Sports

Stephen Strasburg pitches 2 scoreless inning, Braves exploit shift to beat Nationals 8-4

  • Washington Nationals starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg (37) throws in the second inning of a spring exhibition baseball game against the Atlanta Braves, Tuesday, March 4, 2014, in Kissimmee, Fla. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

    Washington Nationals starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg (37) throws in the second inning of a spring exhibition baseball game against the Atlanta Braves, Tuesday, March 4, 2014, in Kissimmee, Fla. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)  (The Associated Press)

  • Atlanta Braves second baseman Dan Uggla (26) waits to make the tag on Washington Nationals' Nate McLouth (15) who was out at second on the steal attempt, in the third inning of a spring exhibition baseball game, Tuesday, March 4, 2014, in Kissimmee, Fla. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

    Atlanta Braves second baseman Dan Uggla (26) waits to make the tag on Washington Nationals' Nate McLouth (15) who was out at second on the steal attempt, in the third inning of a spring exhibition baseball game, Tuesday, March 4, 2014, in Kissimmee, Fla. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)  (The Associated Press)

  • Washington Nationals' Ian Desmond (20) is safe at second base on the steal as Atlanta Braves shortstop Andrelton Simmons bobbles the throw, in the fourth inning of a spring exhibition baseball game, Tuesday, March 4, 2014, in Kissimmee, Fla. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

    Washington Nationals' Ian Desmond (20) is safe at second base on the steal as Atlanta Braves shortstop Andrelton Simmons bobbles the throw, in the fourth inning of a spring exhibition baseball game, Tuesday, March 4, 2014, in Kissimmee, Fla. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)  (The Associated Press)

Stephen Strasburg pitched two scoreless innings in his spring debut for Washington, but Phil Gosselin took advantage of Nationals rookie manager Matt Williams defensive shift in the eighth inning to give the Atlanta Braves an 8-4 victory Tuesday.

Gosselin hit a bases-loaded triple to a vacated right field — Williams had ordered a five-man infield with one out and the game tied. The Braves added a fourth run in the inning and won for the first time in eight games this spring.

Strasburg, coming off October surgery to remove bone chips from his elbow, allowed one hit and needed only 15 pitches — 11 strikes. Justin Upton singled with one out in the second inning, but was erased on a double play.

Washington's Ian Desmond was 3 for 3 with a homer, double and stolen base. The first-inning double was the only hit in three innings off Braves starter Kris Medlen.