Dansby Swanson smacked a bases-loaded, two-run single off Washington ace Max Scherzer in the seventh inning, Matt Kemp hit a grand slam two batters later and the Atlanta Braves beat the Nationals 8-2 on Wednesday.
Atlanta scored six runs in the seventh, and five were charged to Scherzer (14-6), who walked the bases loaded and was allowed to remain in the game despite having thrown 114 pitches. Swanson then hit a 1-0 pitch to left to make it 4-2.
The Nationals intentionally walked Freddie Freeman before manager Dusty Baker went to the bullpen. Kemp then drilled Brandon Kintzler’s first offering to left for his seventh career grand slam and first since 2011.
Washington has dropped back-to-back games since clinching the NL East on Sunday.
Scherzer, who had not lost since June 21 and had won six decisions in a row, allowed seven runs over six-plus innings — the most he has yielded since giving up seven to the Chicago Cubs on May 6, 2016. He walked six batters, his most in nearly five years.
In his second start since his call-up from Triple-A Gwinnett, Atlanta rookie Luiz Gohara (1-1) needed only 71 pitches to complete six innings and secure his first major league victory. He allowed six hits and two runs while striking out six.
Atlanta’s Ozzie Albies extended his hitting streak to 11 games with an RBI single in the fifth.
Nationals shortstop Trea Turner stole his 40th base of the year in the first inning. He became only the second player since the franchise moved to Washington to reach that plateau, joining Alfonso Soriano (41 in 2006).
Braves outfielder Ender Inciarte (jammed left thumb) was out of the lineup, but was available to pinch run and serve as a defensive replacement. Inciarte was hurt when he dove into first avoiding a tag on Tuesday.
Braves manager Brian Snitker said first baseman/outfielder Matt Adams was available to pinch hit. Adams left Sunday’s game with right hamstring tightness and did not play Tuesday.
Nationals second baseman Daniel Murphy was out of the lineup with a stiff neck. Baker said outfielder Bryce Harper, out since Aug. 13 with a hyperextended left knee, has done some hitting off a tee, soft toss and light running. Outfielder Jayson Werth started in right after missing five games with a shoulder injury. Werth doubled in his first plate appearance and went 1 for 3.
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