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Baseball / Sports

Nationals shut out Braves, 3-0

WASHINGTON -- On a night when the Braves' Julio Teheran and the Nationals' Doug Fister both pitched impressively, a few timely hits made most of the difference. And the Nationals got all of those hits.

Fister limited the Braves to five hits in eight innings and Anthony Rendon had a pair of two-out RBI hits to lead the Nationals to a 3-0 win at Nationals Park, just their second win in nine games against the Braves this season and eighth in the past 32 games between the teams.

Catcher Evan Gattis extended his hitting streak to 20 games the Braves, who went 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position and lost for only the fourth time in their past 16 games at Nationals Park. They slipped back to second place, a half-game behind Washington atop the National League East standings.

Teheran (6-5) had a season-high 10 strikeouts and allowed three runs, seven hits and two walks. But he and Gattis couldn't seem to get on the same page from the outset, and eventually that issue led to a costly balk.

Teheran shook off the catcher's signs repeatedly, and was called for a balk when he stepped off the rubber after shaking off multiple pitches with Ryan Zimmerman batting with one out in the sixth inning.

Adam LaRoche, who had drawn a one-out walk, advanced to second on the balk and scored from there when Zimmerman singled to center and B.J. Upton's field-and-throw was less than stellar. The Nationals led 2-0, a significant margin given the way that Fister (6-2) was dealing.

Fister is 6-1 with a 2.02 ERA in his past eight starts and has won all four of his home starts in his first season with the Nationals, after beginning the season on the disabled list.

Fister was staked to a 1-0 lead on Rendon's two-out single in the third inning, after Jose Lobaton led off with a single and advanced on a Fister sacrifice. It was Rendon who hit the game-tying, two-out, two-run homer in the ninth inning Friday against Braves closer Craig Kimbrel, in a game the Braves won in 13 innings.

The Braves had their best scoring opportunity Saturday in the first inning after consecutive one-out singles by B.J. Upton and Freddie Freeman. But Gattis lined out to second base and and Jason Heyward grounded into a force to end the inning.

They didn't have another hit another baserunner until Gattis was hit by a pitch in the fourth inning, and didn't have their third hit until Gattis singled with two out in the sixth, extending his hitting streak. Heyward followed with a walk before Justin Upton popped out to second base to strand the runners.

Upton, back in the lineup after missing three starts with a sinus ailment, didn't get the ball out of the infield in his first three plate appearances against Fister, which yielded two groundouts and the pop-up.

The Braves had another scoring chance in the seventh after Chris Johnson's leadoff single. Andrelton Simmons popped up for the first out and Teheran advanced the runner with a sacrifice bunt before Tommy La Stella grounded out to end the inning.

La Stella, who has struggled since moving to the leadoff role this week, also grounded out with a runner at second base to end the fifth inning. Simmons had singled with one out and advanced on a Teheran fielder's choice

(c)2014 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Atlanta, Ga.)

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