Atlanta, GA – Andrelton Simmons knocked in the go-ahead run in the seventh inning to help the Atlanta Braves defeat the Washington Nationals, 3-2, in the opener of a four-game series on Monday.
Simmons hit a sacrifice fly off the Nationals' Tyler Clippard (1-1) to score Gerald Laird, who drew a walk to lead off Atlanta's half of the inning.
Laird and Justin Upton drove in a run apiece for the Braves, who snapped a four-game losing streak. Starter Julio Teheran gave up two runs on 10 hits and a walk over 5 1/3 innings in a no-decision. Jordan Walden (1-0) came into relieve and pitched 1 2/3 flawless frames to earn the win, while Craig Kimbrel notched his ninth save with a scoreless ninth.
"Anytime we're going against those guys, obviously, those are important games," said Jordan Schafer. "Our pitching was outstanding tonight, and we were just able to scrap enough hits there and get enough runs."
Kurt Suzuki and Chad Tracy each had an RBI for the Nationals, who saw Stephen Strasburg allow two runs on six hits and four walks in six innings.
"I felt good out there today," said Strasburg. "Just battling through, commanding the fastball, commanding the off-speed. It's just one of those days."
Upton got the Braves on top in the first with a single that scored Schafer, who drew a leadoff walk and then stole second base.
In the second, the Nationals drove in both of their runs on four straight singles. Leading off was Adam LaRoche, followed by Ian Desmond. Tracy scored LaRoche while Suzuki plated Desmond.
Laird tied the game at 2-2 in the fourth with a two-out single that scored Freddie Freeman, who drew a walk to lead off the frame.
Eric O'Flaherty and Kimbrel pitched 1-2-3 eighth and ninth innings, respectively, to end the game.
Schafer had three walks and two stolen bases ... Upton has 19 RBI this season ... Kimbrel is two saves away from having 100 for his career ... The Nationals are 0-4 when facing rookie starting pitchers ... Washington entered the game 9-0 when totaling nine or more hits.