Tommy Hanson aims to snap a personal five-game winless skid when the Atlanta Braves host the Washington Nationals in the second portion of a three-game series.

Atlanta heads into Saturday facing a 7 1/2-game deficit on the Nats for the NL East lead. There's no need to fret for the Braves, though, as they are in first in the wild card race, well ahead of the third-place Dodgers.

Hanson, who is 0-3 over his last five outings, is 3-3 in 11 career games against the Nationals.

Edwin Jackson, who spends his offseason in Vinings, Ga., less than a half-hour from Turner Field, gets the start today for the Nationals. The righty was pounded for nine hits and six runs over 4 2/3 innings of an 8-0 loss to Miami on Sunday.

Jackson is 0-1 in five games (4 starts) against Atlanta.

The Nationals' next victory will be their 90th of the season. It will mark the first time a team from the nation's capital will reach the mark since the 1933 AL Nationals won 99.

Last night, Andrelton Simmons scored the game-winning run in the ninth inning after Ian Desmond's throw was off target in a 2-1 victory for the Braves.

Simmons opened the inning with an infield single then moved to third on a Michael Bourn single. Tyler Pastornicky then cued a grounder to Desmond at short, but his throw sailed past Kurt Suzuki at the plate and Simmons scored easily.

Simmons finished the game 2-for-3 and drove in a run for the Braves, who have won two in a row on the heels of a three-game skid.

Craig Kimbrel (2-1) earned the win after striking out the side in the ninth. Kris Medlen started for Atlanta and allowed one run on five hits and struck out a career-high 13 batters.

"We executed. We knew what we wanted to do," Medlen said. "We just kind of mixed in fastballs to lefties, change-ups away. It just all worked out."

Sean Burnett (1-2) was charged with the loss after giving up the winning run in the ninth.

"You can't really hang your head too much," Nationals outfielder Jayson Werth said.

Washington leads the season series, 10-6.