Atlanta Braves left fielder Justin Upton hits a walk-off home run in the 10th inning against the Washington Nationals at Turner Field. The Braves won 3-2. (Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY)
ATLANTA — Justin Upton hit a solo homer with one out in the 10th inning to give the Atlanta Braves a 2-1 win over the Washington Nationals on Friday night.
Upton drove a 2-2 pitch from Ian Krol (1-1) into the left-field bleachers for his 23rd home run and second walk-off homer of the season.
The win was the Braves’ 19th in their final at-bat this season. The winning pitcher was Scott Downs (2-0), who worked a scoreless 10th.
The victory was the 18th in 20 games for the Braves, who have beaten the Nationals in 11 of 14 meetings this season and now lead them by 15 1/2 games in the National League East. The Braves are 10-4 in extra innings games.
The game featured a strong effort by promising rookie pitchers from each team, neither of them involved in the decision.
Atlanta’s Alex Wood allowed one run and five hits and struck out nine in 6 1/3 innings. Washington’s Taylor Jordan gave up two unearned runs, seven hitsand three walks with three strikeouts in six innings.
Washington tied the score in the eighth against the Atlanta bullpen.
Ryan Zimmerman doubled with two outs and Bryce Harper was hit by a pitch from Luis Avilan. Jayson Werth greeted reliever Luis Ayala with an RBI single that found a hole on the right side of the infield. The run was charged to Avilan and ended a streak of 35 consecutive appearances without allowing an earned run.
The Braves scored an unearned run in the first inning.
Jason Heyward led off with a single, extending his hitting streak to five games. He advanced to third base when Upton walked, but catcher Wilson Ramos threw to second to make a play on Heyward, who was running on a full count. Wilson’s throw bounced into center field and allowed Heyward to reach third. He scored when Freddie Freeman grounded into a double play.
The Braves made it 2-0 with another unearned run in the third. Paul Janish singled and went to second with one out on Heyward’s single, which just got over the glove of shortstop Ian Desmond. Upton hit a potential inning-ending double play ball, but second baseman Anthony Rendon took the relay and threw wildly to first, allowing Janish to score on the error.
The Nationals got a run in the fourth. Harper was hit by a pitch, went to third on Werth’s single and scored when Desmond grounded into a double play.
NOTES: Braves INF Tyler Pastornicky will have season-ending knee surgery to repair a torn ACL in his left knee. Pastornicky was injured in a collision with Heyward on Wednesday night. Atlanta recalled INF Phil Gosselin from Triple-A Gwinnett. … The Nationals were facing a rookie pitcher on Friday for the 13th time this season.