Sunday, September 24, 2023 01:35 PM (ET)

Jackson Rutledge, Nats open twin bill with win over Braves

Field Level Media
Sep 24, 2023

Jacob Young drove in two runs and Jackson Rutledge earned his first career victory as the Washington Nationals defeated the visiting Atlanta Braves 3-2 in the opening game of a doubleheader Sunday afternoon.

Rutledge (1-1) gave up one run and three hits in five innings of his third major league start. He struck out four and walked two.

Young stretched the lead to 3-1 with a sixth-inning double. He joined teammates Jake Alu and Joey Meneses with two hits apiece.

The Nationals (69-87) moved closer to their first 70-win season since 2019 but lost to the Braves in the second game of the day-night twin bill, which was to make up for Saturday's weather-related postponement. In that second game, the Braves beat the Nationals, 8-5, to become the first team in the majors to reach the 100-win mark.

Allan Winans (1-2) was Atlanta's starting pitcher, giving up two runs in five innings while striking out six. He issued two walks and allowed seven hits.

Kyle Wright, who was the slated starter for Atlanta (99-56) for Saturday's game before it was nixed, threw three innings in relief. He gave up one run on three hits as he tries to return to form in a bid to make the team's postseason roster. It was a more encouraging outing than his two recent stints against the Philadelphia Phillies.

Sean Murphy provided the final run when the Atlanta catcher homered with two outs in the ninth inning. It was his 21st long ball of the season.

No Atlanta player had more than one hit. Nicky Lopez's double was the only extra-base hit for the Braves until Murphy's blast.

Despite giving up Murphy's homer, Kyle Finnegan posted his 27th save by pitching the ninth inning. Robert Garcia and Hunter Harvey combined for three shutout innings before Finnegan took his turn.

The Braves began the scoring with Kevin Pillar's sacrifice fly in the second inning.

The Nationals went ahead in the bottom of the inning by using Young's RBI infield single and CJ Abrams' sacrifice fly.

--Field Level Media

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