Atlanta, GA (SportsNetwork.com) - Kelly Johnson went 3-for-4 with a two-run homer and three RBI in the Atlanta Braves' 8-4 win over the Washington Nationals in the opener of a three-game series.
A.J. Pierzynski drove in two runs and scored once for the Braves, who started a 10-game homestand on Monday. Jace Peterson, Chris Johnson and Eric Young Jr. had one RBI apiece.
"I think that we're playing some pretty good ball and we need to keep it going," said Peterson.
Atlanta starter Eric Stults (1-1) allowed two runs on four hits over 6 1/3 innings. He walked three and struck out three.
Ryan Zimmerman, Denard Span and Dan Uggla each drove in a run for the Nationals, who have lost six in a row. Doug Fister (1-1) gave up five runs -- four earned -- on 10 hits over 5 2/3 innings as he struggled with pitches rising in the strike zone.
"It's just kind of a constant battle for me," Fister said. "It's always a focus point but tonight was one of those nights I couldn't get on top of it."
The Nationals committed four errors, including two by Fister on errant pickoff attempts.
The Braves jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first. Nick Markakis walked, advanced to third on Freddie Freeman's single and scored on Pierzynski's sacrifice fly.
Washington tied things up in the third when Danny Espinosa crossed the plate on Zimmerman's double down the left-field line. Espinosa led off with a ground-rule double and moved to third on a sacrifice bunt.
Atlanta went back in front for good in the fourth. Alberto Callaspo singled, advanced to third on Kelly Johnson's single and scored on Peterson's sacrifice fly.
The Braves tacked on three more runs in the sixth. Pierzynski singled and scored on Kelly Johnson's blast to right. Peterson followed with a single, advanced to third on Fister's errant pickoff attempt and crossed the plant on a sacrifice bunt by Young.
Stults put men on first and second with one out in the seventh. Cody Martin came in from the bullpen and hit Reed Johnson with a pitch to load the bases for Span, who hit a sacrifice fly to center.
Atlanta responded with two runs in the bottom half. Pierzynski's sacrifice fly and Kelly Johnson's RBI single made it 7-2.
In the top of the eighth, Uggla hit an RBI triple to right and scored on Peterson's throwing error. Chris Johnson answered with an RBI single in the bottom half.
Pierzynski went 1-for-3 Monday and has hit safely in all 10 of his games this season ... Fister fell to 3-1 lifetime against Atlanta ... Nationals third baseman Yunel Escobar left the game in the fifth inning when Andrelton Simmons slid directly into his glove and ripped it off his hand ... Following the game, Nationals manager Matt Williams said right-hander A.J. Cole would be recalled from Triple-A Syracuse to fill in Tuesday night for Max Scherzer, who will miss his scheduled because of a sprained right thumb.