Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 8/6/13
Not that there would be any shame in their win streak ending against Stephen Strasburg on a night when Mike Minor wasn’t his sharpest and with the Nationals having much more to lose than the streaking Braves. But the Braves won anyway. Justin Upton homered for the fourth time in five games since August began this time for the game-winner in the eighth inning of a 3-2 victory over the Nationals on Monday night. The Braves extend their win streak to 11 games their longest streak since they won 15 in a row from April 16 to May 2 2000. They fattened their lead to a season-high 13 1/2 games on the Nationals in the NL East while they were at it improving to a perfect 4-0 this season at Nationals Park. “You want to step on their necks especially when we’ve got this big of a lead” said Freddie Freeman who drove in two runs on RBI singles off Strasburg. By taking the series opener the Braves improved to 8-3 against the Nationals this season. The Braves bullpen was short-handed with closer Craig Kimbrel saving three in a row in Philadelphia. But the team got five big outs and a win from set-up man David Carpenter and the first save of the season from Jordan Walden who stranded the tying run at third base. “We’ve got a bunch of guys in the back end of the game that you can mix and match” Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. Upton went 3-for-4 for his 11th three-hit game of the season and extended his hitting streak to 10 games. He reached 20 home runs for the season at a great time. His solo shot to left field in the eighth was a no-doubter. He dropped the bat and took a few steps up the line as a 3-2 change-up from reliever Tyler Clippard disappeared into the left field seats. “I just start seeing the ball a little bit better” said Upton who is hitting 17-for-42 (.405) with four homers and 10 RBIs over the 10-game hitting streak. “I’m recognizing pitches a little bit earlier and I’m able to make those adjustments within an at-bat.”
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