Braves pad division lead as Josh Donaldson’s homer in 10th beats Nationals

Josh Donaldson gave the Braves a little more breathing room in the National League East.

Donaldson homered off Sean Doolittle in the top of the 10th inning, and Atlanta pulled out a 5-4 victory over the Nationals on Wednesday to take two of three in the series and pad its division lead to 6½ games.

“It felt good,” Donaldson said. “You know, 0-for-4 with two (strikeouts) before that. I was able to put a good swing together and help our team win the game.”

After the Nationals scored twice in the ninth to tie the game, Donaldson swatted a fastball from Doolittle (6-3) over the center-field wall for his 25th homer of the season.

“I know what he features,” Donaldson said of the Washington closer and his former teammate on the A’s. “He had gotten me out two times before that. Today, it was my turn.”

Adam Duvall homered for the fourth time in five games. Ronald Acuña Jr., Ozzie Albies and Tyler Flowers also drove in runs for the Braves, who went 4-2 on a road trip through Philadelphia and Washington, their top challengers for the NL East title.

“I don’t get tired of watching that offense,” Atlanta manager Brian Snitker said. “It’s amazing how they keep fighting. You know, it was tough to lose the lead in the ninth. But they just keep coming back.”

Cubs 2, Cardinals 0: Kyle Hendricks struck out seven in seven innings and Ian Happ hit an RBI single in the sixth inning to break a scoreless tie as Chicago beat host St. Louis and moved into a tie with the Cardinals atop the NL Central.

Rays 8, Red Sox 5: Kevin Kiermaier homered on the first pitch he saw after coming off the injured list, and Austin Meadows hit a three-run shot to lead Tampa Bay at Fenway Park.

Tigers 9, Angels 1: Jake Rogers, Brandon Dixon and Gordon Beckham went deep, Daniel Norris picked up his first win since May 12 and visiting Detroit cruised.

Yankees 7, Diamondbacks 5: Austin Romine hit a go-ahead, two-run homer in the seventh and host New York beat Arizona.

Indians 10, Astros 4: Roberto Perez homered twice, Carlos Santana and Jason Kipnis each hit a three-run shot and Cleveland beat visiting Houston.

Reds 4, Pirates 1: Clint Hurdle and David Bell had little interaction while exchanging lineup cards one day after their teams fought on the field, and the two teams were on good behavior during host Cincinnati’s victory over Pittsburgh behind a strong outing from Luis Castillo.

Dodgers 5, Rockies 1: Will Smith hit a three-run home run in the ninth inning to break open a scoreless game and lead visiting Los Angeles over Colorado.

Twins 7, Marlins 4: Jose Berrios struck out a season-high 11 in seven innings and Minnesota hit three homers in a win at Miami.

Rangers 9, Mariners 7: All-Star lefty Mike Minor won for the first time in more than a month, with host Texas going ahead to stay after he had thrown his last pitch in a victory over Seattle.

Mets 4, White Sox 2: Todd Frazier hit a tie-breaking single in the ninth inning, Michael Conforto added a two-run single and visiting New York picked up its season-best sixth straight victory.

Blue Jays 4, Royals 1: Freddy Galvis and rookie Bo Bichette hit solo home runs as Toronto completed a three-game sweep at Kansas City.

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