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Braves beat Nationals 2-1 in series opener

Washington, DC ( - Chris Johnson's sacrifice fly in the bottom of the eighth inning lifted the Atlanta Braves to a 2-1 win over the Washington Nationals on Friday in the opener of a three-game series between the last two NL East champions.

Jayson Heyward drew a leadoff walk against Tyler Clippard (0-1), went to third on Freddie Freeman's one-out single and scored easily on Johnson's sac fly to right when Jayson Werth's throw was offline to the first-base side.

Braves right-hander David Carpenter struck out the last three batters in the bottom of the eighth after giving up a single to Anthony Rendon and walking Werth, and Craig Kimbrel fanned two in a perfect ninth for his third save.

Atlanta extended its winning streak to three games after taking the last two in a season-opening series in Milwaukee and kept the Nationals franchise from starting 4-0 for the first time in 31 years.

04/04 16:22:25 ET