Washington, DC – Julio Teheran pitched six solid innings and Evan Gattis had a two-run single as the Atlanta Braves won their 12th straight game, 2-1, over the Washington Nationals.
The Braves, who widened their lead to 14 1/2 games over Washington atop the NL East, have recorded their longest winning streak since a 15-game run from April 16-May 2, 2000.
Teheran (9-5) gave up a run on four hits and fanned four to remain unbeaten in his last four starts. He did, however, draw the attention of the Nationals after plunking Bryce Harper in the fifth inning. Both dugouts and bullpens cleared before order was restored.
"We've got a good thing going now with our pitching staff," Braves catcher Brian McCann. "Everybody's battling, making their pitches. The bullpen, I can't say enough about the good things they've done, stepping up and filling in some big shoes. Our offense is clicking. That's why we've won 12 in a row."
Harper went deep in the third inning and stood at the plate for a moment to admire his 17th homer of the season, a blast to center, before rounding the bases.
Gio Gonzalez (7-5), who was cleared of any illegal activity in the Biogenesis case Monday and avoided a suspension, surrendered six hits and two runs over seven innings in the second contest of this three-game series.
Gattis, who replaced an injured Jason Heyward after the top of the first inning, lined a single to right field to put the Braves on top in the fifth. Teheran's sacrifice bunt moved B.J. Upton and Andrelton Simmons into scoring position prior to the hit, though Freddie Freeman later struck out swinging to leave runners at the corners.
Harper was hit by a pitch in the upper right thigh with one out in the bottom of the fifth to put a pair of runners on base. Home plate umpire Joe West held back a displeased McCann as Harper pointed at and had words for Teheran.
Teheran retired the next two batters to end the frame.
Washington filled the bases with two out in the seventh, but Braves reliever Luis Avilan escaped the jam by getting Adam LaRoche to hit a slow roller to first base.
Jordan Walden struck out the side in the eighth and Craig Kimbrel did the same in the ninth for his NL-leading 35th save. Kimbrel, who suffered his last blown save on May 7 at Cincinnati, has converted 25 straight save opportunities. He put the exclamation point on the win by getting Harper to swing through a rising fastball.
"There's nothing to do now, but keep playing," LaRoche said. "There's no point in looking back and hanging our heads. We've got two options now, we can cash it in and think about next year or grind it out and see what happens. I'm pretty sure we're going to keep pushing."
Heyward left the contest after his first at-bat due to a strained muscle in his neck ... Atlanta's Justin Upton went 2-for-4 to extend his hitting streak to 11 games ... Gonzalez fell to 2-5 lifetime against the Braves ... Atlanta leads the season series, 9-3, and has won all five meetings between the teams at Nationals Park ... Before the game, the Nationals selected the contract of pitcher Tanner Roark from Triple-A Syracuse, optioned pitcher Xavier Cedeno to Syracuse and transferred pitcher Ross Detwiler to the 60-day disabled list.