Braves walk 14 in loss to Nats

Chattanooga Times Free Press - - SPORTS - BY GE­ORGE HENRY

AT­LANTA — Wash­ing­ton Na­tion­als rookie Juan Soto shrugged off his lat­est ac­com­plish­ment af­ter show­ing what he can do on the bases.

“I stole three bags, and I helped my team to win,” the 19-year-old left fielder said. “That’s pretty good.”

Soto be­come the youngest MLB player to steal three bases in a game, drove in a run and scored the tiebreak­ing run to help the Na­tion­als stop the At­lanta Braves’ sea­son-best win­ning streak at six games with a 7-1 vic­tory Satur­day.

Soto hit an RBI sin­gle in the first in­ning and stole sec­ond, then walked in the fourth, stole two bases and came home on a bases-loaded walk for a 2-1 lead. He sur­passed the mark set by the Oak­land Ath­let­ics’ Rickey Henderson at 20 years, 241 days on Aug. 23, 1979, against the Cleve­land In­di­ans, ac­cord­ing to the Elias Sports Bureau.

Soto be­gan the day with two stolen bases this sea­son, but his video study showed he could run on At­lanta starter Julio Te­heran.

“Yes, I saw the pitcher and saw a cou­ple of things I could take ad­van­tage of,” said Soto, whose birth­day is Oct. 25. “Ev­ery time I’m on base, I try to take ad­van­tage of the pitcher.”

Soto ex­tended his on-base streak to 20 games to join Hall of Famers Mel Ott and Mickey Man­tle as the only teenagers to do so.

“That guy doesn’t sur­prise me,” Wash­ing­ton man­ager Dave Martinez said. “He pays at­ten­tion to what’s go­ing on. He’s a stu­dent of the game. He felt like he had an op­por­tu­nity to run on cer­tain guys, and he did.”

At­lanta en­tered with a 7 1/2game lead over sec­ond-place Philadel­phia in the NL East.

Te­heran gave up two runs, three hits and a ca­reer-high six walks in four in­nings. At­lanta pitch­ers to­taled 14 walks, in­creas­ing the team’s two-game to­tal to 20.

“We’ve got to be aware of that,” Braves man­ager Brian Snitker said. “We’re win­ning some games with high walk to­tals, and even­tu­ally that’s go­ing to bite you. You can’t have that.”

At­lanta rookie out­fielder Ron­ald Acuna Jr., the ma­jors’ slug­ging per­cent­age leader since the All-Star break, sin­gled in the first, took third on Hel­lick­son’s two-base throw­ing er­ror and scored on Fred­die Free­man’s sac­ri­fice fly to make it 1-1.

Wash­ing­ton opened a 5-1 lead in the sixth, when Adam Ea­ton hit a run-scor­ing dou­ble and An­thony Ren­don had a two-run dou­ble off Touki Tous­saint, who walked four in the in­ning — one in­ten­tion­ally.

Na­tion­als starter Jeremy Hel­lick­son may miss the rest of the sea­son af­ter re-in­jur­ing his right wrist while bat­ting in the fourth in­ning.

Hel­lick­son sprained his right wrist Aug. 15 when he landed awk­wardly while cov­er­ing home plate af­ter throw­ing a wild pitch at St. Louis. He made his first ap­pear­ance since and got hurt again. He is sched­uled for an MRI to­day.

Wash­ing­ton’s Je­fry Ro­driguez (3-2) re­lieved to start the bot­tom of the fourth and pitched 4 2/3 hit­less in­nings. He also got his first RBI in the ma­jors.

AP PHOTOS/JOHN AMIS

The Wash­ing­ton Na­tion­als’ Juan Soto steals third base as At­lanta Braves third base­man Char­lie Cul­ber­son tries to make a tag af­ter go­ing high for the ball dur­ing the fourth in­ning of Satur­day’s game in At­lanta.

At­lanta’s Fred­die Free­man con­nects for a sac­ri­fice fly to cen­ter field dur­ing the first in­ning Satur­day. Ron­ald Acuna Jr. scored on the play.

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