WASHINGTON (AP) — 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 center 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 center 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.
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