The Nationals step into Game 3 of their series against the Braves searching for a win. They have not defeated Atlanta since a 2-1 win on April 6.
Starter Doug Fister got out a jam in the first inning with some sterling defense from second baseman Danny Espinosa.
With men on first and third and two out, Espinosa grabbed Jason Heyward’s hot shot right up the middle and flipped to shortstop Ian Desmond covering the bag at second to get Freddie Freeman.
Atlanta did not score in the inning.
The Braves counter with right-hander Julio Teheran. With one out in the first, Anthony Rendon delivered a single to left-center field.
Freeman took away an at-bat from Jayson Werth by diving into first base foul territory to catch a popup underhanded near the wall. Freeman has demonstrated his top defensive skills at first during this series. Werth has struck out seven times in the series and has just one hit.
Adam LaRoche popped up to left field to end the inning.
No score heading to the bottom of the second in D.C.
Update: In the third, Anthony Rendon did it again, smacking a single to center to score Jose Lobaton, who slid under the tag of catcher Evan Gattis, giving the Nationals a 1-0 lead.
It is the Nationals’ first lead of the series. Rendon is 2-for-2 with one RBI.
Update II: With one away in the sixth, LaRoche walked. He moved to second base and into scoring position thanks to a Teheran balk. Ryan Zimmerman singled up the middle to plate LaRoche and give the Nationals a 2-0 lead.
Update III: Rendon remains red hot. In the seventh with Lobaton on second courtesy of a walk, he launched a double over the head of B.J. Upton in center field to give the Nationals a 3-0 advantage.
Rendon has three hits on the night and four RBIs so far in the series.
Update IV: Fister did it big time for the Nationals, delivering eight scoreless innings, allowing five hits, one walk, one hit batter and striking out three. He twirled 117 pitches, 78 for strikes.
Rafael Soriano arrived in the ninth inning. He recorded his 16th save thanks in part to some great defense from Ian Desmond and Rendon. Desmond made a catch on a liner and Rendon made a pickup and quick throw to first.
The Nationals shut out the Braves 3-0. Finally.
Fister improves to 6-2. Teheran falls to 6-5.
It is the first time the Braves have been shut out since June 4, 2-0 to Seattle. The last time they were shut out on the road was 4-0 on May 28 at Boston.