WASHINGTON — Paul Janish hit a run-scoring bloop single in the 11th inning to complete the Atlanta Braves’ wild 11-10 comeback win against the Washington Nationals on Friday night.
The Nationals led 9-0 after five innings but Atlanta scored four runs in both the sixth and eighth innings and took a 10-9 lead in the top of the ninth on Michael Bourn’s two-run triple.
Craig Kimbrel blew his second save in 30 chances in the bottom of the ninth when Danny Espinosa hit a solo homer into the visitors’ bullpen in left-center field to tie the game at 10.
In the top of the 11th, Dan Uggla led off with a single against Tom Gorzelanny (2-2), advanced to second on Ryan Zimmerman’s throwing error and then went to third on a passed ball before scoring on Janish’s bloop.
Eric O’Flaherty (2-0) pitched the 10th to earn the win, and Chad Durbin was perfect in the 11th for his first save.
It was the Braves’ largest comeback since 1987 and pulled them within 2½ games of the Nationals in the National League East. The teams will play three more games this weekend, including a doubleheader Saturday.
The nine-run lead was the largest ever given up by the Nationals franchise, including the games played as the Montreal Expos.
Michael Morse and Zimmerman each hit two-out, three-run homers off Braves starter Tommy Hanson, who gave up a season-high eight runs on eight hits.
Morse’s fifth homer of the yearcame in the first. Zimmerman added his 12th in the fourth, hitting a 3-2 pitch into the left-field seats.
Lombardozzi had three hits in the game, extending his hitting streak to 13 games.
Strasburg held the Braves scoreless through five but seemed to tire in the sixth, giving up four runs.
Pinch-hitter Eric Hinske narrowly missed another when he hit a double off the top of the wall, and Martin Prado capped the four-run inning with a two-run double off reliever Michael Gonzalez.
The Braves scored four more in the eighth. Drew Storen – pitching for the second day in a row after being activated from the disabled list Thursday – gave up a leadoff single to Uggla and a walk to Janish before being pulled for Sean Burnett.
Burnett struck out the first two batters he faced before walking two, including a bases-loaded walk to Jayson Heyward. Chipper Jones singled home two runs and Freddie Freeman also had a run-scoring single before Burnett got out of the inning, leaving the Nationals a 9-8 lead.
Tyler Clippard came on in the ninth hoping to close the game for the Nationals, but walked leadoff batter Uggla and hit Jarnish, who was squaring to bunt. After pinch-hitter David Ross struck out, Bourn tripled to right field to score both runners.