Braves score 3 in 8th to beat Nationals

(TSX / STATS) -- ATLANTA -- After leaving 11 runners on base and having another thrown out at the plate, the Atlanta Braves finally got to the shaky Washington Nationals' bullpen on Friday night.

Nick Markakis broke an eighth-inning tie with an RBI single and Kurt Suzuki followed with a two-run homer as the Braves got to rookie reliever Enny Romero and defeated the Nationals 7-4.

Markakis' tiebreaking hit followed a walk and stolen base by Brandon Phillips against Romero (2-2) before Suzuki hit his third homer of the season.

The victory was just the fifth for the Braves in their past 23 games with the Nationals, who have lost six of their last seven games on the road.

Matt Kemp and Dansby Swanson also hit homers for the Braves (17-22), while Daniel Murphy went deep for the Nationals (25-16).

Arodys Vizcaino (2-1) got credit for the victory with a perfect eighth inning and Jim Johnson pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for his seventh save.

Nationals center fielder Michael A. Taylor threw out Swanson at the plate in the sixth inning to keep the game tied and reliever Matt Grace got the final out of the inning with two Braves in scoring position.

Washington starter Gio Gonzalez gave up nine hits, including homers by Kemp and Swanson, and four runs in 5 2/3 innings, walking three and striking out five. The left-hander threw 116 pitches -- one less than Braves starter R.A. Dickey.

Dickey was charged with four runs (two unearned) in 5 1/3 innings. The veteran knuckleball pitcher allowed eight hits, walked three and struck out five, the homer by Murphy the eighth he has given up in five home starts.

Swanson hit his fourth homer, a two-run shot, in the second inning and Kemp connected with the bases empty in the third off Gonzalez for his seventh.

Murphy's eighth homer leading off the fourth against Dickey gave Washington a 4-3 lead.

The Nationals scored three times an inning earlier, the last two runs unearned thanks to an error by fill-in Braves first baseman Jace Peterson.

The Braves, though, tied it back up in the fifth on a RBI double by Suzuki.

NOTES: Nationals RHP Max Scherzer (4-2, 2.80 ERA) goes for his sixth straight victory over the Braves in the middle game of the series on Saturday. He allowed just two hits over seven scoreless innings in a victory at Atlanta on April 18. ... RHP Bartolo Colon (2-4, 6.80 ERA) will be the starter for the Braves after snapping a three-game losing streak with a victory at Toronto on Monday. ... Veteran 1B James Loney, signed to a minor league contract as a possible eventual fill-in for sidelined 1B Freddie Freeman (fractured left wrist), played his first game with Triple-A Gwinnett on Friday, going 1-for-4. ... The Braves also promoted 1B/3B Carlos Franco to Gwinnett after he homered in three straight games for Double-A Mississippi to take over the Southern League lead with 11.


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