Dansby Swanson, Freddie Freeman, and Austin Riley slugged homers early, and the bullpen managed to hang on for the 5 innings handed to them by Drew Smyly as the Braves complete the series sweep. Coupled with a Phillies loss, the Braves now have sole possession of 1st place in the N.L. East.
Swanson’s 2 run shot to dead centerfield in the top of the 3rd gave the Braves a 3 – 0 lead, and was his 4th homer of the series. However, the Nationals clawed back in the bottom of the inning to tie the game on 4 singles, a wild pitch and a sacrifice fly.
Freeman and Riley went back to back in the 5th to make the lead 5 – 3. Dansby then started a new rally with an infield single, and eventually came around to score the final Braves run on a wild pitch. Riley had 3 hits, and Swanson, Freeman, and Joc Pederson each had 2.
Smyly gave up 6 hits and a walk in his 4 innings. Jesse Chavez gave up the final 2 runs in the 5th, on 3 hits and a walk. Chavez has now thrown 18 1/3 innings for the Braves this season; the last 4 have been a lot like his career’s first 950.
Richard Rodriguez, Tyler Matzek, Luke Jackson and Will Smith finished up. None of them managed a clean inning, but they were effective enough. Final line for the bullpen: 5 IP, 4 hits, 5 walks, and 5 strikeouts.