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.