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Braves take their swings against Strasburg

(SportsNetwork.com) - Stephen Strasburg logged double-digit strikeouts in his first start of the season at Citi Field, but Washington didn't generate enough offense for the right-hander to get the victory against the New York Mets.

Strasburg now shifts his focus to the home mound in the second installment of a three-game set against the Atlanta Braves. He's sparkled in his initial home season-starting assignments in his career, going 3-0 with a 1.44 ERA in his first Nationals Park starts in a given season.

On Monday, Strasburg allowed five hits and four runs, while walking two and striking out 10 over six innings. He threw 64 of his 102 pitches for strikes in a game the Nats won, 9-7, in 10 innings.

Over his career, Strasburg is 3-4 with a 3.68 ERA in 12 starts against the Braves.

Julio Teheran counters for Atlanta. The right-hander suffered the loss in a 2-0 final at Milwaukee in Monday's season-opener. Teheran yielded seven hits and a pair of runs in six innings. He's 2-1 with a 3.00 ERA in five career starts versus the Nationals.

On Friday, Chris Johnson's sacrifice fly in the eighth inning lifted the Braves to a 2-1 win, spoiling the home opener for the Nationals.

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

Evan Gattis hit a leadoff home run in the fifth inning for the reigning NL East champions, who were 13-6 against Washington last season.

"Every series is important," said Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez. "We play them six different series ... and it doesn't matter if you play them in April or September, you have to try to win the series."

Braves righty David Hale threw five shutout innings in his third career MLB start and left with a 1-0 lead. He gave up five hits and two walks.

Luis Avilan (1-0) picked up the win after getting the last out of the seventh inning.

Washington's Adam LaRoche was thrown out at home plate in the fourth inning trying to score on Ryan Zimmerman's double off the left field wall when shortstop Andrelton Simmons' relay throw arrived in plenty of time.

"It's good to be aggressive and that's what we're going to do all year," said Zimmerman. "It's good for us. I think we need to put pressure on the other team as long as it's intelligent. You don't want to run into outs."

The Braves have won nine of their last 11 games at Washington.