WASHINGTON (AP) — Anthony Rendon hit a tiebreaking grand slam in the sixth inning, and the Washington Nationals beat the Atlanta Braves 6-3 on Monday night in the opener of a three-game series to close within 4½ games of the NL East leader.
With the score 2-2, Rendon connected of Chad Sobotka for his 23rd home run this season and third career slam, raising his career RBIs total to 500. Rendon, who had two hits, is batting .370 in his last 19 games with nine doubles, three homers and 20 RBIs.
Patrick Corbin (9-5) allowed two runs and five hits in six innings, striking out eight and walking one. Sean Doolittle gave up a home run to pinch-hitter Charlie Culberson in the ninth.
Dallas Keuchel (3-4) gave up four runs, six hits and four walks in 5 1/3 innings in his eighth start for the Braves since signing in June. He is 0-2 in his last three starts.
Yan Gomes walked with one out in the sixth, Adrián Sanchez singled and Sobotka relieved. Turner struck out, but Adam Eaton walked to load the bases for Rendon, who connected on a 2-0 fastball.
Juan Soto hit an RBI single on the first and Turner had an RBI double in the second. The 20-year-old Soto also made a leaping catch at the left-field wall in the sixth to deny Adam Duvall a possible two-run homer.
Atlanta scored in the fourth when Duvall hit a sharp two-out grounder to Rendon. The third baseman made a diving backhand stop, but his throw attempting to prevent an infield single sailed past first for an error as Freddie Freeman, who had been on second, came home.
Duvall hit a tying sacrifice fly in the sixth.
Atlanta’s Ronald Acuña Jr. went 0 for 4, ending his on-base streak at a career-best 32 games. Acuña stretched and reached to the center-field grass in the second inning to rob Eaton of a hit with Turner on second.
Josh Donaldson singled of the glove of second baseman Brian Dozier in the sixth for his 1,000th hit.
RHP Max Scherzer went back on the 10-day IL with a minor rhomboid strain. The injury is in the same area as the inflammation under his right shoulder that forced the ace right-hander to the IL for 19 days this month. Scherzer was dominant in June and won seven consecutive starts as Washington worked its way back into playoff contention following a 19-31 start. He returned from the IL last Thursday and allowed three runs in five innings in a no-decision against the Rockies. The next day, he had an MRI that revealed the injury.
Braves: Braves: RHP Jacob Webb (right elbow impingement) threw a scoreless inning for the rookie-level Gulf Coast Braves. “It’s been really encouraging where he’s been the last couple of times he’s thrown,” manager Brian Snitker said. … SS Dansby Swanson (bruised right heel) is expected to come off the IL when eligible this weekend against Cincinnati.
Nationals: A scan on the bruised right foot of 1B Matt Adams was negative, manager Dave Martinez said. Adams was stuck by a pitch Sunday. He is expected to be back in the lineup soon.
Atlanta RHP Julio Teheran (5-7) enters Tuesday’s start 0-3 in seven outings since beating Pittsburgh on June 13. Nationals RHP Erick Fedde (1-1) was recalled from Double-A Harrisburg to take Scherzer’s turn.