Braves defeat Nationals, earn first win in D.C. since 2014
WASHINGTON (AP) A matchup with National League wins leader Stephen Strasburg didn't slow down the Atlanta Braves' offense Friday night.
Jace Peterson, Freddie Freeman and Anthony Recker all homered as Atlanta defeated the Nationals 8-5, snapping a 14-game losing streak in Washington.
''It's been a couple of years since I've been part of a win here,'' Freeman said. ''It's nice to get off the schneid.''
Mike Foltynewicz (6-5) allowed four runs over 5 2-3 innings, while Jim Johnson pitched a scoreless ninth for his 10th save in 13 tries. Atlanta won for the 11th time in 17 games and improved to 5-3 on its road trip.
''That's kind of the way we've been playing,'' Braves interim manager Brian Snitker said. ''We've faced some pretty good pitching over the course of the summer and the guys are never down, they're never out. They've been beat over the head for the majority of the season but they come and prepare. They grind out at-bats and leave it out on the field. The record is no indication of how I feel this team is.''
Strasburg (15-3) struggled at home again, surrendering six runs in 5 1-3 innings. He has a 9.00 ERA over 16 innings in his last three outings (all losses) at Nationals Park.
''This happens no matter who you are,'' Nationals manager Dusty Baker said. ''These things happen. He is not infallible. He's human and sometimes you hit a bad period of time like this.''
Atlanta had not won in Washington since Sept. 10, 2014, and was 0-6 against the NL East leaders this season. But all of this year's previous meetings came during the Braves' 0-9 start.
The Braves scored in the first and second innings before the Nationals rallied to take a 3-2 lead in the fourth with the help of Anthony Rendon's 14th home run of the season.
That wasn't a concern for Foltynewicz, whose teammates scored six runs in the next three innings.
''This offense, and I at least know it, they can do some special things,'' Foltynewicz said. ''I didn't have a worry in the world after I gave up that home run.''
He played a part with his bat on a humid night, doubling to lead off the fifth. After Erick Aybar singled with one out, Freeman smacked his 22nd home run to give the Braves the lead for good.
''He's a really good hitter so it's kind of been a back and forth for years now and I just got to do a better job of hitting my spots with him,'' Strasburg said. ''Didn't do that tonight and he beat me on it.''
Strasburg left trailing 5-3 with a man on base in the sixth, and Recker hit reliever Matt Belisle's first pitch deep to left for his first homer this season.
BRAVES ON THE MEND
Several Braves begin rehabilitation assignments this weekend. RHP Arodys Vizcaino, on the DL with a right oblique strain, will pitch Saturday for Atlanta's Rookie League Gulf Coast affiliate. Tyler Flowers (fractured left hand) is scheduled to catch seven innings at Triple-A Gwinnett on Saturday. RHP Julio Teheran (right lat strain) is due to pitch five innings at Gwinnett on Sunday.
WERTH EXTENDS ON-BASE STREAK
Nationals LF Jayson Werth's RBI double in the seventh inning extended his streak of reaching base safely to 41 games. It is the longest streak in the majors and two shy of Ryan Zimmerman's Nationals record set in 2009.
Braves: Atlanta selected the contract of RHP Jason Hursh from Triple-A Gwinnett, recalled RHP Akeel Morris from Double-A Mississippi, optioned RHP Brandon Cunniff to Gwinnett and designated RHP Roberto Hernandez for assignment. Cunniff was 1-0 with a 7.36 ERA in three games, while the veteran Hernandez was 1-1 with an 8.00 ERA in two starts this month.
Nationals: OF Bryce Harper, who has not played since Saturday, remained out of the lineup with a stiff neck. Baker said the team might have to make a decision about placing Harper on the DL in the next few days, but has not discussed the possibility based on his progress. Brian Goodwin started in right in Harper's place.
Braves: Rookie RHP Rob Whalen (1-0, 5.73 ERA) makes his third career start and first against Washington.
Nationals: The club plans to recall RHP Reynaldo Lopez (0-1, 9.35) to start Saturday. Lopez did not last more than 4 2-3 innings in either of his first two career starts.