MLB.com Columnist

Bill Ladson

Heisey's walk-off trumps Freeman's 2 homers

Heisey's walk-off trumps Freeman's 2 homers

VIERA, Fla. -- The Braves and Nationals combined for six homers -- two by Atlanta's Freddie Freeman and four by Washington, including Chris Heisey's walk-off three-run shot that gave the Nats a 9-7 win Thursday afternoon at Space Coast Stadium.

The Braves had a 7-6 lead going into the ninth inning, but right-hander Ryan Weber, in his second inning of work, couldn't hold it.

Freeman, who continues to be a nemesis for Washington, hit his third and fourth homers of the spring and drove in three runs. His first blast came in the first inning, a solo shot off right-hander Stephen Strasburg. Four innings later, Freeman hit a two-run shot off Yusmeiro Petit.

"He's smart, he uses the whole field," Nationals manager Dusty Baker said. "But hopefully we can get him out a little better than we have in the past. I've heard he's hit us harder than anybody in the league."

Freeman hits two homers

Strasburg threw 74 pitches in four innings, allowing two runs on five hits and struck out four. He never had an easy inning, allowing two baserunners in three of the four innings he pitched. The second run he allowed scored on a sacrifice fly by Adonis Garcia.

"Obviously, I threw a lot of pitches there, but it was a grind," Strasburg said. "They got some good at-bats, so there's some things that you kind of want to get through now so you're kind of battle-tested during the season."

Ryan Zimmerman hit his first home run of the spring, a two-run blast in the first inning off Braves starter Mike Foltynewicz. In the sixth inning, Jayson Werth and Wilson Ramos went deep off Carlos Torres, which helped tie the game at 6.

Foltynewicz finished with two runs allowed on one hit, while striking out one and walking one over two innings.

Braves' rotation hopefuls turn in successful outings

The Braves had taken a lead with two outs in the seventh, when their top prospect, Dansby Swanson, hit an RBI single against right-hander Andrew Robinson.

Up next for the Nationals: Washington travels to Port. St. Lucie to play the Mets for the third time this spring Friday at 6:10 p.m. ET, live on MLB.TV. Right-hander Lucas Giolito, the Nationals' No.1 prospect according to MLB.com, will make his first start of the spring. In his previous three appearances, Giolito has allowed three runs in 4 2/3 innings.

Up next for the Braves: Fresh off Thursday's two-homer performance, Freeman will be back in the lineup when Atlanta hosts the Miami Marlins on Friday at 1:05 p.m. ET, live on Gameday Audio. This will mark the first time this year that Freeman has played in three straight games. He has said this will be the final hurdle he has to clear to become fully confident that his right wrist is healthy. The Braves will send Matt Wisler to the mound to make his third start.

Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.