Pierzynski, 38, was 3 for 3 with two home runs and started a crucial double play in the ninth inning as the Braves beat Washington 2-1 for their fourth win in 17 tries against the Nationals. “He challenges him. Tonight, after (Wisler) walked (Bryce) Harper, he went out and told him, ‘Let’s get after him.’ A.J. has been good for all our young pitchers”.
Braves third baseman Hector Olivera, obtained from the Dodgers at the non-waiver trade deadline for Alex Wood, Jim Johnson and Luis Avilan, was hit on the left elbow by a Roark fastball in the fifth inning and left the game.
The Braves have five more games to go, all of them at home. “Obviously, you always look back and say, ‘if this happened or that happened.’ I’ve got to play more than I had planned coming in, but you’re always ready”.
Perez, who was 0-4 with an 8.44 ERA in five August starts, recorded just one out while allowing four runs – three on a Harper homer – when making his major league debut in relief May 8 at Nationals Park. While the Nationals stumbled down the stretch, the Braves skidded to three wins in 16 games before Tuesday’s series-opening victory. The Atlanta Braves have won four straight home games. It was Pierzynski’s sixth multi-home run game and his first since June 29, 2012, when he played for the Chicago White Sox.
Against the Braves this season, the 29-year-old, Auburndale, Wisconsin-born starter is (3-0) in five starts with a 1.82 ERA, four walks (1.04 BB/9) and 22 Ks (5.71 K/9) in 34 ⅔ IP, with a.234/.285/.258 line against in those outings. He gave up three homers in five innings of his last start Friday at home against the Phillies. That run was the first major league home run by Trea Turner. At the time, he had a 9.49 ERA over his past seven starts. And after an intentionalk walk to Michael A. Taylor, Zimmermann grounded out as the Nats came up empty. 3B Yunel Escobar missed the game with upper back soreness.
In off-field news, the team announced that Ryan Zimmerman would not play again this season due to the strained oblique muscle that has kept him out of the lineup the past several weeks. It rained all weekend and through the early afternoon in Atlanta, preventing both sides from taking batting and infield practice….
Zimmermann has owned the Braves throughout his career, which includes wins against Atlanta in his last six starts.