Originally written on The Nats Blog  |  Last updated 9/18/13
Given how much the Braves have beaten up on the Nats this season, today was a welcome respite with a pair of feel-good wins. Tanner Roark locked down the Braves, allowing only two hits in seven innings, and the offense came alive with three runs in the eighth as the Nats (81-70) locked down the Braves (89-62), 4-0. The most important takeaway from this game is that the Braves cannot clinch the division in Washington, with their magic number still at four. Even if they win tomorrow’s series finale, it will stand at two. The Nats are also still 4.5 games back of the Reds after their 10-0 win over Houston. The game began quietly on both sides. Roark and Freddy Garcia both retired the first three batters they faced, but ran into a minor bump shortly thereafter. In the top of the second, Roark gave up back-to-back two-out singles before escaping the frame. Garcia gave up a single and stolen base to Bryce Harper, who scored when Steve Lombardozzi singled to give the Nats a 1-0 lead. After the second, the two teams’ offenses took divergent paths. The Nationals got at least one hit in each of the game’s next three innings against Garcia, but could not group them well enough. The Nats finished with seven hits against Garcia in seven innings, along with two walks, but only scored one run. Fortunately, with Roark on the mound, that was just enough. While the Nats had their successes against Garcia, Roark did not allow another hit after the second. In fact, the only other baserunner he gave up was on a walk in the third inning. He retired the final 14 batters he faced in pitching seven sterling innings, dropping his MLB ERA to an amazing 1.08. He accompanied these three baserunners with six strikeouts in his domination of the Braves. One of the hits Garcia gave up was a fifth-inning single to Denard Span, extending his streak of consecutive games with a hit to 28, the longest streak in baseball this season. He tied the seasonal mark in the first game of the doubleheader, equaling Michael Cuddyer’s 27-game streak earlier this year. He now stands alone, and is also second in Nats history to Ryan Zimmerman’s 30-gamer in 2009. After the starters finished their duel, the Nats led 1-0 going into the eighth. Craig Stammen took care of business, yielding just one harmless single. In the bottom of the eighth, the Nats’ bats exploded against the once-untouchable Atlanta bullpen again. Braves reliever Jordan Walden had a challenging outing, to say the least. Ryan Zimmerman hit his 25th homer of the season, and 10th in the past 15 days, off of him to double the Nats’ lead. With two outs, Harper singled again and was driven in by an Ian Desmond double. Adam LaRoche singled for the third straight Nats hit and third RBI of the inning, putting the lead at a remarkable 4-0 before the inning came to a close. Rafael Soriano did his best to make the bottom half of the inning exciting, allowing base hits to the first two Braves he faced, but Ryan Zimmerman made a nice double play and the Nats worked around an Ian Desmond error to preserve the shutout and win. In their unfailing quest to claim the NL’s second wildcard spot, the Nationals will go for the sweep of Atlanta tomorrow. Ross Ohlendorf (4-0, 3.15) will take on Braves rookie Alex Wood (3-3, 3.45) at 7:05 PM.
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Report: Three teams achieve separation in Aldridge chase

WATCH: Serena Williams wags finger at Wimbledon crowd, says, 'Don’t try me'

Report: Rajon Rondo headed to Sacramento Kings

Dez Bryant deal with Cowboys could be announced Monday

Brandon Saad, Ryan O’Reilly sign long-term contracts with Columbus, Buffalo


Mavs solidify future, sign Wesley Matthews, DeAndre Jordan

A-Rod, Yankees settle dispute over home run milestone bonus

Report: Robin Lopez, Knicks finalizing four-year deal

Becky Hammon will coach Spurs' Summer League team

Jimmy Butler on Derrick Rose: ‘I don’t think we have any issues’

Yankees get A-Rod's 3,000th hit ball for $150,000 donation

The top American sports moments since the last Fourth of July

Nine former college football rivalries that need to come back

The most patriotic uniforms in American sports

Jeanie Buss: Brother Jim will step down if Lakers don't make deep run within two seasons

DeAndre Jordan to Dallas: The Los Angeles Clippers are literally mad men

Remember when the Cincinnati Bearcats were the scariest team in America?

Are the Angels now the worst organization in baseball?

Five reasons the Browns should play Johnny Manziel

Blue Jays need rookies to keep producing for success in 2015

WATCH: Sean Doolittle gets cup check from teammate

University of Florida developing high-tech smart mouth guard

Pat McAfee is the best punter in NFL history

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Russell Wilson 'would definitely consider' playing for Mariners

Solo, Rapinoe among USWNT stars up for World Cup awards

LBS on Sports Jeopardy! Here's how how it went

College football's 35 most patriotic helmets

A brief history of non-star All-Stars

With Love retained, the Cavs can take care of LeBron

Grading the deal: Davis commits to Pelicans

Obama Administration: Change name if Redskins move to D.C.

Deciding what the All-Star Game means

Odell Beckham Jr. offered professional baseball contract

Orioles keep finding a way to win

Lloyd sends USWNT to World Cup final

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.