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Nats lose second consecutive series in 13-2 loss against Braves

Nats lose second consecutive series in 13-2 loss against Braves

The Atlanta Braves had dropped three straight before this week's series against the Washington Nationals.

That only makes their rare series victory against the defending NL East champs even sweeter.

Julio Teheran earned his third consecutive victory, Kurt Suzuki homered and Atlanta defeated Washington 13-2 on Wednesday to take two of three from the Nationals.

"It's a tough place to win," manager Brian Snitker said. "It's a very good team and we were coming off a rough series at home. Guys responded well. We started swinging the bats and the bullpen did a great job. It was a good series for us."

Brandon Phillips had four hits and three RBIs for the Braves, who had dropped seven consecutive road series against the Nationals and had lost 23 of their last 25 games in Washington before this series. It was Atlanta's first series victory at Washington since taking two during a three-game set April 4-6, 2014.

Teheran (6-4) matched a season-high with seven innings, allowing six hits and one walk while striking out three against a lineup that did not include resting regulars Anthony Rendon and Matt Wieters.

"Even if I give up a homer or something, I just have to stay focused and execute pitches," Teheran said. "That's something I was doing really good -- getting ahead in counts and throwing strike one. It was big today."

Washington lost its second consecutive series and finished 2-5 on its homestand.

"It was a tough homestand," Washington manager Dusty Baker said. "This is not the kind of homestand you want to exhibit in front of your home fans."

Atlanta was in control from the start against Washington starter Tanner Roark (6-4), who gave up two runs before he recorded an out and three total in the first inning.

The Braves would add three more in the third, with Nick Markakis scoring from third after Nationals catcher Jose Lobaton's pickoff attempt of Matt Kemp caught first baseman Ryan Zimmerman off guard and sailed into right field. Kemp was thrown out at third and left the game the following half-inning as a precaution after experiencing hamstring tightness.

After a walk to Matt Adams, Suzuki hit his fourth home run of the season to make it 6-2.

Teheran yielded a two-run homer to Brian Goodwin in the second inning, but otherwise encountered little difficulty. He did not allow a runner past second base after Goodwin's home run.

"Julio pitched a really good game," Kemp said. "He made one mistake but other than that he was money."

Roark surrendered nine hits while matching a season-high with seven runs allowed over five innings.

MORE NATS: NATIONALS DRAFT DUSTY BAKER'S SON 

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Bryce Harper powers Nationals past Diamondbacks

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Bryce Harper powers Nationals past Diamondbacks

PHOENIX -- The newest additions to the Washington bullpen came through when called upon to help deliver a victory to their new team.

Sean Doolittle stranded the potential tying run by escaping a jam for his second save for Washington, and Ryan Madson tossed a scoreless eighth inning as the Nationals held off the Arizona Diamondbacks 4-3 on Saturday night.

"The game can really speed up on you once you start getting guys on base," said Doolittle, who with Madson arrived in a trade with Oakland earlier in the week. "The crowd and the energy of the stadium can kind of take over and ... you have to be mindful enough to step off the mound, slow the game down a bit, kind of press reset."

Bryce Harper homered and drove in two runs, and starting pitcher Tanner Roark struck out a season-high 11. Roark (8-6) gave up two runs and three hits in seven innings for the NL East-leading Nationals.

"Curveball felt good. Just keep the hitter guessing," Roark said.

Harper hit his 25th home run on a full-count offspeed pitch from Anthony Banda (0-1), who lost in his major league debut.

Chris Iannetta hit a two-out RBI double in the bottom half, but the Nationals opened a 4-1 lead with a three-run sixth.

Harper hit a run-scoring double and scored on Ryan Zimmerman's double, and Anthony Rendon beat out an RBI single that sent Zimmerman home.

"They had a young guy out there that throws the ball really hard, has good command. He's going to be really good in the next couple of years for sure," Harper said of Banda. "Just got him this time and got a few runs up there."

A.J. Pollock tripled in the bottom half and scored on Jake Lamb's groundout, and Arizona reliever Jorge De La Rosa got out of bases-loaded trouble in the seventh when he struck out Harper and Zimmerman.

Doolittle, acquired from Oakland last weekend, walked Lamb leading off the ninth. Iannetta hit a broken-bat grounder to third, and Rendon's throw to second went into right field for an error that put runners on the corners.

Paul Goldschmidt hit a sacrifice fly, Chris Owings flied out and Doolittle struck out Ketel Marte for his second save with the Nationals.

"Madson's been great for us. Doolittle ... he never panics. It was great to see. It's a lot of fun to have a back end like that," Harper said.

Banda allowed four runs and seven hits in 5 2/3 innings, struck out five and walked none. He was optioned back to Triple-A Reno after the game.

"I felt confident. I threw the ball in the zone and kept attacking hitters," Banda said. "I made a couple of mistakes, Harper and the middle of the lineup."

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Nationals lose to Diamondbacks in dramatic fashion

Nationals lose to Diamondbacks in dramatic fashion

PHOENIX -- Three straight homers off Washington Nationals ace Max Scherzer in the first inning had the Arizona Diamondbacks set up for an easy Major League Baseball victory over the NL East leaders.

Instead, they needed Brandon Drury's bases-loaded single in the bottom of the ninth for a 6-5 victory Friday night.

The home runs by David Peralta, A.J. Pollock and Jake Lamb to start their first at-bat helped stake the Diamondbacks to a 5-0 lead against Scherzer.

"We did a great job getting his pitch count up and also putting runs on him," the Diamondbacks' A.J. Pollock said. "Great getting on him early. We would've loved to have (scrapped) a couple of runs in the middle of the game, but the key point is we won the game and we came through in the end."

The first-inning feat was the first in the majors since Baltimore did it against Texas on May 10, 2012. It was the first time in Nationals history (2005 to present) that an opposing team has hit back-to-back-to-back home runs.

The Diamondbacks last hit three straight homers on Aug. 11, 2010, when they had four in a row at Milwaukee.

It was the most runs allowed by Scherzer in a first inning since July 2, 2011, against San Francisco, when he gave up five.

"I had four pitches today. I was using them. They beat me," Scherzer said. "I just couldn't get the ball exactly where I wanted it. When you do that against this type of ballclub and these types of hitters, they are really good and they make you pay."

Scherzer's five runs allowed tied for the most he's given up in a start this season, and the five innings tied for his shortest outing of the season.

Arizona sent nine batters to the plate in the four-run first and the Diamondbacks made it 5-0 in the second on Lamb's RBI double.

Scherzer had allowed just one home run in 34 2/3 innings over five starts before he surrendered the three home runs on his first 10 pitches. The All-Star right-hander and two-time Cy Young Award winner was tagged for three homers in a game for the first time since May 6, 2016, against the Chicago Cubs, when he allowed four.

"I don't think I have ever seen a game starting off with three homers. Max hadn't seen it, either," Nationals manager Dusty Baker said.

Peralta, Pollock and Lamb also each had a double, another historical first for the Diamondbacks.

The Nationals rallied with Daniel Murphy's run-scoring double in the fourth, then added two more runs in the fifth off Diamondbacks starter Zack Godley. A leadoff double for Matt Wieters led to Brian Goodwin's RBI groundout, and Ryan Raburn singled in Wilmer Difo with two outs.

Godley struck out a career high 10 in 5 2/3 innings, and allowed four runs and five hits.

Difo drove in two runs, one to cut the lead to 5-4 in the sixth and the other that tied the game on a groundout to first in the eighth.

The Diamondbacks loaded the bases in the ninth on Pollock's triple and intentional walks to Lamb and Paul Goldschmidt by Enny Romero (2-4). After Gregor Blanco flied out to shallow left, Drury bounced a single into right field for Arizona's third win in four games.