Nationals win 6th straight, beat Braves in 11
ATLANTA (AP)—The Washington Nationals are playing as if they were contenders the last week of the season, not the team that has the worst record in the majors.
The Nationals still have a dismal record at 58-103, but have beaten the Braves, who have lost five in a row, three consecutive times.
“He’s making some strikes. It’s like he’s kind of found something,” Washington manager Jim Riggleman said of Maxwell, who is hitting over .300 since his recall on Aug. 30 from Syracuse.
After both teams scored two runs in the 10th, Pete Orr(notes) singled with one out in the top of the 11th and moved up on a sacrifice. Maxwell followed with his fourth homer, a drive over the right-field fence against Manny Acosta(notes) (1-1).
“Jim told me after Orr’s hit that he was going to sacrifice and just wanted me to drive him in. To just look for a pitch and hit it and I got one,” Maxwell said.
“I’m just trying to do my job. Not do too much. Just put the ball in play. It felt good. This game is all about confidence. There’s nothing to think about when you’re in the box. Just hit the ball,” he said.
Zack Segovia(notes) (1-0) earned his first win despite giving up two runs in the 10th. Atlanta tied it at 4 on an RBI double by pinch-hitter Kelly Johnson(notes) and run-scoring single by pinch-hitter Greg Norton(notes).
Pinch-hitter Christian Guzman hit a two-out, two-run double in the 10th that put Washington ahead 4-2.
The Braves had won 15 of 17 to get within two games of Colorado in the wild-card chase on Monday before the latest losing streak.
“Second place is nice, but you’re not playing for the prize we wanted,” he said. “There’s no excuse not to go out and still get the job done.”
Atlanta reliever Peter Moylan(notes) got the first two outs in the 10th before Ryan Zimmerman(notes) doubled. Adam Dunn(notes) was intentionally walked before Guzman doubled over the head of right fielder Omar Infante(notes).
Jurrjens went eight innings, gave up five hits and struck out nine. Washington starter Ross Detwiler(notes) went five innings and allowed one hit, a bunt single to Nate McLouth(notes) leading off the game.
NOTES: Atlanta OF Matt Diaz’s(notes) season ended when he had a cyst removed from his infected right thumb after Friday night’s game. … Washington OF Willie Harris(notes) left the game in the fifth inning with a strained right oblique. … The Nationals are 4-0 when Desmond homers. … Jurrjens has allowed 2 earned runs or fewer in 26 of his 34 starts.