High School Sports

Hilton Head's Kelly makes major league debut for Braves

ATLANTA -- Hilton Head Island High School product Ryan Kelly made his major league debut Tuesday night in the Braves' 6-1 loss to the Washington Nationals.

Kelly, who was called up late Sunday night during his ninth minor league season, allowed one run in the ninth. Yunel Escobar, who led off with a single, scored when Wilson Ramos hit into a double play.

Kelly pitched one inning, allowing one earned run on two hits. He struck out one and walked none.

Shelby Miller couldn't afford a rough first inning against a Washington team that has bullied the Braves all season.

With Nationals right-hander Jordan Zimmermann on top of his game, the early deficit was especially difficult to overcome.

Miller gave up four runs in the first inning and the Braves never recovered, extending their long losing streak in the division rivalry.

The Braves have lost nine straight to the NL East-leading Nationals -- including a three-game sweep at Washington last week. This was Miller's first loss to Washington.

Clint Robinson's two-run homer was Washington's biggest hit in the four-run inning.

"I just kind of hung a curveball and the next thing you know, it was four runs, kind of put our team in a hole there," Miller said.

Juan Uribe opened the ninth with a homer off former Braves reliever David Carpenter to end Washington's shutout bid.

Miller (5-4) began the night 2-0 with a 0.85 ERA in five starts against the Nationals. That success ended quickly.

Danny Espinosa's double drove in Denard Span in the first. With two outs, Ramos hit a single up the middle to drive in Espinosa. Robinson's homer to right field gave Zimmermann a 4-0 lead before throwing his first pitch.

Miller allowed five runs, four earned, with 10 strikeouts in five innings.

"It just wasn't a normal Shelby Miller outing," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "Shoot, he's allowed to have that every once in a while for how good he's been."

A.J. Pierzynski's throwing error on a rundown between home plate and third base allowed Espinosa, who had three hits, to score in the third.

Zimmermann (6-5) was pulled with two outs in the eighth -- the only inning he allowed more than one baserunner. Zimmermann hit Jace Peterson with a pitch before giving up a two-out single to Nick Markakis. Left-hander Matt Thornton ended the inning with Pierzynski's groundout.

"Anytime you get the runs like that early in the game you just pound the zone, throw strikes and let them put it in play," Zimmermann said.