Atlanta had suffered through a six-game losing streak against the Nationals dating back to last year, and it looked like a seventh loss was imminent when Steve Lombardozzi and Bryce Harper connected for back-to-back home runs off Hanson to start the game. Washington starter Gio Gonzalez had held the Braves to one hit in seven innings in his first start against them, so a comeback wouldn't be easy.
However, Atlanta's bats answered in the third inning when Martin Prado singled with one out against Gonzalez and Dan Uggla ripped a double into the right field gap, scoring Prado.
Washington led 2-1 in the fifth when the Braves took advantage of Gonzalez's sudden wildness. The lefty flung two wild pitches, the first with Michael Bourn on first with one out and another following a two-out walk to Uggla with Matt Diaz hitting. Diaz drew a walk to load the bases for Jason Heyward and Heyward came through, hitting a mistake pitch to left to score two and give Atlanta the lead. Gonzalez was immediately yanked from the game following Heyward's hit, having allowed seven hits.
Hanson breezed through the Nationals after that with some help from his defense in the fifth. Bryce Harper smacked a double to right, but a nice relay by Andrelton Simmons nailed Harper at third, preventing a potential rally. Simmons also collected his first major-league hit with a double in the second inning.
Hanson struck out six in seven innings. He did not issue a walk.
Eric O'Flaherty threatened to give away the lead with back-to-back walks to start the eighth, but he escaped trouble by getting Ryan Zimmerman to hit into a double play and inducing a fly ball off the bat of Adam LaRoche.
Craig Kimbrel easily struck out the side in the ninth for his 16th save.