B.J. Upton lifts Braves past Nats, 2-1, in 10thAtlanta Braves' B.J. Upton (2) follows through on an RBI single that drove in the winning run in the 10th inning of a baseball game against the Washington Nationals in Atlanta, Saturday, June 1, 2013. Atlanta won 3-2. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
ATLANTA (AP) -- B.J. Upton returned to the lineup and had two hits, including a game-ending single in the 10th inning that lifted the Atlanta Braves to a 2-1 win over the Washington Nationals on Saturday night.
Upton, hitting only .145 at the start of the game, had been held out of two straight starts by manager Fredi Gonzalez, who hoped the rest would jumpstart the center fielder.
And Upton came through with a single to right field off Henry Rodriguez (0-1) to drive in Jordan Schafer from second base. A sliding Schafer narrowly beat the throw from Roger Bernadina in right field, and Upton then was mobbed by his teammates between first base and second base.
Rodriguez walked Evan Gattis to open the 10th. Schafer replaced Gattis as a pinch-runner. Ramiro Pena popped out trying to bunt a high fastball, but Schafer stole second and Uggla drew a walk before Upton ended the game.
Jordan Walden (2-1) pitched a perfect 10th for the Braves.
The Nationals couldn't score in the ninth after having runners on second and third with no outs against Braves closer Craig Kimbrel.
With the game tied 1-all, Ryan Zimmerman led off the ninth with a soft single that fell just beyond the reach of shortstop Andrelton Simmons, who was running toward the outfield. Zimmerman moved to third when Adam LaRoche followed with a double to center field.
Kimbrel struck out Ian Desmond before Roger Bernadina hit a grounder to third baseman Chris Johnson, who threw out Zimmerman at the plate, and LaRoche advanced to third. Danny Espinosa popped out to left fielder Justin Upton to end the inning.
Tim Hudson and Gio Gonzalez delivered similarly strong starts. Hudson gave up one unearned run on three hits in 7 1-3 innings. Gonzalez gave up one run on three hits and one walk in seven innings.
Hudson is 1-4 with a 7.67 ERA in six road starts and 3-0 with a 2.39 ERA in six home starts. He is 0-3 with two no-decisions since his last win on May 5.
Fredi Gonzalez was ejected by home plate umpire Larry Vanover in the fourth inning, apparently for complaining from the dugout after a 2-2 pitch to Zimmerman was called a ball.
Uggla walked to lead off the third for the Braves. Uggla moved to third on B.J. Upton's single that bounced off the glove of Gio Gonzalez into center field and scored on Simmons' groundout to Desmond at shortstop.
The Nationals tied the game with an unearned run in the fourth. Steve Lombardozzi led off with a grounder to Freddie Freeman. The first baseman threw over the head of Hudson, who was running to take the throw at the bag, for an error. Lombardozzi hustled to third base on Zimmerman's slow groundout and scored on Desmond's single to centerfield.
Lombardozzi started in left field in the Nationals' patchwork outfield. Bryce Harper was placed on the 15-day disabled list with bursitis in his left knee. Harper hurt his knee when he crashed into the wall in a May 13 game at the Dodgers and had missed the last five games.
Each team wore Negro League throwback uniforms for the Braves' first Heritage Weekend to honor Atlanta's role in the civil rights movement. The Braves wore Atlanta Black Crackers uniforms - complete with red and blue striped high socks - and the Nationals wore the Homestead Grays uniforms.
NOTES: The ejection was the first of the season for Fredi Gonzalez. ... The Nationals called up RHP Erik Davis from Triple-A Syracuse. ... Attendance was 46,910. Hip-hop group Run-D.M.C. played a postgame concert. ... Players from the Negro Leagues, including some in wheelchairs, were recognized before the game. ... The series ends on Sunday when Braves LHP Paul Maholm faces Washington RHP Nathan Karns. Maholm has a 2.38 ERA in three starts against Washington since joining the Braves.