WASHINGTON -- Braves prospect Luiz Gohara pitched in his second major league game Wednesday and distinguished himself for six innings against the National League East champions and one of baseball's most accomplished pitchers, Max Scherzer.
And then things really got interesting for the Braves, who broke open a tie game with six runs including a Matt Kemp grand slam in the seventh inning of an 8-2 win at Nationals Park, handing Scherzer one of his worst losses and earning Gohara his first major league win.
Not bad for a 21-year-old who started the season in Single-A.
Gohara, who got three promotions this season -- to Double-A in May, Triple-A in July and the majors last week -- limited the Nationals to six hits and two runs (one earned) in six innings with no walks and six strikeout. The fifth Brazilian to make it to the majors was mighty impressive against a Nationals team that was looking to bounce back after getting blanked 8-0 by Julio Teheran and reliever Luke Jackson in Tuesday's series opener.
Instead, they lost to Gohara and the Braves clinched a series win and improved to 8-7 against Washington this season including 6-3 at Nationals Park.
The Braves have won six of their past seven games since dropping five of six, and they're getting big contributions from plenty of rookies. And in the past two nights at Nationals Park, they pounded two starters, Scherzer and Gio Gonzalez, who rank among the NL's top five in ERA.
After Scherzer's command abandoned him at the start of the seventh inning -- he walked rookie Lane Adams, pinch-hitter Jace Peterson and rookie Ozzie Albies consecutively to start the inning -- manager Dusty Baker left him in to face Dansby Swanson, who lined a bases-loaded, two-run single to left field to give the Braves a 4-2 lead.
Scherzer walked Freddie Freeman intentionally to reload the bases and handed the ball to reliever Brandon Kintzler, whose first pitch was powered to the left-field seats by Kemp for the veteran's seventh grand slam and first since 2011.
All but one of those runs was charged to Scherzer, who pitched six-plus innings and was charged with seven hits and seasons-highs of seven runs and six walks, the most runs he allowed since giving up seven runs in five innings against the Cubs at Wrigley Field on May 6, 2016.
Adams was 3-for-4 with a walk, a triple and two runs scored, and Albies had two walks and an RBI single from the leadoff spot in place of Ender Inciarte, who jammed a thumb during Tuesday's win.