Nationals and Braves under way in NL East battle (Braves won 3-0)

The much anticipated Nationals versus Braves series is upon us. Atlanta has won five of the first six meetings between the two clubs this year and had held the top spot in the division until a recent downward turn.

The Nationals bounced back from a four-game skid to post a pair of 6-5 wins against Houston to begin the homestand. But this is the Braves, and the Nationals have a combined record of 3-10 record against Atlanta and St. Louis this season.

Right-hander Jordan Zimmermann allowed a bloop single to Jayson Heyward with one out in the second. Left fielder Ryan Zimmerman did not get a good jump on the ball and it landed in front of him for a single. But Zimmermann got Chris Johnson on a groundout to third and Ryan Doumit on a pop up to Denard Span to end the frame.

The weather is a bit milder with a game time temperature of 73 degrees and a pretty consistent breeze coming in from left field.

No score heading to the bottom of the second.

Update: The Braves put together a string of hits in the fourth. With one out, Freddie Freeman, Evan Gattis and Heyward smacked singles to load the bases. For Gattis, the base hit added to his 18-game hitting streak, a career-high.

Johnson broke the ice with another single, this one up the middle past a reaching Danny Espinosa, scoring two runs, and the Braves lead 2-0.

Update II: Span cranked a double to the wall with two outs in the sixth off of Gavin Floyd. Anthony Rendon flies to right field to end the inning. Floyd has been outstanding. He has allowed only two hits in six frames and has struck out six with just one walk. Braves maintain 2-0 lead.

Update III: Zimmermann fought his way out of possible trouble in the seventh. Andrelton Simmons and Tommy La Stella had singled. With two men on and two outs, he struck out B.J. Upton looking to end the threat.

Update IV: Floyd left with an 0-1 count to Werth in the bottom of the seventh. No word yet on the injury. He was great when he was in there, completing six innings, allowing two hits, no runs, one walk and struck out six batters. Floyd needed only 64 pitches, 46 for strikes to do so much damage.

Zimmermann finished seven innings, giving up seven hits, two earned runs, also one walk and six strikeouts. He tossed 97 pitches, 64 for strikes.

Update V: With Jerry Blevins pitching in the eighth, Johnson added another run-scoring base hit, his third RBI of the night, and the Braves tallied a crucial insurance run and led 3-0.

The Braves announced that Floyd left the game due to “posterior swelling in his right elbow.” He is getting X-Rays and will be examined by a doctor tonight.

Update VI: Craig Kimbrel came on in the ninth for his 21st save of the season.

Braves defeat the Nationals 3-0. They lead the season series 6-1 and have allowed the Nationals only five runs in four games at Nationals Park.

Floyd improves to 2-2, Zimmermann falls to 5-4.

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