An early 3-0 lead vanished in the middle innings as the Braves pounded Nats relievers for nine runs over four innings in a 9-4 loss.
Patrick Corbin turned in two scoreless innings in his Washington debut, giving up a hit and striking out two. He left with a 1-0 lead, courtesy of a Victor Robles single, a Wilmer Difo walk, and Robles’s steal of third base before Tyler Flowers let one past him to score the Washington center fielder.
Two innings later, Juan Soto pushed two across on a two-out single to cash in Taylor Gushue’s leadoff single (he switched places with Matt Reynolds on a groundout) and a Robles walk for a 3-0 Washington advantage.
The Braves began their comeback in the 4th against J.J. Hoover, an NRI who was DOA after retiring just one of six batters faced. He walked three and gave up two hits, including a two-run HR to Freddie Freeman. Scott Copeland, another NRI, stranded two to keep the game tied and pitched a 1-2-3 fifth.
The loss went to James Bourque, who gave up four runs on two hits and two walks while striking out one in the 6th. Wil Crowe followed and wasn’t much less ineffective, giving up two runs on three hits without a walk or a whiff.
Robles was joined in the starting lineup by fellow watchlisters Carter Kieboom (2B) and Jose “Orange” Marmolejos (1B). Here’s a rundown of how they did along with the guys who came off the bench:
• Robles went 1-2 with two runs scored and a stolen base
• Kieboom was 0-for-2 with a walk
• Marmolejos went 0-for-3 with a strikeout
• Luis Garcia took over SS and went 0-for-1
• Jake Noll singled twice as the second 3B to remain at 1.000 (5-for-5)
The Nats return to West Palm Beach this afternoon to host the Cards. The game can be heard on MLB Audio (St. Louis feed).