ATLANTA — R.A. Dickey frustrated Washington with his knuckleball for eight innings, Ozzie Albies had three hits and the Atlanta Braves beat the Nationals 3-2 on Thursday night.
After Ryan Zimmerman’s leadoff homer in the second inning, the 42-year-old Dickey gave up only one hit — a two-out single by Trea Turner in the third - over the next five innings. Turner was picked off first base.
Dickey (10-10) gave up two runs, four hits and no walks. He made a strong case that the Braves should pick up his $8 million club option for 2018.
Zimmerman lined his homer into the left-field seats, tying the game at 1. He set a career high with his 34th homer, his fourth off Dickey this season.
Arodys Vizcaino struck out the side in a perfect ninth for his 12th save in 15 chances. It was a strong return to form after Vizcaino walked all three batters he faced in a blown save Wednesday night.
The Braves scored two runs in the fourth off Tanner Roark (13-10). Albies singled, moved to third on catcher Matt Wieters’ wild pickoff attempt and scored the go-ahead run on Freddie Freeman’s fly ball to deep left field. Nick Markakis doubled past Zimmerman at first base and scored on Johan Camargo’s single up the middle.
The Nationals trimmed the Braves‘ lead to one in the eighth. Anthony Rendon doubled to left field and scored on Wieters’ two-out single.
Ender Inciarte continued his push for 200 hits when he led off the first with a triple to right field. It was his 191st hit, the third-highest total in the majors. Inciarte scored on Albies’ single.
The game was delayed several minutes in the middle of the eighth. There was confusion as Nationals manager Dusty Baker attempted to make several defensive changes and had to go over the changes with home plate umpire Nic Lentz, who also took questions from Braves manager Brian Snitker.
Asked the plan for outfielder Bryce Harper, who has been out since Aug. 13 with a hyperextended left knee, Baker said: “Come back to work tomorrow.” Harper caught fly balls during batting practice after running the bases and hitting on Wednesday. Baker said Harper will hit again on Saturday in New York.
Inciarte (sore left thumb) started for the first time since Sept. 12. Braves catcher Tyler Flowers (hand) made his first start since being hit by a pitch on Sept. 13.
Nationals right-hander Edwin Jackson (5-6, 4.96) will start Friday night’s opening game of a weekend series at the Mets. He has a 3.77 ERA in 12 career appearances, including seven starts, against New York.
Braves left-hander Sean Newcomb (3-8, 4.32) will start against Philadelphia’s Ben Lively as Atlanta opens its final home series of its first season at SunTrust Park. Newcomb has a 2.54 ERA in two starts against the Phillies this season.
Copyright © 2017 The Washington Times, LLC.