Nationals
Braves
8 - 5 Final/10
  for this game

Langerhans homers in 10th, gets Hanrahan off hook for Nationals

Sep 7, 2008 - 3:38 AM By Phil Foley PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

ATLANTA (Ticker) -- The old adage that baseball is a game of inches once again proved true on Saturday night.

Ryan Langerhans smashed a go-ahead solo homer in the 10th inning, one frame after Kelly Johnson's bid for a game-winning bases-clearing double bounced over the wall, powering the Washington Nationals to an improbable 8-5 victory over the lowly Atlanta Braves.

The Braves loaded the bases off Nationals closer Joel Hanrahan (6-3) with two outs in the bottom of the ninth to bring up the hot-hitting Johnson.

Atlanta's second baseman launched a ball deep into the right-center field gap, splitting two Nationals' defenders before landing on the warning track.

Speedy pinch runner Brent Lillibridge glided for home with the game-winning run. Lastings Milledge slammed his glove in disgust against the outfield wall.

The crowd roared in anticipation of a stirring come-from-behind win for the home team.

"Lillibridge is five feet behind me," said Braves right fielder Jeff Francoeur, who crossed the plate with the game-tying run. "He's so fast."

In a season where just about everything that could go wrong has gone wrong for the snake-bitten Braves, the winning run never crossed the plate.

Johnson's sure game-winning hit bounced off of the hard gravel track at Turner Field and over the wall for a ground-rule double.

"I thought off the bat it was out of the park," Johnson said of the blast. "At least, I thought it was off the wall. ... That doesn't happen very often, especially when you get into that situation. It's supposed to go out or hit off the wall. That was not the case."

The young speedster Lillibridge was sent back to third and was stranded there when Hanrahan induced catcher Brian McCann to ground out to end the frame.

"I wish they would have made (the track) a little softer," Braves starter Mike Hampton said. "The ball would have stayed in, and we would have won the game."

Of course, the Nationals took advantage of their second life against Atlanta closer Mike Gonzalez (0-2), who has nailed down 39 consecutive save opportunities, but has looked shaky when brought into a tie game.

Appropriately, it was Braves castoff Langerhans that did the team in. Traded to Oakland last season, Langerhans wasted no time exacting revenge, smashing a pinch hit leadoff homer into the right-center field bleachers.

"You definitely want to try to get the momentum when you go into extra innings," Langerhans said. "It's one of those situations where you want to put the ball in play. The ball happened to be up and I was able to drive it."

Zimmerman extended the lead to 7-5 with a run-scoring double before Dukes, who homered in the second and fourth innings, capped his 4-for-5 night by lofting a blooper over the head of Johnson, plating Zimmerman to provide the final margin.

Steven Shell set down the side in order in the 10th to record his second save.

In a season filled with "what-ifs," the Braves had lost again.

"That puts our season in a nutshell right there," Francoeur said. "Lillibridge was past me probably. It was unbelievable."

A bad bounce and five season-tying homers helped the Nationals avoid a three-game losing streak.

Dukes began Washington's power assault on a muggy, overcast night at Turner Field with a 389-foot blast into the right-center field bleachers to stake the Nationals to a 1-0 lead.

After Atlanta plated two - thanks to two errors by Dukes in the bottom of the frame - Washington answered with two more solo shots from former Brave Willie Harris and third baseman Ryan Zimmerman off Hampton to retake the lead.

Dukes added his second homer of the night in the fourth, blasting Hampton's 3-2 offering into the right-center field bleachers for his 10th homer of the season.?? It was the second career multi-homer game for the former Tampa Bay Rays' castoff, who had two blasts on August 28 vs. the Los Angeles Dodgers.?? He also singled in the sixth.

"I'm always thinking one more (homer)," Dukes said. "I'm always comfortable at the plate."

Hampton allowed a career-worst four of the Nationals' five homers in the contest while scattering five runs - four earned - and eight hits over seven frames.

Nationals starter Tim Redding allowed three runs - two earned - and five hits while walking three and striking out five over six frames. Washington improved to 16-6 in games started by Redding this season.

Yunel Escobar homered for Atlanta, which had its two game-winning streak snapped.?? The streak was just the third for Atlanta since the All-Star break.








  • NL
    FINAL 10
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
    - - - - - - - - -
    WASHINGTON 0 1 2 1 0 0 1 0 0
    ATLANTA 0 2 0 1 0 0 0 0 2
    10 R H E
    -- - - -
    WASHINGTON 3 8 12 1
    ATLANTA 0 5 10 1 (FINAL 10)

    BATTERIES: WAS

    Sep 6 10:03 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY ELIJAH DUKES SCORED RYAN ZIMMERMAN.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, E DUKES ON FIRST, L MILLEDGE ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 8
    ATLANTA 5 TOP, 10TH
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: A BOONE (.251, 0-FOR-4)

    Nationals 8, Braves 5  Top 10, 0 OutsSep 6 9:52 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY RYAN ZIMMERMAN SCORED CRISTIAN GUZMAN.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, R ZIMMERMAN ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 7
    ATLANTA 5 TOP, 10TH
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: L MILLEDGE (.258, 0-FOR-4)

    Nationals 7, Braves 5  Top 10, 0 OutsSep 6 9:45 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY RYAN LANGERHANS (2) TO RIGHT CENTER WITH 0
    OUT IN THE 10TH OFF MIKE GONZALEZ.
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 6, ATLANTA 5
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: W HARRIS (.250, 1-FOR-4, HR, RBI)

    Nationals 6, Braves 5  Top 10, 0 OutsSep 6 9:39 PM
  • 135
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 20 roots (Extra Innings)

    Nationals 5, Braves 5  Top 10, 0 OutsSep 6 9:36 PM
  • 115
    roots
    alamowx Added 5 roots

    Nationals 5, Braves 5  Bot 9, 0 OutsSep 6 9:35 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    GROUND RULE DOUBLE BY KELLY JOHNSON SCORED CASEY KOTCHMAN
    AND JEFF FRANCOEUR.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, K JOHNSON ON SECOND, B LILLIBRIDGE ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 5
    ATLANTA 5 BOTTOM, 9TH
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: C JONES (.356, 1-FOR-4)

    Nationals 5, Braves 5  Bot 9, 0 OutsSep 6 9:33 PM
  • 110
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 72 roots (Close Finish)

    Nationals 5, Braves 5  Bot 9, 0 OutsSep 6 9:33 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY ANDERSON HERNANDEZ SCORED EMILIO BONIFACIO.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, A HERNANDEZ ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 5
    ATLANTA 3 TOP, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: W HARRIS (.251, 1-FOR-3, HR, RBI)

    Nationals 5, Braves 3  Top 7, 0 OutsSep 6 8:51 PM
  • 38
    roots
    McTool Added 5 roots

    Nationals 4, Braves 3  Bot 5, 0 OutsSep 6 8:28 PM
  • 33
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 33 roots

    Nationals 4, Braves 3  Bot 5, 0 OutsSep 6 8:22 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY YUNEL ESCOBAR (9) TO CENTER WITH 1 OUT IN
    THE 4TH OFF TIM REDDING.
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 4, ATLANTA 3
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: C KOTCHMAN (.177, 1-FOR-1)

    Nationals 4, Braves 3  Bot 4, 0 OutsSep 6 8:14 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY RYAN ZIMMERMAN (12) TO LEFT WITH 2 OUT IN
    THE 3RD OFF MIKE HAMPTON.
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 3, ATLANTA 2
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: L MILLEDGE (.260, 0-FOR-1)

    Nationals 3, Braves 2  Top 3, 0 OutsSep 6 7:55 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY WILLIE HARRIS (13) TO RIGHT WITH 1 OUT IN
    THE 3RD OFF MIKE HAMPTON.
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 2, ATLANTA 2
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: C GUZMAN (.311, 1-FOR-1)

    Nationals 2, Braves 2  Top 3, 0 OutsSep 6 7:52 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY GREGOR BLANCO SCORED CASEY KOTCHMAN.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, G BLANCO ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 1
    ATLANTA 2 BOTTOM, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: M HAMPTON (.250, 0 HR, 4 RBI)

    Nationals 1, Braves 2  Bot 2, 0 OutsSep 6 7:44 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY BRANDON JONES SCORED BRIAN MCCANN.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, C KOTCHMAN ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 1
    ATLANTA 1 BOTTOM, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: G BLANCO (.250, 1 HR, 33 RBI)

    Nationals 1, Braves 1  Bot 2, 0 OutsSep 6 7:43 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY ELIJAH DUKES (9) TO LEFT WITH 0 OUT IN THE
    2ND OFF MIKE HAMPTON.
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 1, ATLANTA 0
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: A BOONE (.257, 6 HR, 26 RBI)

    Nationals 1, Braves 0  Top 2, 0 OutsSep 6 7:26 PM