Brandon Beachy dueled with Stephen Strasburg into the seventh inning, but the Nationals starter was just a little bit better, striking out nine in shutting down the Braves 2-0.
Unlike in the past, Strasburg had very little trouble facing Atlanta's offense. He struck out the first four hitters he faced and worked out of a two-out rally in the third with two on.
Both pitchers put up zeros through four until Beachy served up a mistake to Jesus Flores leading off the fifth, and it was smacked for a home run and a 1-0 lead for Strasburg. Beachy had started off with three walks in the first three innings, two of them to Bryce Harper, but had appeared to settle down until the home run.
The lead was enough for Strasburg. He limited the Braves to four hits in seven innings with two double plays turned behind him. Washington added an insurance run in the seventh when with two on and one out, pinch-hitter Xavier Nady drove in Danny Espinosa with a double to right off Jonny Venters.
Tyler Clippard earned the save for Washington with a pair of strikeouts in the ninth.
Brian McCann had to leave the game in the seventh when a pitch from Jonny Venters struck him hard on his knee. Beachy has now suffered a loss in each of his last three starts. He walked four in 6.1 innings with six strikeouts and allowed only three hits. Only one Atlanta base runner reached third base in the game.
Andrelton Simmons was hitless in three at-bats in his major-league debut, grounding out all three times.