Brave Make It Two Straight Over Nationals, 6-2

Saturday, April 05, 2014
Julio Teheran
Julio Teheran
- photo by Tim Evearitt

WASHINGTON -- Julio Teheran received more than enough offensive support, and Stephen Strasburg made yet another early exit as the Braves produced a four-run fifth inning that propelled them to Saturday night's 6-2 win over the Nationals at Nationals Park.

With victories in the first two games of this weekend's three-game set, the Braves have won 15 of the 21 games played against the Nationals dating back to the beginning of the 2013 season.

Teheran has been credited with three of those victories, and Strasburg has lasted fewer than five innings in three of his past four starts against Atlanta.

The Braves' starting rotation has allowed just five earned runs while working 31 2/3 innings during this season's first five games. As the oft-funny baseball gods would have it, Teheran has been charged with four of those five runs.

Teheran appeared to be shaky as he completed a 20-pitch first inning, during which Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche drilled a mammoth two-run home run into the third deck above the right-field wall. But those two runs ended up being the only allowed by Atlanta's 23-year-old right-hander, who surrendered three hits during his 111-pitch, seven-inning effort.

Strasburg stranded a pair of runners in two of the first three innings, and then seemingly came unglued after third baseman Ryan Zimmerman made an errant throw after fielding Andrelton Simmons' two-out grounder in the fourth inning. When Zimmerman's throw bounced into the stands beyond the first-base bag, Justin Upton scored and Simmons moved into position to score once Teheran notched the first of his two singles.

Teheran's game-tying single in the fourth inning served as a spark for the Braves, who added four consecutive hits after Freddie Freeman drew a one-out walk in the fifth inning. Dan Uggla laced a go-ahead two-run single to left field, and Ryan Doumit followed with an RBI single that chased Strasburg, who allowed six runs -- three earned -- and eight hits in just 4 1/3 innings.

Strasburg has completed fewer than five innings in 13 of his 77 career starts. Five of those have come against the Braves. Still, the highly regarded right-hander has a 3.85 career ERA in 13 career starts against Atlanta.

B.J. Upton halted his offensive woes with a two-hit performance that included a third-inning double. But his most valuable contribution came courtesy of the strong pinpoint throw he made to the plate as Jose Lobaton attempted to score on Bryce Harper's flyout in the fifth inning.

Like in the fifth inning, the Nationals put two on before recording the first out in the sixth inning. But Teheran showed his mettle yet again by retiring Danny Espinosa, Ian Desmond and Anthony Rendon to end the sixth. It was reminiscent of what he did last season, when opponents hit just .217 against him with runners in scoring position.

Box Score

--- Source: MLB.com



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