ATLANTA (AP) -
decided six hours was long enough for the
' home opener.
Johnson drove in
with a 10th-inning single to bail out Atlanta's bullpen, and the Braves beat the
6-5 on Friday night in a rain-delayed game.
Thanks to a delay of 2 hours, 2 minutes in the fourth inning, the game-winning hit came at 1:26 a.m. on Saturday, almost six
hours after the first pitch.
''If you're going to stay here until 1:30 you might as well win it,'' Johnson said.
Schafer led off the 10th with a single to left off
(0-1). He then moved to second on
's groundout and scored easily on Johnson's hit to right, sliding across the plate ahead of
' throw from right field.
Schafer celebrated after the slide, drawing a postgame chuckle from Johnson.
''That was some serious fist-pumping,'' Johnson said of the rookie.
(1-0), Atlanta's eighth pitcher, worked an inning for the win.
Dukes threw out Johnson at the plate in the eighth inning, but the speedy Schafer said he felt confident when he took off
from second on Johnson's 10th-inning hit.
''I knew the ball Kelly hit was going to be pretty hard to throw me out,'' Schafer said. ''Kelly came up big-time.''
The Nationals fell to 0-4 by stranding 16 baserunners.
''I don't think I've ever seen in my career four times the bases loaded with one out and not be able to score runs,'' said
Washington manager Manny Acta. ''We can't blame anybody but ourselves.
''We've just got to continue to fight and we'll come out of it. But it was just tough.''
The Nationals were denied after loading the bases in the third, fourth and seventh innings but finally pushed across a run
with the bases loaded in the ninth.
''That's something that has to be addressed,'' said
, who was 1-for-3 with three walks and drove in a run as Washington's cleanup hitter. ''We've got to get enough people - not
just players, but coaches - to address that problem.
''You've got to put an emphasis on it. That's a time when you've got to bear down and have a plan. That's the important time
in baseball. It's hard to win without scoring runs. You're not going to get a lot of bases on walks. We're just going to have
to work on it.''
Washington tied it in the ninth on
's two-out, bases-loaded infield hit after
gave Atlanta the 5-4 lead with a run-scoring single in the seventh.
The Braves' bullpen couldn't hold 4-1 and 5-4 leads.
Neither starting pitcher returned after the delay.
gave up four hits and a run in three innings, leaving with a 3-1 lead. He struck out six.
gave up five hits and three runs in three innings. He got his first major league hit in the third inning.
After the delay, Atlanta stretched the lead to 4-1, but the Nationals rallied to tie it with three runs in the sixth.
Atlanta recovered to score a run off
in the seventh. With two outs, he gave up
's third double of the game. After reaching a 3-1 count on
, Rivera issued an intentional walk, and Francoeur hit his first pitch from Rivera up the middle for an RBI single.
gave up a leadoff double to
in the ninth that Braves left fielder
appeared to lose in the lights. Johnson moved to third on Dukes' single to right.
hit a shallow fly ball to right, pinch-hitter
walked to load the bases. Gonzalez struck out pinch-hitter
Milledge followed with a grounder up the middle that
couldn't stop when reaching behind his back. Instead of making the catch, Gonzalez deflected the ball into foul territory
beyond the first-base line, allowing
to score the tying run.
It was the second straight poor performance for Atlanta's bullpen, which couldn't hold a 10-3 lead in the bottom of the seventh
at Philadelphia on Wednesday night. The Phillies rallied for a 12-11 win.