Atlanta starter Julio Teheran throws in the second inning against the Washington Nationals on Saturday in Washington, D.C. (USA Today Sports: Joy R. Absalon)
WASHINGTON — Atlanta starter Julio Teheran pitched seven strong innings and also had two hits while the Braves used a four-run fifth inning to beat the Washington Nationals 6-2 on Saturday in the second of a three-game series.
First baseman Freddie Freeman had three walks and two hits and reached base all five times while third baseman Chris Johnson, and outfielders B.J. Upton and Justin Upton also had two hits for the Braves, who lashed out 13 hits against five Washington pitchers.
The Braves won the first two games of the series and have won nine of the last 11 games at Nationals Park. Washington, held to just five hits, has now lost 15 of the last 21 games overall to Atlanta.
Atlanta knocked Washington starter Stephen Strasburg (0-1) out of the game in the fifth, though an error by third baseman Ryan Zimmerman aided the Braves’ cause in the four-run uprising. Teheran (1-1) allowed two runs and three hits with four walks and six strikeouts and also had an RBI single in the fourth. Rookie Ian Thomas and Jordan Walden each pitched a scoreless inning for the Braves out of the bullpen.
The Braves took a 4-2 lead in the top of fifth on a two-run, bases loaded single to left by second baseman Dan Uggla against Strasburg.
Catcher Ryan Doumit followed with an RBI single to right to make it 5-2. That ended the night for Strasburg, who threw 96 pitches and allowed six runs (three earned). Shortstop Andrelton Simmons then hit a sacrifice fly to center against reliever Aaron Barrett to give the Braves a 6-2 lead.
Atlanta had tied the game at 2 in the fourth as Justin Upton scored on a throwing error Zimmerman. Teheran then singled to score Simmons.
Washington first baseman Adam LaRoche hit a rare upper deck homer at Nationals Park in the bottom of the first, as he golfed a low inside pitch from Teheran to right field to give the Nationals a 2-0 lead. Washington had a rally end in the fifth as catcher Jose Lobaton was thrown out at the plate as he tried to score on a lineout to center by left fielder Bryce Harper.
NOTES: The scheduled starters for the series finale on Sunday are RHP Taylor Jordan, making his first appearance of the year for Washington, and LHP Alex Wood (1-0, 1.29) for Atlanta … Washington pitchers fanned 53 batters in the first four games, the most-ever in the first four games of a season, according to Elias Sports Bureau … 3B Ryan Zimmerman hit his first big league homer on this date in 2005, a shot in the ninth inning against Billy Wagner of the Mets … There were just 13 runs scored in the first four games of the year for the Braves, the lowest mark since 1986, according to Elias.