Thomas hits 3-run homer, Nationals beat Braves 7-2 to spoil Schwellenbach's debut

ATLANTA — Lane Thomas hit a three-run home run and the Washington Nationals beat Atlanta 7-2 on Wednesday night to spoil Braves right-hander Spencer Schwellenbach’s major league debut.

Schwellenbach (0-1), who had never pitched above Double-A, lasted five innings, giving up three runs on five hits with five strikeouts, one walk and a hit batter.

After a leadoff double in the fifth, Schwellenbach hit Jacob Young in the head with a fastball when the No. 9 hitter squared to bunt. Young fell, face-down at the plate and Schwellenbach immediately put both hands on his head and walked toward home plate.

Young was down for a minute, but stayed in the game. Two batters later, Thomas homered to give Washington a 3-1 lead. One inning later, Young laced a two-out, two-run single to push the lead to 5-2. Kelbert Ruiz capped the Nationals’ scoring with a two-run single in the ninth that a sliding Michael Harris could not quite come up with.

MacKenzie Gore (4-4) picked up the win for the Nats, who have taken two of the first three games in the four-game series. Gore pitched 5 1/3 innings, giving up two runs, one earned, on six hits. He had 10 strikeouts and no walks.

Thomas was 3 for 4 with three RBIs and two steals and two runs, and Young was 1 for 2 with two RBIs. Ruiz was 2 for 5 with two RBIs, and Joey Gallo had two hits. The Nationals tied a season high with five stolen bases.

Dylan Floro, Robert Garcia, Hunter Henry and Jordan Weems did not allow a run out of the bullpen over 3 2/3 innings. Nationals pitchers combined for 13 strikeouts.


Braves RHP Reynaldo López (2-2, 1.75) was set to face Nationals RHP Trevor Williams (4-0, 2.29) on Thursdaynight in the final game of the four-game series.



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