Nationals shut down Braves

WASHINGTON 3, ATLANTA 2

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ATLANTA — Craig Stammen pitched four perfect innings after ace Stephen Strasburg left with an apparent injury, Denard Span tripled and scored two runs, and the Washington Nationals beat the Atlanta Braves 3-2 on Friday night.

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A triple by Washington's Denard Span gets past Atlanta Braves left fielder Justin Upton in the first inning on Friday night.  JOHN BAZEMORE/ASSOCIATED PRESS
JOHN BAZEMORE/ASSOCIATED PRESS
A triple by Washington's Denard Span gets past Atlanta Braves left fielder Justin Upton in the first inning on Friday night.

Strasburg lasted just two innings before leaving the shortest outing of his career. The Nationals did not give an update on Strasburg during the game.

The victory snapped a two-game skid for Washington, which trimmed its second-place deficit in the NL East to 4½ games behind the Braves.

Atlanta has dropped two of three and four of six.

Strasburg left with a 2-1 lead. He allowed two hits and one run — a homer by Freddie Freeman — with no walks and two strikeouts.

Stammen (3-1) shut down the Braves by striking out three and allowing no baserunners through the sixth.

In the seventh, Tyler Clippard escaped a bases-loaded jam that he created by allowing an RBI single to Freeman that cut the lead to 3-2 and by hitting the next two batters he faced.

Clippard settled down, though, and struck out Dan Uggla and Chris Johnson.

Drew Storen pitched a scoreless eighth for the Nationals, and closer Rafael Soriano converted his 15th save in 18 chances by retiring Freeman on a flyout, striking out B.J. Upton and getting Brian McCann to ground out in the ninth.

Stammen retired all 12 batters he faced. He was replaced by a pinch-hitter in the top of the seventh.

The Nationals took a 3-1 lead in the sixth when Span tripled again and scored on another sacrifice fly by Bernadina.

Teheran’s night ended when Anthony Varvaro replaced him with a runner on second. Teheran allowed seven hits, three runs, one walk and a career-high nine strikeouts.

B.J. UPTON MIGHT BE SENT TO THE MINORS BY BRAVES

ATLANTA — Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez says he has considered asking center fielder B.J. Upton to work out his struggles in a minor league assignment.

Upton, signed to the biggest contract in franchise history at five years, $75.25 million, has a .146 batting average, 109 points below his seven-year career mark with Tampa Bay.

Gonzalez indicated that Upton has enough service time in the majors to refuse an assignment if he disagrees with the move.

“In my own mind, you think about those things, but really I haven’t gotten to that point,” Gonzalez said. “I think there’s some logistics – contractual things and that sort of stuff – that they might not be able to do it that easy.”

– Associated Press


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