Two-way star: Braves' Ynoa hits slam, slams door on Nats

·3 min read

WASHINGTON — Huascar Ynoa hit a grand slam and pitched seven stress-free innings in a dominant two-way performance, leading the Atlanta Braves to a 6-1 victory over the Washington Nationals on Tuesday night.

Ynoa blasted a fastball from Tanner Rainey 427 feet to centre field in the sixth inning, extending his left arm on the follow-through like a polished slugger. It was the first grand slam by a major league pitcher since Cincinnati’s Anthony DeSclafani on June 23, 2018.

Perhaps it wasn't a shock: Ynoa homered in his last start and was 4 for 5 at the plate in his previous two outings. He is hitting .385 (5 for 13) this season.

Ronald Acuña Jr. also homered for the Braves, taking a slow dance around the bases to break a scoreless tie in the fifth. He hit the ball hard every time he swung the bat against Nationals starter Joe Ross (2-2), lining a single on the right-hander's first pitch and getting robbed by centre fielder Victor Robles on a deep drive in the third. He scorched a foul ball to left before he took Ross deep.

Atlanta stopped a four-game skid while ending Washington’s four-game winning streak, which had bumped the Nationals into first place in the underachieving NL East.

Ynoa (3-1), who came in with the lowest ERA among Atlanta starters, allowed an unearned run in the seventh and four hits total, having little trouble against a Washington lineup that's still missing Juan Soto and hasn't gotten much out of free-agent signees Josh Bell and Kyle Schwarber.

Ross worked 5 1/3 innings, allowing two runs on five hits with two walks and three strikeouts. He left with two men on and Rainey gave up William Contreras' run-scoring single. Rainey walked Pache before he grooved the 0-1 fastball to Ynoa, who didn't miss it.

SLUMPING BRAVES SLUGGERS

Reigning NL MVP Freddie Freeman went 0 for 4 and struck out twice as his batting average dropped to .208. Marcell Ozuna lined out to the warning track in both left and right on an 0-for-5 night, dipping to .195.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Braves: OF Guillermo Heredia, on the 10-day injured list with right hamstring inflammation, has been throwing and hitting soft-toss but hasn't done any running yet, manager Brian Snitker said.

Nationals: Soto, activated Tuesday from the IL, struck out as a pinch-hitter in the eighth. He is still recovering from a strained left shoulder and isn't ready to play the outfield yet, manager Dave Martinez said. ... RHP Will Harris, reinstated from the IL on Tuesday, made his season debut, striking out two in a scoreless eighth.

ROSTER MOVE

The Braves recalled infielder Sean Kazmar Jr. from their alternate training site after optioning right-hander Sean Jones there a day earlier. Kazmar had an earlier stint with Atlanta this season after being out of the majors since 2008.

UP NEXT

Braves left-hander Max Fried (0-1, 11.45 ERA) will come off the 10-day injured list to start Wednesday. Fried has been out since April 14 with a strained right hamstring and will likely be limited to 75 or 80 pitches, Snitker said. Right-hander Erick Fedde (2-2, 4.43) starts for Washington.

___

Follow Ben Nuckols at https://twitter.com/APBenNuckols

___

More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Ben Nuckols, The Associated Press