center field. It was his third home run since joining the Braves on July 30 and his 16th overall.

Atlanta added another run in the third. Steven Vogt struck out swinging, but reached first base on a wild pitch. He advanced to second on Morton’s sacrifice and scored when Ozzie Albies singled and center fielder Andrew Stevenson was charged with an error after failing to cleanly field the ball.

Atlanta first baseman Freddie Freeman left the game after his first at-bat due to an upper respiratory infection. Freeman was trying to play through the illness but reported being dizzy after returning to the bench and was replaced in the field by Austin Riley, who moved over from third base.

–Field Level Media

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