ATLANTA — Manager Dusty Baker had never seen the Washington Nationals struggle so badly in the field.
“We played a sloppy game,” he said. “We’d have been lucky to win that game with five errors.”
Shawn Kelley gave up Jace Peterson’s tiebreaking homer in the 10th inning and the Atlanta Braves scored four runs off Washington miscues in the Nationals’ 7-6 loss on Sunday.
The five errors were the most by Washington in a single game since June 15, 2011, also in Atlanta.
Rain delayed the game 1 hour, 4 minutes in the bottom of the eighth.
Kelley (1-2) hung his head and walked toward the dugout as soon as Peterson made contact with his seventh homer. Kelley gave up one hit and one run in two-thirds of an inning.
Jose Ramirez (1-0) faced four batters in the 10th to earn the win.
Nick Markakis cut the lead to 4-2 in the third with a two-run double and took third on shortstop Danny Espinosa’s errant relay throw. Markakis made it 4-3 when center fielder Trea Turner caught a popup and was charged with a throwing error after dropping the ball as he transferred it to his right hand.
Anthony Recker scored from third in the sixth to cut the lead to 6-4 when second baseman Daniel Murphy threw errantly to first.
In the eighth, Matt Kemp’s 25th homer cut the lead to 6-5. Reliever Yusmeiro Petit had a throwing miscue that advanced Jeff Francoeur to third. Francoeur made it 6-6 on a double-play grounder.
The Nationals went ahead 4-0 in third on Murphy’s RBI forceout and Bryce Harper’s 22nd homer, a three-run shot deep into the right-field seats. Chris Heisey put Washington up 6-3 in the sixth with his eighth homer, a two-run shot.
Peterson, making his first career start in center field, slammed his face and shoulder into the center-field wall after making a twisting catch of Heisey’s liner to end the third.
He fell to the warning track, stayed down for a couple of minutes and was escorted by a trainer to the dugout.
“I got the wind knocked out of me,” Peterson said. “I couldn’t breathe. That was really it.”
Kelley hung a slider that Peterson hit into the right-field seats.
“I was totally confident walking him when (the count) got to 3-2, so I wasn’t going to give him anything good to hit,” Kelley said. “But I left slider right there in the middle of the plate.”
Washington starter Gio Gonzalez allowed six hits, three walks and four runs — three earned — in 5 2/3 innings. He struck out eight.
Braves starter Joel De La Cruz allowed seven hits, six runs, two walks and four strikeouts in his 5 2/3 innings.
Washington is 25-7 against Atlanta since the start of 2015. The Braves are 19-44 at home. They had lost seven straight overall.
Braves 1B Freddie Freeman had a cortisone shot in the middle finger of his right hand after Saturday’s game and didn’t play. The finger has been bothering him since spring training. Freeman had cortisone shot during the All-Star break, too, and said he’ll try to be in the lineup Monday at Arizona. … Espinosa was hit by a pitch to load the bases in the third. He’s the Nationals’ career leader in getting hit by a pitch and has been hit 19 times this year, second-most in the NL.
Nationals: RHP Stephen Strasburg (15-4) is 1-0 with a 2.25 ERA in two career starts against Baltimore.
Braves: RHP Mike Foltynewicz (6-5) is 0-1 with a 6.23 ERA in three career starts against Arizona.
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