WASHINGTON (AP) - Atlanta starter R.A. Dickey silenced Washington for seven innings Friday night. Once he was gone, though, the Nationals uncorked one of their biggest rallies of the season.
Daniel Murphy's one-out RBI single in the 10th inning capped Washington's 5-4 comeback victory over the Braves.
It was the 21st come-from-behind victory for the Nationals this season, and the second time they won when trailing after eight innings.
"I love comebacks and that was probably (one of) the best comebacks that we've had on the year," Washington manager Dusty Baker said.
Washington extended its lead in the NL East to 9 1/2 games over Atlanta.
Adrian Sanchez led off the 10th against Ian Krol (1-2) with his first major league hit and two batters later moved to third on Ryan Zimmerman's single. Murphy then lofted an opposite-field single over left fielder Matt Kemp's head to win it for Washington.
The Nationals made it to the 10th because of a three-run burst in the ninth against Braves closer Jim Johnson to tie it at 4, with Matt Wieters' sacrifice fly forcing extra innings. It was Johnson's seventh blown save.
"That just shows you what our lineup is capable of even when they get shut down for part of the game," starter Max Scherzer said.
Matt Albers (5-1) induced Kemp's double play grounder to end the 10th to help the Nationals escape a two-on jam.
"Everything was good until the ninth inning," Atlanta manager Brian Snitker said. "Those things happen. You hate it when it does. We did a lot of really good things. We had our chances."
Dickey retired his first 10 hitters and took a no-hitter into the sixth before shortstop Stephen Drew broke it up with a leadoff double. The knuckleballer gave up a run and three hits while striking out seven in seven innings. In four starts since yielding eight runs in five innings on June 13 during a loss at Washington, he is 3-0 with a 1.00 ERA in 27 innings.
Scherzer set down the first nine batters he faced and struck out 10 over 7 2/3 innings while allowing four runs. It was the eighth time in nine starts and the 11th time this season Scherzer recorded 10 or more strikeouts, and he leads the NL with 173.
Freddie Freeman homered and drove in three runs for Atlanta. The solo shot in the seventh was the first homer since May 16 for Freeman, who returned from the disabled list Tuesday after missing 44 games with a fractured wrist.
"We have to win these kind of games to get back in this race," Freeman said. "We played a great game. They just had the right guys at the right time coming up to the plate. They did what they normally do. They got hits. They got guys on, they moved them over and got them in."
Snitker was ejected for arguing a checked swing during Wieters' ninth-inning at-bat. Wieters eventually hit the tying sacrifice fly. It was his third ejection of the season, and he wasn't interested in watching the play again.
"I don't even think I need to," Snitker said. "I saw it live. I don't need to look at it."
Braves: IF/OF Danny Santana (bacterial infection) was placed on the 10-day DL and the team recalled IF/OF Jace Peterson from Triple-A Gwinnett. Santana was hitting .230 with two homers and 17 RBIs in 42 games with the Braves. Peterson returns to Atlanta three days after being optioned to Gwinnett.
Nationals: Washington activated OF Chris Heisey (ruptured right biceps) from the DL after missing 40 games. He replaces OF Michael A. Taylor, who went on the 10-day DL with a right oblique strain. . The Nationals signed LHP Seth Romero, their first-round draft pick. The former University of Houston pitcher's deal includes a signing bonus of $2.8 million.
Braves: RHP Julio Teheran (6-6, 5.14 ERA) seeks his first victory since allowing two runs in seven innings at Washington on June 14. He is 0-2 with a 6.48 ERA in three starts since that win.
Nationals: RHP Stephen Strasburg (9-2, 3.28 ERA) makes his final start before the All-Star break for Washington.
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