Johnson's double helps Nationals rally past Braves
WASHINGTON (Ticker) -- The
took advantage of
's early exit.
's two-run double broke a seventh-inning tie as the Nationals rallied for a 5-4 victory over the
Trailing 3-2, the Nationals put runners on the corners with one out in the seventh when
singled to tie the game. Johnson followed by lacing a 3-2 offering from reliever
to right field, giving the Nationals a 5-3 advantage.
"Yeah, it was a pretty big hit," said Johnson, who has reached base safely in 49 of his 51 games this season. "I was looking to put a good swing on it. It was 3-2 and I hit it pretty good."
Johnson's clutch hit came one inning after teammate
bounced into a double play with the bases loaded.
"(Byrd's double play) might have taken the heart out of us, but we didn't see anybody get down," Nationals manager
said. "These guys don't quit."
Hampton, who was making his first start since May 14, tossed four scoreless innings before leaving after throwing just 58 pitches when his elbow tightened up.
"I told him we wouldn't take any chances and we'll try to make the next start," Braves manager
said. "His elbow just tightened up a little bit and he couldn't feel his pitches real well, so enough was enough."
"It was a battle," Hampton said. "My location wasn't that great, but I was able to make a big pitch here or there and get some double-play balls. I was kind of a little stiff, nothing major. I'll make my next start and we'll go from there. We're just being a little cautious."
Following Hampton's departure, four Atlanta relievers were touched for five runs and seven hits in just 2 1/3 innings. Ramon Colon, who retired just one batter while giving up two runs, took the loss.
"I thought we could hold them to three runs, but we just didn't," Cox said.
(3-3) tossed a perfect seventh for Washington and
worked the eighth.
surrendered a solo homer to
to start the ninth. The Braves put runners on the corners with one out, but Cordero struck out rookie
to end it, securing his 13th save.
"My heart was racing," Cordero said. "Once Franco hit that home run, I said 'Oh no, not again.' I was a little nervous, but I was able to control my emotions and get out of it. I managed to step it up when I needed to. My heart is still racing right now. I'm still trying to get over it."
"Cordero again with his tight-rope, high-wire act," Robinson said. "He's not always going to be perfect but we got him a little cushion. He made it a little more exciting tonight than I would like to have, but in the end, he did the job."
, who was making his first start since May 15, yielded just one run and one hit in five innings. The righthander walked two, struck out three and did not allow a runner after the first inning.
"Early in the game, I was just trying to get a feel for the game," Patterson said. "After that, I felt like I had a really good tempo. I could've gone on. I wasn't happy to come out of the game. I didn't know I was on a pitch count, but I understood it."
"He's coming back from the disabled list and not pitching for quite some time, so I didn't know what to expect," Robinson said. "It took him about an inning or so to get into a good groove and five innings was more than enough."