Braves beat Nats in biggest comeback since 1987
By The Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) Atlanta's Paul Janish hit a run-scoring bloop single in the 11th inning to complete the Braves' wild 11-10 comeback win against the Washington Nationals on Friday.
The Nationals led 9-0 after five innings, but Atlanta scored four runs in both the sixth and eighth innings and took a 10-9 lead in the top of the ninth.
Washington's Danny Espinosa hit a solo homer into the visitors' bullpen to tie the game at 10-10.
In the top of the 11th, Dan Uggla led off with a single against Tom Gorzelanny (2-2), advanced to second on Ryan Zimmerman's throwing error and then went to third on a passed ball before scoring on Janish's bloop.
Eric O'Flaherty (2-0) pitched the 10th to earn the win, and Chad Durbin was perfect in the 11th for his first save.
It was the Braves' largest comeback since 1987, and the nine-run lead was the largest ever given up by the Nationals franchise, including the games played as the Montreal Expos.
In New York, Matt Kemp homered early and Los Angeles hung on to edge New York.
Los Angeles finally worked out how to get to Mets starter Johan Santana (6-7), who entered 5-0 with a 0.50 ERA in five career starts against them. That included eight scoreless innings in a 5-0 win June 30, but the two-time Cy Young Award winner has hit the skids hard since.
The two-run homers by Kemp and Luis Cruz gave run support to Dodgers starter Aaron Harang (7-5), who allowed one earned run in five innings.
Kenley Jansen worked a scoreless ninth for the save.
In Cincinnati, Homer Bailey pitched eight innings for his first career win over Milwaukee, keeping Cincinnati in first place in the NL Central.
Bailey (9-6) has beaten the defending World Series champion Cardinals and the defending division champion Brewers in his past two starts. He's won four straight starts for the first time in his career.
Zack Cozart hit the first of Cincinnati's three solo homers as the Reds moved 13 games over .500 for the first time this season.
Milwaukee starter Marco Estrada (0-4) gave up seven hits in seven innings.
In Pittsburgh, Pedro Alvarez hit his 20th homer of the season, helping Pittsburgh edge Miami.
Andrew McCutchen had two hits to boost his batting average to a major-league best .372.
Pirates starter Kevin Correia (7-6) overcame a shaky start to win his fifth consecutive decision. Joel Hanrahan worked out of a two-on, one-out jam for the save as Pittsburgh moved to a season-best 12 games over .500 (52-40) and remained half a game behind Cincinnati for first place in the NL Central.
Miami's Ricky Nolasco (8-8) gave up a homer leading off the bottom of the sixth, as the Pirates rallied for their 27th come-from-behind victory, second-most in baseball.
In Philadelphia, Brandon Crawford hit a grand slam and drove in five runs as NL West-leading San Francisco beat Philadelphia.
Giants starter Tim Lincecum (4-10) looked more like the pitcher who was a two-time Cy Young Award winner than the one who entered with a 5.93 ERA. He allowed two runs in seven innings, striking out six.
Phillies starter Vance Worley (5-6) gave up six runs in six innings.
In St. Louis, Kyle Lohse worked seven strong innings as St. Louis downed Chicago.
Lohse (10-2) won his fourth straight decision to complement a lineup that topped three runs for the first time in 12 games.
The defending World Series champions broke out of an offensive slump that had seen them scoring just 15 runs over Esix games, going 8 for 51 (.157) with runners in scoring position.
They did so against an unlikely victim in Cubs starter Ryan Dempster (5-4), who had gone 33 innings without giving up a run.
Cardinals slugger Matt Holliday hit a home run estimated at 469 feet, the longest at 7-year-old Busch Stadium, in the third inning.
In Phoenix, Justin Upton hit his 99th career home run as Arizona opened a 10-game homestand with a victory over struggling Houston.
Upton also drew a bases-loaded walk for a third RBI.
Diamondbacks starter Trevor Cahill (8-8) gave up three earned runs in 5 1-3 innings to get the win.
Houston starter Bud Norris (5-8) allowed nine runs and five walks in 4 1-3 innings for his seventh straight loss. The Astros have lost 17 or their past 19.
In San Diego, Carlos Quentin, Yasmani Grandal and Chase Headley each hit home runs as San Diego powered past Colorado.
Jason Marquis (3-5) pitched five innings for his second straight win for San Diego, which has won six of seven.
Colorado's Drew Pomeranz (1-5) allowed seven runs over three innings. The Rockies have lost five of six.
Updated July 21, 2012