WASHINGTON — Jason Heyward singled home the tiebreaking run in the top of the eighth as the Atlanta Braves beat the Washington Nationals 6-3 Wednesday, extending their winning streak to 13 games as they swept the three-game series from the defending National League East champs.
The decisive hit came off rookie lefty reliever Ian Krol, who was brought in to face left-handed-hitting Heyward. Justin Upton then ripped a two-run double, his third hit of the game, down the left field line off Krol to give the Braves a 6-3 lead.
B.J. Upton had four hits for Atlanta, which is 6-0 at Nationals Park this season.
Atlanta (70-45) is a season-high 15 1/2 games ahead of the fading Nationals (54-60), who are a season-low six games under .500 and have lost four in a row. The Braves had 15 hits while improving to 10-3 this year against Washington.
The Nationals tied the game at 3 in the seventh when Ian Desmond drove in a run on a fielder’s choice groundout.
Atlanta took a 3-2 lead in the top of the seventh on a solo homer by Justin Upton, his 21st.
Braves starter Kris Medlen (9-10) gave up three runs in seven innings before he turned the game over to the bullpen.
David Carpenter pitched the eighth, and Craig Kimbrel came on in the ninth for his 36th save. The first two batters reached base against Kimbrel, and Washington loaded the bases before Wilson Ramos lined out to right to end the game.
Ryan Mattheus (0-1) was tagged with the loss. He allowed a bases-empty, two-out double to Andrelton Simmons and a walk to Joey Terdoslavich to begin Atlanta’s three-run rally in the eighth.
Washington’s Jayson Werth hit a two-run homer in the fourth to tie the game 2-2. It was the first hit off Medlen.
Medlen gave his team a 2-0 lead in the fourth on a bases loaded sacrifice fly to center to score Dan Uggla.
Atlanta jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first as Freddie Freeman rapped an RBI single up the middle to score Heyward, who led off the game with a double. Medlen retired the first 11 batters before Bryce Harper drew a walk with two outs in the fourth, and then Werth hit his 16th homer.
Washington starter Jordan Zimmermann allowed two runs and seven hits in four innings before he was replaced by reliever Tanner Roark, who pitched two scoreless innings in his big-league debut.
Heyward was in the starting lineup after he left Tuesday’s game in the first inning with a neck strain.
NOTES: Both teams have off Thursday. Washington RHP Dan Haren (6-11, 5.14) will face Philadelphia Phillies LHP John Lannan (3-4, 4.10) on Friday. Atlanta RHP Brandon Beachy (0-0, 9.00) will battle Miami Marlins RHP Jacob Turner (3-3, 2.68) on Friday. … Justin Upton extended his hitting streak to 12 games. … Washington RHP Tyler Clippard has 435 strikeouts out of the bullpen since June 25, 2009, when he made his big-league debut as a reliever. That is the most in the majors in that span.