Braves starter Julio Teheran allowed 10 hits in 5 1/3 innings, but the right-hander gave up only two runs before being relieved in the sixth.
ATLANTA -- A seventh-inning sacrifice fly by Andrelton Simmons lifted Atlanta to a 3-2 win over Washington on Tuesday, giving the Braves their eighth consecutive win over the Nationals.
With the score tied 2-2, Atlanta catcher Gerald Laird led off the seventh against reliever Tyler Clippard (1-1) with a walk. Laird reached third base on a sacrifice and a single by Jordan Schafer, then scored after tagging up on Simmons’ sharp fly ball. The throw from right fielder Jayson Werth was off target and allowed Laird to slide across with the go-ahead run.
The win broke Atlanta’s four-game losing streak and increased the Braves lead in the NL East to 3 1/2 games over the Nationals.
Both starting pitchers were effective, but neither figured in the decision. Washington’s Stephen Strasburg, who had lost his previous four starts, allowed six hits and two runs over six innings. He walked four and struck out eight. Atlanta starter Julio Teheran allowed 10 hits, one walk and two runs, and he struck out five in 5 1/3 innings.
Jordan Walden (1-0) did not allow a hit and struck out three in 1 2/3 innings of relief. Walden entered the game with runners on first and second with one out, struck out Chad Tracy and got Kurt Suzuki to fly out to end the threat.
Craig Kimbrel pitched a scoreless ninth inning, striking out one, to earn his ninth save. The Atlanta bullpen did not allow any of the 11 hitters it faced to reach base.
Both teams scored early, but had potential rallies short-circuited by base-running mistakes.
The Braves scored a run in the first. Schafer walked, stole second base and scored on a Justin Upton’s looping single into shallow right field. Freddie Freeman then lined a single into left, sending Upton to third. However, Freeman made a wide turn and was tagged out trying to scramble back to the base when Washington left fielder Bryce Harper threw behind him.
The Nationals responded with two runs in the second inning on four straight singles, the last two by Tracy and Suzuki that each drove in a run.
The Braves tied the game 2-2 in the fourth inning when Laird delivered a two-out single that scored Freeman, who had led off the inning with a walk.
NOTES: The Nationals reinstated catcher Wilson Ramos from the 15-day disabled list and optioned catcher Jhonatan Solano to Triple-A Syracuse. Ramos, who was not in the starting lineup Monday, missed the last 14 games with a strained left hamstring. He was hitting .300 with two homers at the time of the injury. Solano was 1-for-6 in three games for the Nationals. … Washington first baseman Adam LaRoche ended an 0-for-26 streak with a single in his first at-bat. … The Nationals were facing a rookie pitcher for the fourth time this season; they had lost the three previous starts. … The Braves struck out 39 times in their three-game sweep at Detroit, the most for the club since 1900. Atlanta batters fanned 11 times Monday. … In a pregame ceremony held in front of the Atlanta dugout, Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal signed a bill that will create a premium Atlanta Braves automobile license.