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Marcell Ozuna’s NL-leading 18th home run helps Braves rally past Nationals, 5-2

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Austin Riley hit a go-ahead RBI single, Marcell Ozuna followed with a two-run homer and the Atlanta Braves scored three runs in the eighth inning to rally for a 5-2 victory over the Washington Nationals on Thursday night.

Adam Duvall homered in the seventh inning for Atlanta, which has won three of four.

Rookie Mitchell Parker took a no-hitter into the sixth for Washington, which has dropped four in a row and scored just six runs over its last three games.

The Braves took the lead against Washington reliever Hunter Harvey (2-2). Ozzie Albies doubled into the corner in right, then came around when Riley lined a single to center to make it 3-2.

It was Riley’s second RBI in 10 games since returning from a two-week absence because of an intercostal strain.

“That’s one thing I’ve seen this kid do his entire career when he’s been up here,” Atlanta manager Brian Snitker said of the two-time All-Star. “He always hangs in there with himself. No matter how hard it’s going, he stays with himself and he allows himself to come out of this. I told him ‘I’ve seen you do this a lot, and you always come out of it.’ He’ll be right where he needs to be when it’s all said and done.”

A pitch later, Ozuna ripped Harvey’s slider to deep left-center for his NL-leading 18th home run. Since the start of the 2021 season, Ozuna has hit 14 home runs in 37 games against the Nationals. He’s hitting .327 with nine homers and 23 RBIs in 29 games since May 5.

“He’s not getting the love he deserves, that’s for sure,” Riley said. “What he’s done for this team so far, he’s kept us afloat offensively at times.”

Aaron Bummer (2-2) pitched a scoreless seventh for Atlanta and Raisel Iglesias handled the ninth for his 16th save in 18 opportunities.

Parker set down the first 13 Atlanta batters before hitting Duvall in the fifth inning. He stranded Duvall at first, making it through five in only 45 pitches. Orlando Arcia broke up the no-hitter with a leadoff double in the sixth.

Parker pitched seven innings, matching the longest outing of his 10-start career. He allowed three hits and two runs while striking out two.

“He was pounding the strike zone,” Washington manager Dave Martinez said. “They were aggressive. He got early outs. It was awesome. He pitched really, really well.”

Atlanta starter Reynaldo Lopez stymied the Nationals before CJ Abrams hit a fastball to right field for his 10th home run to lead off the sixth. Four pitches later, Lane Thomas lofted a fly over the left field fence. It was the first time Washington has hit back-to-back homers this season.

Lopez, a former Washington prospect who debuted with the Nationals in 2016, allowed two runs and six hits over six innings. He struck out seven.

Parker yielded Ozuna’s leadoff single in the seventh. After Matt Olson’s flyout, Duvall ripped a fastball into the visitor’s bullpen in left to tie it.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Braves: OF Jarred Kelenic was out of the lineup a day after leaving in the eighth inning after jamming his wrist while making a diving catch.

UP NEXT

Atlanta LHP Chris Sale (8-1, 3.06 ERA) looks to bounce back from giving up eight runs to Oakland in his last outing on Saturday. He’ll face Washington RHP Jake Irvin (3-5, 3.39) on Friday.

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AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb

By PATRICK STEVENS
Associated Press

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