WASHINGTON — Ian Desmond hit a sacrifice fly with the bases loaded in the bottom of the 11th inning to lift Washington to a 2-1 victory over the Atlanta Braves on Wednesday night for the Nationals' fifth straight victory.
Bryce Harper started the winning rally with a double to right-center off Dana Eveland (0-1) and gave the crowd and the Nationals a scare when he came up limping badly at second. But after being checked out, he stayed in the game.
Eveland then intentionally walked Wilson Ramos and then walked Clint Robinson to load the bases. David Aardsma came on to face Desmond, who hit his sacrifice fly to deep left that drove in Harper to end the game.
Felipe Rivero (1-0) earned his first major league victory for Washington with an inning of scoreless relief in the 11th.
The Braves now have dropped two in a row.
Atlanta forced extra innings when it tied the score in the top of ninth against Washington closer Drew Storen. Nick Markakis and A.J. Pierzynski singled to start the inning and put runners on first and third.
Storen intentionally walked Joey Terdoslavich to load the bases, and Kelly Johnson followed with a sacrifice fly to deep center that scored Markakis to tie it at 1-1.
Center fielder Denard Span then threw out Pierzynski at second as he tried to advance, and Storen retired the next batter to keep it tied after his second blown save of the season.
Both starters came away with no-decisions despite pitching well. Washington right-hander Jordan Zimmermann scattered six hits in eight scoreless innings.
Atlanta starter Shelby Miller retired the first 10 Nationals before allowing Anthony Rendon's single in the fourth — but then retired the next seven Washington batters.
The Nationals broke that streak and took the lead in that seventh inning. Span led off with a walk and went to second when Rendon singled. Span moved to third when Yunel Escobar grounded into a force at second and scored on Harper's bloop single to give Washington a 1-0 lead.
That was the first time Washington even put someone in scoring position. Miller gave up just one run and three hits in seven innings.