Sports

Conrad’s pinch-hit home run keeps Braves’ winning streak alive

WASHINGTON — Pinch-hitter Brooks Conrad hit a go-ahead three-run homer in the seventh inning and the Atlanta Braves beat the Washington Nationals 9-8 on Friday night for their season-high fifth straight win.

Yunel Escobar drew a leadoff walk from Jesus Colome (1-1) and moved to second on Matt Diaz’s sacrifice bunt. Colome walked Casey Kotchman with two outs before Conrad, a 29-year-old rookie whose contract was purchased from Triple-A Gwinnett to replace the injured Kelly Johnson, crushed a 1-0 fastball over the right-field fence for his first career homer.

Boone Logan (1-0) pitched 1-2/3 perfect innings of relief. Rafael Soriano worked the ninth for his eighth save in nine tries despite yielding Cristian Guzman’s two-out, two-run double.

Chipper Jones, Diaz and Escobar drove in two runs apiece for the Braves.

Adam Dunn hit his 21st homer, the 299th of his career, for the Nationals, who lost their fourth straight. Guzman had three RBI.

Josh Willingham’s RBI single in the first gave Washington a 1-0 lead, but the Braves tied it in the second on a run-scoring single by Diaz.

The Nationals went up 3-1 in the second. Willie Harris doubled with one out and scored when starting pitcher Ross Detwiler shot a hard grounder off second baseman Martin Prado’s glove for his first career hit and RBI. Detwiler went to second on Nyjer Morgan’s groundout and scored on Nick Johnson’s single to center.

The Braves tied in it in the third on Jones’ RBI double and Escobar’s single to left.

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