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(Friday, August 8)
Final Score: Atlanta 7, Washington 6
Atlanta, GA (SportsNetwork.com) - The Atlanta Braves jumped all over Stephen Strasburg early and then hung on for dear life to snap their eight-game slide.
Freddie Freeman, Justin Upton and B.J. Upton all hit two-run homers against the hard-throwing right-hander in the first two innings as the Braves topped the Washington Nationals, 7-6, in the opener of a three-game set.
Ervin Santana (11-6) allowed four runs on four hits and two walks for the Braves, who moved within 3 1/2 games of the Nationals for first place in the NL East. Tommy La Stella hit a solo shot in the victory.
"We came out tonight after having an off day, had time to ease the mind and rest and come out and win a ballgame," Justin Upton said.
Strasburg (8-10) struck out nine, but was charged with seven runs on seven hits and two walks over five frames for Washington, which had won four of its last six games coming in.
Anthony Rendon smacked a three-run shot and Wilson Ramos added a solo blast in defeat.
"It's already in the past, worry about tomorrow now," Rendon said of the loss. "We've got two more games to play here so that's what we're looking forward to."
Atlanta led 7-0 through the first five innings, but Washington got four runs back in the sixth and two more in the seventh.
Pinch-hitter Scott Hairston was hit by a pitch to begin the sixth and Denard Span singled to put runners on the corners. Asdrubal Cabrera rolled a base hit up the middle to bring home Hairston and Rendon stepped up next and launched his three-run shot to left-center, cutting the gap to 7-4.
Ramos clubbed a leadoff homer to left in the seventh and Cabrera added a sacrifice fly to trim the margin to 7-6. With the tying run on second with two outs, Jordan Walden came on and got Rendon to line out.
Walden then retired the side in order in the eighth and Craig Kimbrel struck out two in a 1-2-3 ninth to notch his 33rd save of the season.
The Braves plated two runs in the first, four in the second and another in the fifth to jump out to their comfortable lead.
Freeman worked a two-out walk in the opening frame before Justin Upton smashed his two-run shot to dead center.
Ramiro Pena hit a two-out single in the second, but was forced out at second when Santana failed to move him over with a bunt. It didn't matter, however, as B.J. Upton followed by cracking his two-run blast to left. La Stella reached with a base hit and Freeman launched his two-run homer into the seats in right.
Steven Souza, who was making his second career start, crashed into the wall full speed when he leapt trying to track down Freeman's homer, which forced him to leave the game. Bryce Harper moved over to right field and Kevin Frandsen came into the game to play left.
La Stella's leadoff shot in the fifth gave the Braves their seven-run cushion.
Rain delayed the game for 1 hour and 11 minutes in the sixth inning ... Atlanta was 0-for-2 with runners in scoring position, while the Nationals finished 2-for-6 ... The Upton brothers homered in the same game for an MLB record fifth time as a set of brothers.
08/09 00:21:17 ET