Washington, DC (Sports Network) - The Washington Nationals scored three runs in the bottom of the ninth inning to rally past the Atlanta Braves, 6-5, in the opener of a day-night doubleheader at Nationals Park.
Denard Span's grounder went through the legs of Atlanta shortstop Andrelton Simmons, allowing the tying and winning runs to score, as the Nationals won their second straight and ninth in 10 games to keep their NL East title hopes alive.
Chad Tracy drove a run in during the ninth-inning rally and Jayson Werth, Bryce Harper and Adam LaRoche had an RBI each for Washington, which now trails the Cincinnati Reds by 4 1/2 games for the NL's final wild card spot. The Reds are at the Houston Astros Tuesday night.
Craig Kimbrel blew his first save chance since May 7. He was charged with three runs -- two earned -- on one hit and two walks in the ninth.
Evan Gattis hit a two-run homer for the Braves, who have lost two in a row and eight of 12. Atlanta's magic number to clinch the NL East remains at four.
Monday's originally scheduled game between these two teams was postponed in the wake of a deadly shooting at the Washington Navy Yard, forcing today's doubleheader. The Navy Yard is just blocks away from Nationals Park.
Span ended 1-for-4 and extended his hitting streak to 27 games with a second- inning single, tying Michael Cuddyer for the longest hit streak in the majors this season.