Mike Foltynewicz had a solid outing for the Braves with a final line of 7 IP, 5 H, 2R, 4 BB, 3K. Unfortunately for him, he did not receive any run support as the Braves ran into Washington’s ace Max Scherzer.
Scherzer stifled Atlanta’s offense, allowing just two hits and issuing three walks while striking out seven batters over seven shutout innings. Atlanta’s two hits off of Scherzer came courtesy of Freddie Freeman and Nick Markakis.
Freeman finished 2-for-2 with a pair of walks and a pair of singles. Freeman has now reached safely in 10 consecutive plate appearances with six hits and four walks over that span. Markakis finished the night 1-for-4 with a single in the bottom of the fourth.
Washington put the game out of reach in the top of the eighth inning with a Ryan Zimmerman two-out double to right off of Eric O’Flaherty, scoring Bryce Harper and extending the Nationals’ lead to 3-0.
The Braves didn’t have much of anything going offensively while Scherzer was on the mound, but they did squander a pair of opportunities to drive in a runner who was in scoring position with one out. In the bottom of the third inning, Jace Peterson drew a leadoff walk and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt from Foltynewicz. However, Peterson was stranded on second following a pop out from Ender Inciarte and a Dansby Swanson strikeout.
Freddie Freeman led off the bottom of the fifth inning with a walk, followed by a bloop single to shallow center off of Markakis’ broken bat. Brandon Phillips reached on a fielder’s choice as Markakis was forced out at second, putting runners on the corners with one away. The Braves were unable to capitalize, however, as Scherzer was able to force Adonis Garcia to ground into an inning-ending double play.
The Nationals lit up the scoreboard first in the top of the fifth as Matt Wieters led off the inning with a double to right field and scored on an RBI single from Wilmer Difo. Scherzer laid down a sacrifice bunt to advance Difo to second, followed by an Adam Eaton single up the middle to score Difo and give Washington a 2-0 lead.
In the bottom of the seventh inning, Chase d’Arnaud reached on an error and advanced to second with one out on a wild pitch. d’Arnaud then advanced to third on a wild pitch with two outs, but Swanson popped out to center to end the threat and preserve Washington’s shutout.
Things got a bit dicey for Washington’s bullpen in the bottom of the ninth as the Braves loaded the bases with one out and Kurt Suzuki representing the winning run at the plate. Suzuki drew a walk, bringing in Markakis from third and cutting Atlanta’s deficit to 3-1. Three runners were left stranded as Emilio Bonifacio popped out to right for the second out, followed by d’Arnaud striking out to end the game.
Julio Teheran will make the start against the Nationals in game two of the three-game series on Wednesday at 7:35 pm ET. Teheran is 1-0 on the season with a 0.95 ERA.