Bennett's five RBI lead Nationals in wild win over Braves
WASHINGTON (Ticker) --
matched a career high with five RBI, including a go-ahead three-run double in the eighth inning, as the
posted an 8-6 triumph over the
The Nationals fell behind, 6-3, in the eighth after reliever
surrendered four runs in the top of the inning. But Atlanta reliever
, whose struggles cost him his job as closer, allowed two baserunners before
delivered an RBI single.
followed with a run-scoring double that chased Kolb and sliced the deficit to 6-5.
relieved and intentionally walked
to load the bases for Bennett, who had belted a two-run homer in the second. Bennett ripped a 2-1 pitch to center field, plating three for an 8-6 edge.
"I just got the barrel on a couple pitches and it worked out," Bennett said. "I found some holes for us and tried to hit the ball hard. Fortunately it worked out. Are we happy to win? Absolutely, but we're not going to go nuts in here; we've got a long way to go."
"He got us off to a good start and put the finishing touches at the end," Nationals manager
said of Bennett, who had five RBI for the first time since September 20, 2003 at Colorado. "He had a good night, but he wasn't the only one."
Kolb (1-5) allowed four runs and three hits. His ERA rose to an abysmal 7.29.
"I pretty much feel terrible about my whole season right now," he said.
Asked what's most frustrating about his season, Kolb replied, "Other than everything? Everything."
"It's always location with Kolb," Braves manager
said. "He had good movement, but he just missed on a couple of key pitches in that inning."
worked six strong innings, allowing two runs and five hits with seven strikeouts and two walks. In five starts at RFK Stadium, Loaiza has a 2.31 ERA, but his record there is 0-1.
"The bottom line is we won the game and that's what's most important," Loaiza said. "I went out there and battled, just like everybody did, and we wound up with a victory so everything's good.
scattered eight hits in seven innings, allowing three runs with two walks and a strikeout.
"I was pretty happy with the way I pitched tonight," Ramirez said. "My curveball was working for me. My fastball was also pretty effective."
(2-1) notched the win after retiring just one batter in the eighth.
recorded his third save of the series and 14th of the season with a perfect ninth. He struck out
to end the game. One batter earlier, right fielder
caught a blast off the bat of
against the wall for the second out.
"That's what baseball's all about," Cordero said. "It's exciting, especially coming back the way we did. It's just a great, great way to end this series. We were all jumping up and down in the bullpen after Bennett's double cleared the bases. To be able to go out there and end it, that's an even greater feeling."
Several Nationals attributed their victory to a pep talk delivered by Guillen after falling behind in the eighth.
"The thing that changed everything around was when Guillen came into the dugout and said 'Let's (expletive) go. We can come back. Let's show these people that we can come back,'" Baerga said. "And everybody got excited and did their job. To come back like that against the
is super. It was unbelievable."
The Nationals, who are 6-3 this season against the Braves, have won only one season series against Atlanta in the past 10 years. In 2000, the Montreal Expos held a 7-6 edge in the season series between the teams.
, who capped Atlanta's five-run rally in the eighth with a bases-loaded, two-run single, refused to give credit to the Nationals. "That was a game we pretty much didn't shut the door," Estrada said. "Any team can come back and bite you."
Bennett believes a complete team effort has been the key to the Nationals' success this season.
"It's someone different in here all the time and I think that's what keeps us rolling," Bennett said. "We're not really relying on one guy. We're all trying to do our part and so far it's working out OK for us."