Nationals Game Notes: August 21 at Atlanta Braves

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Washington Nationals (73-49) at Atlanta Braves (44-79)
LHP Gio Gonzalez [8-9, 4.28] | RHP Joel De La Cruz [0-6, 3.72]
Sunday, August 21 l Game #123 / Road #64 l Turner Field l Atlanta, G.A. l 1:10 P.M.
Television: MASN l Radio: 106.7 The Fan & Nationals Radio Network

The Nationals will look to finish off a four-game sweep of the Braves on Sunday afternoon, going for their ninth sweep of the 2016 season and potentially their fifth road sweep…Washington won the series with an 11-9 victory over Atlanta on Saturday night, picking up their 11th road series win of the year (21st overall)…The Nationals, who have not lost at Turner Field this season, are 11-1 vs. ATL in 2016…Since the start of the 2015 season, Washington is 25-6 against Atlanta and is outscoring the Braves 183-101.

  • At 73-49 (.598), the Nationals boast the second-best record in Major League Baseball, trailing only the Chicago Cubs (78-44, .639)…The Nationals and Cubs are the only 70-win teams in the National League…Reaching the 70-win mark on Monday, in game No. 117, the 2016 Nationals are the fastest in club history to that total since the 2012 Nationals picked up win No. 70 in game No. 113
  • WSH also ranks second in MLB with a +146 run differential, behind only the Cubs (+215).
  • After today’s series finale in Atlanta, the Nationals will travel to Baltimore to open the home-and-home Beltway Series with the Orioles with two games at Oriole Park at Camden Yards, before returning home to finish it with two games at Nationals Park.

The Nationals’ 11-9 win on Saturday was due, in large part, to a record-setting fourth inning…The frame featured eight runs off nine hits (seven singles, two home runs), one walk, one stolen base, and 12 plate appearances, busting open what had been a 3-1 Braves lead.

  • Nine hits in a single inning set a new Nationals record (2005-present), and were the most in franchise history (Nationals/Expos) since Montreal tallied 13 hits in the top of the sixth inning at San Francisco, May 7, 1997.
  • A solo home run by 2B Daniel Murphy kicked off the inning, followed by a RF Bryce Harper walk and a fly out by C Wilson Ramos…Then came eight consecutive hits (seven singles and a three-run home run by CF Trea Turner)…The eight straight hits were also a Nationals record and, via the Elias Sports Bureau, matched 5/7/97 at SFG as the only times in franchise history the team hit safely in eight straight plate appearances.
  • The eight runs were a new single-inning season high for the Nationals, as were the 12 plate appearances.

Nationals 1B Ryan Zimmerman returned from the 15-day disabled list on Saturday (left wrist contusion) and wasted no time making his presence felt…Zimmerman homered on the first pitch he saw, giving the Nationals an early 1-0 lead in the second inning, and finished the night 3-for-4 with a home run, two RBI and two runs scored.

  • Saturday marked Zimmerman’s third three-plus hit game of the season (also May 4 at KC (three hits) and May 28 vs. STL (four hits)).

Better known for his exceptional speed, Nationals INF/OF Trea Turner hit his fourth home run of the season on Saturday (in 33 MLB games), the biggest swing in that eight-run fourth…It was Turner’s first career HR with runners on base and his third (of 5 career HR) vs. ATL.

  • Turner stole his 13th base of the season on Thursday night…All of Turner’s 13 steals have come since the All-Star break, the third-most stolen bases in MLB in that span.
  • Turner’s 13 stolen bases also rank fourth among all rookies, and all ahead of him on the list have played in 46 games or more…In his last 10 games, Turner is 18-for-47 (.383) with four doubles, two triples, two home runs, eight RBI, five stolen bases and 14 runs scored.
  • Dating to the All-Star break, Turner leads MLB lead in triples (6) & ranks third in SB (13).

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